Was there many artists who talked about enviro…

Was there many artists who talked about environment & animal concerns in their works during the 1970s? I know that Greenpeace was established in 1971, and before that people had already had discussions about animal cruelty such as the Canadian seal hunting. (Also, do you think that the bleak view of environmental deterioration had an impact on 1980s cyberpunk?)

A lot of scifi in the 1970s dealt with themes of ecological
collapse and overpopulation. The best book I can think of about environmental
disaster would have to be The Sheep Look Up. It’s so spot-on, even for
something written in the 1970s, that I don’t think anyone with an anxiety prone
personality should read it. 

Contrary to what a lot of novices to the genre think, the
purpose of science fiction isn’t to be predictive, it’s to be the dreams and
nightmares of a technical society at the moment it was created. Still, I find Orwell’s
1984 less and less relevant as time goes on. The one scifi dystopia that is
still legitimately chilling to me is the Sheep Look Up, a story of
environmental collapse told over several years. Sheep Look Up is a story, told
over several decades, involving the end of the food supply due to
overindustrialization and the fact that antibiotics stop working. The president
in that book isn’t a sinister dictator, but a brain dead, always grinning front
man for systems at work that are really in power no matter who anyone votes
for.

The worst part of it all is that there isn’t a Rebel
Alliance or anything like that; all the horrors that happen are accompanied by
a very familiar inertia and passivity that makes anyone outraged feel like they’re
howling into hyperspace. It’s this weird paralysis as everything awful seems to
creep in on you, the fact that people just get accustomed to new horrors like
wearing gas masks when outside in big cities, that is the most intense part of
this book. The book draws a comparison to a bible quote about sheep rotting
from the inside as they starve for a reason.

As for your other question about how environmentalism
influenced Cyberpunk, you have to remember that cyberpunk and themes of
environmentalism both came to the forefront from the same place, the New Wave
writers of the 1960s, a time when a lot of counterculture and hippie themes
started to enter scifi with fresh young guns like Philip K. Dick, Norman
Spinrad, and Michael Moorcock. None of the New Wavers were the rocket-obsessed STEM-types
the Campbell/Heinlein generation of the 1930s-50s were, who’s heroes were
always wiseass engineers addicted to alcohol and giving exposition: the New
Wave were more interested in cultural effects, themes like drug use, corporate
power, the power of the media, and environmental destruction. The new wave were more interested in the man on the street as a hero than in adventurers. What later on became Cyberpunk as we know it, and an
interest in environmental issues, both came out of the same movement in scifi.