International Organizations and Environmental Protection: Conservation and Globalization in the Twentieth Century

International Organizations and Environmental Protection comprehensively explores the environmental activities of professional communities, NGOs, regional bodies, the United Nations, and other international organizations during the twentieth century. It follows their efforts to shape debates about environmental degradation, develop binding intergovernmental commitments, and—following the seminal 1972 Conference on the Human Environment—implement and enforce actual international policies.

In the Name of the Great Work: Stalin's Plan for the Transformation of Nature and its Impact in Eastern Europe

Beginning in 1948, the Soviet Union launched a series of wildly ambitious projects to implement Joseph Stalin’s vision of a total “transformation of nature.” By the time of Stalin’s death, however, these attempts at “transformation” had proven a spectacular failure. This richly detailed volume, In the Name of the Great Work follows the history of such projects in three communist states—Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia—and explores their varied, but largely disastrous, consequences.

"We Are as Gods": The Green Technical Fix

Trim’s article focuses on “countercultural environmentalists” and an alternative development program in Prince Edward Island, Canada. The project’s history raises questions about the consequences of treating environmental issues as technical problems to be solved with innovation and new technology. This approach both depoliticizes environmental issues and embeds them into new political structures.

Environmental Knowledge and Environmental Politics in Portugal: From Resistance to Incorporation

This article traces the development of environmentalism in Portugal, and particularly the role of environmental NGOs as producers of expert knowledge to be used in policy making. The Portuguese environmental movement has professionalized rather than formalizing as green political parties. Portuguese environmentalism has adapted and evolved under authoritarian regimes, neoliberalism, European integration, and the financial crisis.

Coal in the Age of the Oil Sands

Piper argues that coal has played an important role in Alberta’s history, although it receives less attention than the oil sands. Coal has been essential to Alberta’s economy and the industry has benefited from government support, although from the 1970s this came into conflict with growing grassroots environmentalism. Whether the coal industry can withstand recent political and economic changes, however, remains to be seen.