Stewart Udall, R.I.P.

Stewart Udall, who was Secretary of the Interior during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, died this weekend. I didn’t really know anything about him before reading this obituary in today’s WaPo, but his accomplishments as head of Interior were impressive. I was more struck, though, by some of the language he used. It’s hard to imagine many government officials today writing something like this:

“If in our haste to ‘progress,’ the economics of ecology are disregarded by citizens and policy makers alike, the result will be an ugly America,” Udall wrote. “We cannot afford an America where expedience tramples upon esthetics and development decisions are made with an eye only on the present.”

It’s almost as if he didn’t think increasing GDP was the most important thing in the world!

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