KIRKUS REVIEW of Whatever Happened to Ecology?

A well-written and highly personal account of the formative years of the ecology movement, by veteran journalist and editor Mills. Over the years, Mills has written for or edited some of the leading environmental journals, such as the early Rolling Stone spinoff, Earth Times, Not Man Apart, and Co-Evolution Quarterly. Her survey here of the late ’60s, early ’70s salad days of the S.F. Bay Area is one of the more engaging portraits of the era. Her work and struggles within the movement are detailed in anecdotes about such mentors and colleagues as David Brower, Howard Gossage, Stewart Brand, and Joana McIntyre Varawa, among others. Mills also offers a sobering critique of anti-feminist tendencies in many male-dominated environmentalist hierarchies. This short history of visionary environmentalism is, as well, a practicum of sustainable possibilities. No longer a mainstream environmentalist, Mills is a practicing proponent (in northern Michigan) of the “bioregional ethic” first given voice by…[Peter] Berg and his Planet Drum Foundation. Mills includes here the famous bioregional “Where You At” quiz, a self-scoring environmental aptitude test. Her reports of international conferences and panels from Stockholm to Missouri are instructive and to the point, as are her meetings with naturalists and activists like Gary Nabhan and Starhawk. Included is a superb book list and a rather brief listing of organizations. An important personal memoir portraying the human face behind the headlines of the environmental movement.

Cover of Whatever Happened to Ecology?