Well, yes and no to your recollection. I arrived in the Haight-Ashbury in the summer of 1967 and soon after became aware of some of the good things that were going on in the community. There was a group that called themseves The Diggers and they had a storefront operation just a few blocks from where I lived. Amongst other things, every Saturday they'd bake bread for the community. The bread was baked in coffee cans using donated flour, and anyone who wanted the bread could get some, and anyone who wanted to help with the baking could do so. I spent a few Saturdays baking bread.
Across the stret from where I lived - on Shrader Street - was a Black Panther house. While the Panthers were regarded by many as a radical group of troublemakers (at least that was the presses portrayal) they also did a lot of Good Things for the low income communities in the East Bay and San Francisco, something that was often overlooked. Bobby Seal, for example, organized a lot of food giveaways and barbeques for the community - in fact, Bobby was a pretty good cook, especially wrt BBQ and grilling, and wrote a cookbook called BBQing with Bobby. Some great recipes and techniques in that book, but I digress.
Peter Coyote was around in those days, and was just starting his acting career, but he was also an activist. I believe he was involved with the Diggers amongst other groups.
And that was all just within a few block radius from my flat.
As for today, well, I have mixed feelings about our returning to those (seemingly) halcyon days. There does appear to be a renewed interest in environmental and health issues, but there's also a strong, vocal, and powerful contingent who oppose change and wish to maintain the status quo. We'll see how that holds up over the next couple of years.
Speaking of Rachel Carson, I recently heard a portion of a recorded speech she made. It was quite moving but not in the way you might think. It turns out that a lot of the DDT and other chemicals that were used in the mid-1900s have not yet disappeared. DDT, for example, can still be found in trace amounts in some plastics - such as the plastic used in the bottles that contain our "high quality" drinking water. This residue has been linked to an increase in allergies and other problems. BTW, DDT is back:NPR : WHO Backs Use of DDT Against Malaria
I'll stop now - I can see that, if I don't, this could be a very long and rambling rant. Too early in the AM for that.