I went to UCSB from 1973 to 1979. Then I knew that something big had happened, the beaches were oily and the Environmental Studies Department was progressive. To me, coming from Mexico, it didn't seem like a big deal. In 1968 the government had massacred 500 + innocent people to proceed with the Olympic Games, that was a big deal. I never got fired up by the ecologists. I went to Garrett Harding lectures, and some other more "progressive" professor debated him. I forgot the name of this opponent. To my mind Harding was a conservative (in my view bad) thinker, more concerned with the welfare of rich elites, than with the suffering of the masses.
More than 40 years later things look different.
If I had only understood "The Tragedy of the Commons," Science, 162 (1243-1248), 1968, then ; now I would be better able to understand the catastrophe coming our way.
Labels, like progressive or reactionary, don't mean squat under the present condition. What we need is clear thinking men and women like Harding and the Ehlrichs, honest towards the truth. I also think that James Lovelock and James Hansen have done their share warning us.
Now it is up to us.
I live in Chilpancingo, in the State of Guerrero in Mexico now. The ecological disaster around here is like a BP catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico, but caused by everybody, all the time.
Now I understand what those thinkers were telling me when I was in my twenties. I did not paid enough attention.
Now I see, I do not know if we can do something.
Those tar stains in my feet I got walking barefoot in the beaches at the UCSB campus, were the canary in the mine, I did not get it.