This book tells the story of how modern environmentalism emerged in postwar Sweden. It shows that the ‘environmental turn’ in Sweden occurred as early as the autumn of 1967 and that natural scientists led the way. The most influential was the chemist Hans Palmstierna, who was both an active Social Democrat and a regular contributor to the nation’s leading morning paper. Thus, he had a unique platform from which to exert influence. Drawing on his rich and previously untapped personal archive, the book explores how popular environmental engagement developed in Sweden. The book also highlights the journalist Barbro Soller, who in the mid-1960s became Sweden’s – and indeed one of the world’s – first environmental journalists. Moreover, it demonstrates how the pioneering historian Birgitta Odén, in collaboration with the Swedish National Defence Research Institute, sought to launch an interdisciplinary research programme based in the humanities and the social sciences as early as 1967–1968. An important conclusion of the book is that environmentalism emerged in Swedish society before there was an actual environmental movement. However, from 1969 onwards new social movements began to alter the dynamics. Hence, by the time the United Nations arranged the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment in June 1972, environmental knowledge had become a source of conflict between rival interests. The environmental turn in postwar Sweden is the first full-length study to emerge from the Lund Centre for the History of Knowledge (LUCK), and demonstrates how its specific take on the history of knowledge enhances historical scholarship.
Birgitta Odén, in collaboration with the Swedish National Defence
Research Institute (FOA), political scientists, and economists, developed the
interdisciplinary project ‘Miljö, naturresurser och samhälle’
[Environment, natural resources and society]. I follow her from the time when the first steps
were taken, in May 1967, until she abandoned the project in the spring of 1969. I also
analyse how she worked at the local level to build up an environmental-history research
speciality at the Department of History at Lund University
This book examines the relationship between environmental justice and citizen
science, focusing on enduring issues and new challenges in a post-truth
age. Debates over science, facts, and values have always been pivotal within
environmental justice struggles. For decades, environmental justice activists
have campaigned against the misuses of science, while at the same time engaging
in community-led citizen science. However, post-truth politics
has threatened science itself. This book makes the case for the importance of
science, knowledge, and data that are produced by and for ordinary people living
with environmental risks and hazards. The international, interdisciplinary
contributions range from grassroots environmental justice struggles in American
hog country and contaminated indigenous communities, to local environmental
controversies in Spain and China, to questions about “knowledge justice,”
citizenship, participation, and data in citizen science surrounding
toxicity. The book features inspiring studies of community-based participatory
environmental health and justice research; different ways of sensing,
witnessing, and interpreting environmental injustice; political strategies for
seeking environmental justice; and ways of expanding the concepts and forms of
engagement of citizen science around the world. While the book will be of
critical interest to specialists in social and environmental sciences, it will
also be accessible to graduate and postgraduate audiences. More broadly, the
book will appeal to members of the public interested in social justice issues,
as well as community members who are thinking about participating in citizen
science and activism. Toxic Truths includes distinguished contributing authors
in the field of environmental justice, alongside cutting-edge research from
emerging scholars and community activists.
breakthrough of environmental issues?
The ecological turn
In international environmentalhistory research, the
late 1960s and early 1970s are referred to as ‘the ecological turn’ or
‘the ecological moment’. 30
This was when environmental issues seriously began to make their presence felt in politics,
culture, and social life around the world. Characteristic of this development was that many
scientists, such as Barry Commoner in the United States, Jean Dorst in France, and Hans Palmstierna in Sweden
this study? What does this investigation teach us about the breakthrough of environmental
issues in Sweden? What new insights does this study offer to international environmentalhistory research?
A final chapter, however, is not only a place to summarize and distil
research results. It also provides an opportunity to consider the scholarly choices that were
made and what their consequences were. Such consideration raises broader issues of a
theoretical and methodological nature related to the study of history
International environmentalhistory research has highlighted the late 1940s
as a particularly significant era. That was when a new understanding was established of how
humanity, nature, the world, and the future were connected. The very concept of ‘the
environment’ gained a new meaning. Previously the term had referred to the external
circumstances which affected humanity. Now it began to be used in order to indicate how human
action was reshaping the world. Humanity was regarded as a force of nature and a danger to
Religion and spirituality in environmental direct action
Bronislaw Szerszynski and Emma Tomalin
environmentalhistory. A sector of society had decided that the usual channels of political lobbying and Party politics had been ineffective in securing any substantial indication that the environment was to become a priority in national politics.
By the end of the 1990s, although never completely dying out, this type of
environmental protest had become less common and media interest in it had
diminished. The large-scale actions against road building, for instance, had
become virtually unheard of by the time that Labour beat the Conservative Party
in the 1997 general election
What follows is based on Larsson Heidenblad,
‘Miljöhumaniora på 1960-talet?’, pp. 44–45.
Birgitta Odén, ‘PM 1’ [‘Memorandum
1’], November 1967, BO 1, p. 1.
Ibid ., pp. 1–2.
Ibid. , pp. 2–3.
In recent years, environmentalhistory research has increasingly
drawn attention to the significance of the Cold War context. See Ronald
Doel, ‘Constituting the Postwar Earth Sciences
Lovelock, Gaia , pp. ix–x, 10.
Ibid., pp. 44–58, 100–14, 119.
Egerton, ‘Changing concepts of the balance of nature’. See also: G. Mitman, ‘In search of health: landscape and disease in American environmentalhistory’, EnvironmentalHistory
Study on Sustainable e-Waste
Management in Ghana. Report by Ghana EPA, Green Advocacy Ghana, NVMP, VROM-
Inspectie, and the Institute for Applied Ecology.
Pratt, M. L. 1992. Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and Transculturation. London: Routledge.
Roberts, J. A. and Langston, N. (eds) 2008. Toxic bodies/toxic environments: An interdisciplinary forum. EnvironmentalHistory, 13(4), 629–703.
Rose, G. 2016. Visual Methodologies: An Introduction to Researching with Visual Materials.
Rosenfeld, H., Moore, S., Nost, E., Roth, R. E., and Vincent, K. 2018