In 1966, NYC was enveloped in a killer smog…much worse than what we just faced. At that time, there was no EPA, no Clean Air Act, no effort to reduce pollution from autos or homes. Garbage was burned in apartment incinerators, cars spewed lead in their exhaust and the list goes on. Indeed, I can remember my Grandfather, who made litter baskets and at that time, spark arresters…devices that stopped hot sparks from leaving apartment incinerators and causing roof fires being upset when the clean air laws started since they did away with apartment burning, and thus, cut into his livelihood.
When Congress started passing clean air (and water, etc) legislation, corporate America screamed that it would be the end of business. Car companies cried that motors would be ruined without the lead additive…and the list goes on.
Well, let’s see, air and water became cleaner, the business world did not collapse, people could breathe better air, etc.
Now we are faced with a new problem. Humans are simply modifying the climate on a scale not known in history. The wildfires in Canada may not be directly caused by the changing climate, but evidence certainly supports that changing climate contributed to these early wild fires. Indeed, new studies indicate that Canada, first thought to potentially benefit from a generally warming climate, may now just become hotter and drier. OOPS.
From my prior post I have received some interesting push back…not unexpected…regarding the efficacy of scientific studies…especially where those studies change with new data…The Ozone hole issue was one…Well, the scientific method is always open to changes with new data.
What we do know, without any credible alternative theory being proposed (Maybe alternative reality) is the the climate is rapidly changing due to human activity. Some parts of the world will become warmer and drier, some wetter and maybe cooler…but we also know that if we reach a certain point, mass extinctions are likely (as they have been in the past). We also know that we might undo much of our hard work..
The environment is not a partisan issue…or it shouldn’t be…Remember that it was a Republican President that founded the EPA with Congress…We have been given a new warning….maybe we will react as we did in 1966 and put strong changes like the Clean Air Act in place…We have certainly been trying.
And the beat goes on
As I noted in the post above about NYC air from 1966, it certainly appears that every time a proposal for regulating and reducing pollution is put forth, some business group says that it will be the end of the world….at least for them…
Here we see that Congress tried to overturn a regulation that would cut pollution from heavy trucks…a major source of air pollution…The argument? It would be too costly….Sound Familiar?
Thankfully, the President vetoed the action…and I do not think that Congress has the necessary votes to override the veto…
Oh, woe is me in business…please let me pollute…it is cheaper