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Center for a Better South
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Charleston, SC 29413

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It took a Southerner, Al Gore, to make Americans reconnect with the environmental movement.

"The planet has a fever," Gore testified to Congress in March 2007. "If your baby has a fever, you go to the doctor. If the doctor says you need to intervene here, you don't say, 'Well, I read a science-fiction novel that tells me it's not a problem.'"

For more than a generation, the environmental movement got sidetracked from its heyday of success in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Many environmentalists agree that the movement's last big success was passage of the Endangered Species Act in 1973, which was upheld four years later by the U.S. Supreme Court. Until Gore's call to action with An Inconvenient Truth, the face of environmental policy was fractured. But through the persistence, grace, charm and insistence of Gore and his allies, America finally took notice. Now, the environmental movement across the country has new energy.

Turning environmental challenges into opportunities

Over the next generation, millions of Americans will continue to move into the Sunbelt. The South will face new challenges of development and infrastructure pitted against traditional uses of land and Southerners' heritage with fields, mountains, rivers, streams, marshes and forests.

The Center for a Better South believes it is time for Southern lawmakers to respond to the coming challenges and work to develop progressive environmental policies that will allow our society and nature to interact in coming years without destroying the link between the outdoors and the region's quality of life.

Getting Greener: Progressive Environmental Ideas for the American South, written by conservationist Eddy Moore for the Center, presents a list of strong, fundamental ideas generally applicable across the region. These are not newfangled policies. Rather, they are basic, proven approaches outlined in the context of the specific needs of Southern residents, businesses and governments. Our goal is to make these ideas tangible and accessible for Southern policymakers so they can meet the environmental challenges the region is facing.

In the book and throughout this Web site, you'll learn how Southern states can:

As this chart from Chapter 7 highlights, most Southern states have relatively low spending for land conservation.

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