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Revised, and U kf it Me ement and men whose professional dedication led to creation of governmental safety nets, and whose energetic activism challenged “the urban excesses of an expansionary and speculative capitalism!’ Growing out of this Progressive ethos was the landmark legislation that subsequently swept through Congress between the mid-1960s and the mid-1970sthe Wilderness Act, NEPA, Clean Air and Water Acts. Their passage was also a last hurrah. On the right, conservative Republicans who swept into office with President Reagan and his successors have expanded their power in part by slamming the federal environmental bureaucracy, assaults that have led to the recent weakening of the Endangered Species Act, threats to NEPA, and the dilution of the Clean Air and Water Acts, among other rollbacks. On the left, some environmentalists have dismissed the big-government, top-down, expertisedriven solutions that have flowed from federal environmental agencies. They have also criticized the cadre of professional conservationists housed at the Sierra Club, the National Resources Defense Council, and other “mainstream” green-advocacy groups. Gottlieb supports this fratricidal impulse, believing that it has widened the movement’s perspectives and deepened its constituency. “In 1993,” he writes, “ethnicity, class and gender were not terms ordinarily associated with environmentalism.” No more. Driven by grassroots groups concerned with achieving environmental justice in areas rural and urban, encouraged by the emergence of eco-feminism as a form of scholarly analysis and a rallying cry, and reinvigorated by such developments as the “promotoras move ment,” in which community members in public-health issues and then serve as conduits for local organizers and national funders, these and other forces have helped redefine American environmentalism. It has become more “democratic and inclusive,” Gottlieb asserts, more focused on “equity and social justice,” out of which has come “an environmentalism of linked natural and human environments, an environmentalism of transformation.” Gottlieb is not wrong about this nor about his prescription for this movement’s future. “[T]o reassert its identity based on values and moral imperatives,” he notes, it “needs to become a youth movement, similar to other social movements that could be potentially energized by the passion and strong moral undercurrent that has always attracted young people to movements for change.” What he does not acknowledge is just how difficult it has always been to translate youthful energy into long-term gains; history is replete with burned-out organizers whose efforts came to naught because they could not transcend their moment, could not build for the long haul. Finding ideological common ground, as well as the passionate engagement necessary to turn ideas into action, once bedeviled the abolitionist and civil-rights movements, a process that continues to this day. So those battling U.S. 281 have discovered. To stop the bulldozers, and the resultant sprawl that will further despoil the Hill Country and the Edwards Aquifer, requires a broad coalition that links the highway’s expansion with public health and safety issues, reaching out beyond those of means who live on the city’s northside. To appeal to other, and poorer, sectors of the city on this one issue, AGUA might rip a page out of its playbook when it slowed down the development of PGA Village. In 2001, it led the charge against the controversial golf course sited on the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone in northern San Antonio, arguing for a more sustainable community writ large and for a more environmentally just cityscape, making cause with such legendary Westside organizations as COPS, Communities Organized for Public Service, an activist organization representing the poor in San Antonio’s South and West sides. Their struggle gained considerable public support, including a massive petition drive that demanded the city put the question up for a vote; only a back-door deal by the county with the Legislature enabled FEBRUARY 10, 2006 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 27