The environmental movement has its roots in the 19th century. Robert Underwood Johnson and John Muir founded the Sierra Club in 1892 after successfully lobbying Congress to create Yosemite National Park.
The modern environmental movement began in the mid-to-late 1960s. Environmental problems had been illustrated in books such as Silent Spring and there was a back-to-the-land movement, closely associated with the Hippie movement and Counterculture.
By the 1990s, the need for green technology was realized, and the development of electric cars and alternative energy gradually began to become mainstream. In the first decades of the 21st century, significant progress has been made. The first new electric cars were released to the public in 2010, and environmentalism has gone from being fringe to being completely mainstream, even embraced by conservative institutions such as the Roman Catholic Church.
Many environmentally-friendly technologies, such as electric cars, solar power, geothermal energy, wind power, vertical farming, recycling, permaculture, hydroponics, energy-efficient technology such as fluorescent lighting and LEDs and high speed rail have been implemented or have become mainstream in Western nations since 1980. Developing nations have also embraced these technologies, and China has become the world's leading manufacturer of wind turbines and solar-electric panels in the 21st century.
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- "China Leading Global Race to Make Clean Energy «". nytimes.org. 2010-01-30. Retrieved 2013-01-22.