Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)


Environmental Studies


Edward Van Buren


This paper discusses how environmental political movements are impacted by grassroots organizations. In this paper, I explore the importance of the involvement of community-based initiatives in ‘eco-friendly' political and governmental decision making and the accountability of the American political system in responding to these baseline initiatives. This paper argues for both federal and local policies that are centered around environmental restoration, protection, conservation, and natural resource usage. Chapter one examines a look at the issue of coal mining in the United States and how the residents of Appalachia attempted to combat this threat. Chapter two introduces the Sierra Club, one of America's oldest environmental lobbying groups, and establishes how the philosophical motivations of its founding members led this organization to influence some of this nation's earliest environmental preservation based federal policies. Chapter three takes a look at where exactly our methodology for looking at the natural environment is grounded. Chapter four draws on economics, ecology, and sociology to offer the need for environmentally conscious policies and why there needs to be a shift in America's current political paradigm. This chapter is designed to express the various reasons why these environmental policies should be of interest to the American public. Chapter 5 explores why everyone needs to be part of the movement to combat the threat of climate degradation.