It's hard to remember how popular the environmental idea was at the end of the 1980s. The movement had survived the crude efforts of the Reagan administration to kill it off. (Remember James Watt? Remember Treasury Secretary Don Regan advising that the best defense against a thinning ozone layer was a baseball cap and a pair of sunglasses?) A barge loaded with American garbage circled the world as one country after another refused to let it land. The beaches of Long Island and New Jersey were awash in medical waste. Time magazine's “Man of the Year” in 1988 was actually a planet: our “Endangered Earth.” A serious environmentalist would soon become vice president of the United States.