The concern for the environment that has grown to global proportions marks an important stage in the evolution of social awareness. Although major environmental damage results from the cumulative effects of private actions in the service of immediate interests, a broader view of the social and physical consequences of individual actions has emerged. Most people in the world can no longer deny or escape the harmful effects of toxic food, oppressive noise, polluted air, water shortages, and the physical, psychic, and social disorders to which they contribute. Such conditions have finally achieved the status of problems that can no longer be ignored. They demand a solution and social and political measures have slowly and painfully begun to develop, for significant change can occur only through collective action.