A Force for Nature: The Story of NRDC and the Fight to Save Our Planet
For more than four decades, NRDC has fought to safeguard our planet and empowered individuals to join the cause.
When John H. Adams and a group of fellow lawyers founded the Natural Resources Defense Council in 1970, no one was entirely sure the organization would survive its first year. Today NRDC is one of the unquestioned leaders of the environmental movement. In their new book, A Force for Nature, John and Patricia Adams write about how we got here, chronicling 40 years of courtroom battles, legislative triumphs, natural wonders, and personal memories.
- "In January 1970 John and a group of like-minded lawyers set up an organization that they called the Natural Resources Defense Council, or NRDC. Forty years later many people (myself included) regard it as possibly the most effective environmental organization on the planet."
- From the Foreword by Robert Redford
What People Are Saying About The Book
"John Adams was in the thick of all the major environmental battles of the past 40 years, and his account of how the movement grew from a small group of visionaries into a powerful force for change is nothing short of inspiring."
-- Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives
"John Adams and NRDC have been protecting the planet for 40 years and are responsible for helping establish many of the laws now in place to protect our air, our water, and our land. He is indeed a true force for nature."
-- Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor-in-chief, The Huffington Post
"When I came to America 40 years ago, instead of crying tears of joy my eyes burned from the polluted air, while rivers flowed for miles with combustible filth. Those were just some of the massive environmental challenges we faced back then. I want to congratulate John Adams and NRDC for playing such a major role in making our country greener and healthier, as A Force for Nature eloquently describes."
-- Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor of California
"The pioneering narrative of John Adams and NRDC is at the very root of the environmental movement. It is a constant relief to know that they exist, are gathering the facts and defending our environment. NRDC allows us all to move forward in rebuilding and imagining a sustainable future."
-- Alice Waters, chef, author and leader of the Slow Food movement.
"Like Earth Day, NRDC started 40 years ago as the brainchild of a few committed people. This story tells how John Adams took the organization from its origins at his kitchen table and turned it into one of the most powerful forces for environmental protection in the nation. Along the way, he helped build a movement that is now many millions strong."
-- Denis Hayes, Global Chair, Earth Day
"If you can use a tonic to help sustain your hope for the future, try A Force for Nature. Here is the amazing story of John Adams and his wife and life partner, Patricia Adams, who, through the powers of persuasion in offices and living rooms across the nation, and the years of litigation and legislation that followed, pioneered the modern era of environmental conservation. NRDC is the Adams' hard-fought gift to us all. As is their story."
-- Norman Lear, producer, writer, and founder of People for the American Way
"This inspiring account of NRDC's efforts to make the world cooler, cleaner, and safer teaches key lessons for tackling the challenges still ahead. Both experts and newcomers will learn important philosophy, strategy, and tactics from these intertwined stories of success, failure, effective culture, devoted effort, and relentless patience."
-- Amory Lovins, Chairman and Chief Scientist, Rocky Mountain Institute
"...the indefatigable, consensus-seeking NRDC relies on one crucial natural resource, the voice of the public, to support its ambitious global efforts to preserve "clean air, clean water, wild places, wild creatures." Invaluable firsthand environmental history and a blueprint for future conservation efforts."
-- Booklist, starred review
A Force for Nature
The Story of NRDC and the Fight to Save Our Planet
By John H. Adams & Patricia Adams
with George Black
Hardcover, 400 pages
Buy It Now on Amazon!
See a special section of the Fall 2010 issue of OnEarth magazine devoted to A Force for Nature including:
- In The Beginning: "Gathering Forces"
- The First Decade: "Does A Tree Have Standing?"
- The Second Decade: "The Dark Ages (and How We Survived Them)"
- The Third Decade: "Contract on America"
- The Fourth Decade: "California Dreaming"
- John and Patricia Adams: Partnership for the Earth
A Q&A with co-author George Black
- NRDC: The Modern Environmental Movement
A time line from 1962 to the present
- Making Our Future: The Next 40 Years
What's next for NRDC?
Also from NRDC authors:
- Clean Energy Common Sense
An American Call To Action On Climate Change
By Frances Beinecke