David Zierler


On his book The Invention of Ecocide: Agent Orange, Vietnam, and the Scientists who Changed the Way We Think About the Environment

Cover Interview of July 31, 2011

Editor’s note

Originally, this interview ran on the Rorotoko cover page under the headline

“Herbicidal warfare helped prompt global environmentalism.”

We highlighted two quotes.

On the first page:

“At the heart of the herbicidal warfare program was the tenacious, and uniquely American, idea that the United States could control the environment and thus win the war in Vietnam through high-technological solutions.”

On the second:

“The scientists’ protest centered on the idea that environmental problems cannot be contained within national boundaries, particularly because the ‘Ecocide’ of Vietnam could be replicated anywhere forests and war intersected.  This was a form of environmental thinking that was radical in the 1960s, and, I would argue, normative today.”

The views expressed in the interview do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of State or the U.S. Federal Government. All information is based on open-source or fully declassified materials.