ECOLOGY a cause becomes a mass movement ()

Well, the timeline was a bit off, but I think there can be little doubt that SSTs are responsible for the autism “epidemic”.

Disregarding the timeline, if you polled people in 1970, I wonder which of these they would have thought would be the biggest issue today.

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ECOLOGY: a cause becomes a mass movement

Demonstrators organize to defend vanishing trees, wetlands and unpolluted air.

Unless something is done to reverse environmental deterioration, say many qualified experts, horrors lie in wait. Others disagree, but scientists have solid experimental and theoretical evidence to support each of the following predictions:

In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution.

In the early 1980s air pollution combined with a temperature inversion will kill thousands in some U.S. city.

By 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half.

In the 1980s a major ecological system —soil or water—will break down somewhere in the U.S. New diseases that humans cannot resist will reach plague proportions.

Increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will affect the earth’s temperature, leading to mass flooding or a new ice age.

Rising noise levels will cause more heart disease and hearing loss. Sonic booms from SSTs will damage children before birth.

Residual DDT collecting in the human liver will make the use of certain common drugs dangerous and increase liver cancer.

In the fall of 1963 President Kennedy, on a tour through the Western states, delivered a conservation speech in Ashland, Wis. It was greeted with a yawn. The subject bored him, it bored the audience, and for the rest of the trip he talked about the atomic test ban treaty. During the 1968 presidential campaign, conservationists pleaded with all the candidates to speak out on environment but received the barest response. None of them did until late in the campaign, and even then the issue never became a major one.

Today, in a matter of months, conservation has emerged forcefully as a potent political issue, under the name of ecology, a term referring to the relationship between environment and life. The issue may well dominate the new decade. Last week President Nixon devoted a major portion of his State of the Union address to it. Both the regular press and the underground press print stories daily about ecology. On the far right, members of the John Birch Society are decrying pollution in language similar to that used by the radical left. College students are forming conservation organizations to demand, and often get, environmental courses. On April 22 an environmental teach-in is scheduled; it may involve as many as 1,000 campuses.

Ecology is one major political issue on which the country may be united. It is as insistent as the environmental destruction all around us: the smog that makes our eyes smart, the food we are wary of eating because of pesticides, the rivers and lakes we can no longer swim in or fish in. The tide of information about pollution has left us no excuse for not knowing what we have been doing to ourselves. For the first time in history we are being forced to recognize that the earth is a finite resource, and the public response to this tremendous fact promises to shake American society. “The politics of environment,” says Social Anthropologist Luther Gerlach, “will be the biggest mass movement in the history of this country.” The movement has begun.

‘We need a flood of new laws’
Public enthusiasm for conservation has far outraced the laws necessary to make conservation work. However, environmental law is the fastest-growing legal field today. This year one out of five of the nation’s 65,000 law students will take courses in the field, most of them new. A variety of cases passing through the courts, plus proposals awaiting legislative action, promise to establish a number of useful principles. According to David Sive of New York, one of the nation’s leading environmental lawyers, a basic point yet to be settled is whether there is a constitutional right to a decent environment. So far, no court has granted this. In the meantime, conservation groups are attempting to secure more legal control of planning agencies and more adequate court review of their decisions. “But,” says Sive, “we also need a flood of new laws defining the people’s rights in land, water and air.”

  1. Hirudinea says: April 17, 20133:46 pm


  2. mcubstead says: April 17, 20134:03 pm

    “Well they did get a flood of new laws” Unfortunately those laws just made the status quo complicated , and changed nothing.

  3. Toronto says: April 17, 20137:30 pm

    We beat back the photosmog, we beat back the DDT. We avoided the 1970s-80s plagues but sadly, not the movies about them.

    We beat down the SSTs. (Dang!)

    We’ve done reasonably well, but could have done much better. Imagine if all the trillions spend on wars since 1970 had instead been spent on green planet initiatives, and safe power, and bike tires as fast as an old Conti Racer but as durable as a Schwalbe Marathon. And a Mars Mission, the keep some pressure on the geeks so they’d stop designing killer drones.


  4. Casandro says: April 17, 201310:46 pm

    There even was a German TV series about the problem. A sci-fi series from 2009.…

  5. JMyint says: April 18, 20136:27 am

    Actually mcubstead the new regulations did much to clean up our air and water and without those changes the cities in the US would be like the cities in China.

  6. georgiahoosier says: April 18, 20137:21 am

    @Hirudinea: Soylent Green? And all these years I’ve been avoiding Selsun Blue!

  7. Hirudinea says: April 18, 20139:37 am

    @ georgiahoosier – SELSUN BLUE IS PEOPLE!! What? It’s not!? Never mind.

  8. georgiahoosier says: April 19, 201312:31 pm

    @Hirudinea: At the end of the movie when Heston is screaming out “It’s made from Peeeepul!!” I would have loved to see the camera pan down to a couple of guys eating the SG and one saying to the other; “But you know, it tastes like chicken”

  9. Hirudinea says: April 19, 20131:44 pm

    @ georgiahoosier – I hear the taste varied person to person.

  10. Toronto says: April 19, 20137:24 pm

    The Soylent people eventually had to filter out the clowns. People said they tasted funny.

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