If a Tree Falls

PBS Premiere: Sept. 13, 2011Check the broadcast schedule »

Environmental Movement Timelines


New York Times timeline - 70 Years of Environmental Change
70 Years of Environmental Change
This visual timeline from The New York Times covers key environmental events and news stories under the last 13 presidencies. From the deadly smog in Donora, Pennsylvania that killed 20 people in 1948 to Al Gore's 2006 Oscar-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth, about the ever-worsening evidence of global warming, the timeline covers both landmark initiatives by the government and devastating environmental disasters.

American Experience Timeline - Environmental Movement
Earth Days: Modern Environmental Movement
This American Experience timeline covers the American environmental movement post-World War II. Items include books that placed environmental issues at the forefront of national dialogue and information about the foundation of major environmental organizations.

Radford Environmental Timelines
Environmental History Timeline
Probably the oldest timeline in our roundup (it was first published online in 1996!), this independent project produced by an American scholar at Radford University details the history of environmentalism from the rise of civilization in Babylon to the 21st century. It offers insight into the environmental movement's key players and the nation's most harrowing ecological disasters.

Infoplease Timeline
Milestones in Environmental Protection
This Infoplease timeline offers a comprehensive listing of government and non-governmental organizations' attempts at preserving the environment from as early as 1849.

Organization Histories

Greenpeace image
The Greenpeace Book: Greenpeace History
In 1970, a handful of U.S. expatriates and Canadian ecology activists set sail off the coast of Alaska, in a boat named "Greenpeace," to investigate underground nuclear testing on the island of Amchitka. This detailed chronology of Greenpeace's early years (1968 to 1975) shows how the group's founders came to form one of the world's most visible environmental organizations.

Sierra Club History Timeline
History: Sierra Club Timeline
This list is comprised of events from the beginning of the Sierra Club's formation in 1892 under the guidance of naturalist John Muir to the present time. At the bottom of the page there is a link to a video illustrating the group's major successes.

Wikipedia Timeline ELF
Wikipedia: "Timeline of Earth Liberation Front Actions"
Although this article is unverified and disputed by Wikipedia editors, it is an interesting compendium of the guerilla group's acts of eco-sabotage over the past 14 years.

The Future of Forests

Guardian Forest Future Slideshow
The Guardian: The World's 10 Most Threatened Forests
A slideshow depicts the world's most at-risk rainforests and describes their ecosystems, the economies of surrounding villages and endangered animals that inhabit them.