Brian Black was an invited speaker at the 3rd World Congress on Environmental History that convened in July at the University of Santa Catarina, in Florianopils, Brazil.
In his writing and research, Black has proposed that the U.S. entered an energy transition away from fossil fuels during the 1970s. In his paper “Energy Hinge: The Intellectual Roots of American Green Culture in the 1970s,” Black connected energy conservation as a concept to environmental thought of the era, particularly E.F. Schumacher, who wrote Small Is Beautiful.
During the Congress, Black, a Distinguished Professor of history and environmental studies, explained the ideas behind this shift in American energy use.
The 3rd World Congress on Environmental History invites scholars from different disciplines to situate environmental history in a planetary perspective. From their historical studies of rivers, cities, mountains, forests and plantations, to world transmigration narratives for plants, animals, diseases, people, and commodities, participants add to the debate on how to address the environmental challenges of the 21st century.