ABSTRACT

DURING THE LATE 1970S, much of the commentary about the causes of environmental problems was provided by natural scientists. There were a small number of social scientists beginning to work in this area, most of whom had originally worked in other sociological subspecialties: demography, agricultural development, or sociology of science, among others. The writings of this aggregation of commentators provided a wide array of competing arguments about the origins of environmental degradation. Among them were rising population levels, “runaway” technology, consumer greed, and/or new “research and development” by corporate and government scientists and technologists.