chapter  8
Environmental Deterioration
WithDouglas Dowd
Pages 17

In the post-World War II decades, concerns over ecological/environmental dangers were raised to the level of popular consciousness. Massive damage to the environment caused by—among other contributors—petroleum, its byproducts, and their numberless applications has ensued. The peaceful uses of nuclear energy create at least two large and unresolved problems: they are very dangerous; and what can safely be done about the disposal of nuclear wastes has now been discussed and acted upon in a manner resembling the game of musical chairs. “Pollution” seems very much a euphemism for what happens to the poisoned air we all must breathe. Quite simply, through organic and inorganic chemical residues, sewage and heat and algae, clean water is rapidly becoming a very scarce resource—though it, along with air, is classified in the econ textbooks as a “free good". In 1985 a malfunctioning storage tank of methyl isocyanate at Bhopal released its deadly poisons into the air of a surrounding and densely settled neighborhood.