Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Pictures From America's Polluted Past.

Regressive Republicans are fond of picking on the EPA, saying it costs jobs. The House Republicans have outlined a jobs agenda that mainly consists of disemboweling federal regulations they don’t like, with a particular focus on rules designed to protect the public from environmental destruction. Regressive Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) released a memo to Republicans that targeted the 10 most so-called “job-destroying” regulations in the federal register. Translation, regulations that cost money to people like the Koch Brothers but help the rest of us.

We think it is worth looking back at why we have an EPA and pollution regulations. These are pictures of  Pittsburgh PA from when America actually had a booming steel industry (circa 1940's).

Cars are parked on the Monongahela Wharf under an overpass enveloped in smoke. For more than a century, Pittsburgh was marked as a smoky city. In 1941 an effective smoke control ordinance was passed in the city of Pittsburgh, but the onset of World War II delayed the enactment of the legislation until 1946
Smoke gives your paint job a black tint.



Cars are parked on the Monongahela Wharf under an overpass enveloped in smoke.


The sun is visible through thick smoke beside a silhouetted church steeple. For more than a century, Pittsburgh was marked as a smoky city.
Pray for clean air.



The sun is visible through thick smoke beside a silhouetted church steeple. 




View of St. Louis and the Art Deco building and the Southwestern Bell Telephone Building. This image was taken as part of a smoke investigation study for Pittsburgh smoke control.
Sunny day in Pittsburgh PA before pollution control.


View of St. Louis and the Art Deco building and the Southwestern Bell Telephone Building. This image was taken as part of a smoke investigation study for Pittsburgh smoke control.




View of a railway station on the South Side with loading crane alongside the Monongahela River. Boats can be seen floating along the Monongahela Wharf on the opposite shore. The image has the title "Fresh Air" printed at the top
Notice the layer of clean air above the city.


View of a railway station on the South Side with loading crane alongside the Monongahela River. Boats can be seen floating along the Monongahela Wharf on the opposite shore. The image has the title "Fresh Air" printed at the top. The outlines of the buildings along the wharf can be seen on the far shore, but details are obscured by haze. A barge named the "City of Cleveland" is visible at the lower edge of the image.



A man in a hat stands silhouetted against a traffic scene and a large structure. The photograph is taken from within the Pennsylvanian looking towards Downtown and Liberty Avenue. For more than a century, Pittsburgh was marked as a smoky city.
What a lovely view of the building.


A man in a hat stands silhouetted against a traffic scene and a large structure. The photograph is taken from within the Pennsylvanian looking towards Downtown and Liberty Avenue.




"Saint Louis Winning the Fight on Smoke" from the February 2, 1941 issue of the Saint Louis Post Dispatch shows the city before their smoke ordinance in 1939 and after in 1940.
Free market vs regulated market



"Saint Louis Winning the Fight on Smoke" from the February 2, 1941 issue of the Saint Louis Post Dispatch shows the city before their smoke ordinance in 1939 and after in 1940. The article has a sticker showing ownership of the paper by the Civic Club of Allegheny County in the Hotel William Penn in Pittsburgh, Pa. The remarkable success of the Saint Louis smoke control program made a strong impression on Pittsburgh, a city confronted with similar air pollution problems. Pittsburgh drew directly from this project to justify and foster its own environmental regeneration. 

For more than a century, Pittsburgh was marked as a smoky city. In 1941 an effective smoke control ordinance was passed in the city of Pittsburgh, but the onset of World War II delayed the enactment of the legislation until 1946. City-wide unity on the topic ensured observation of the law from industry and every member of the community.


Bottom Line

Don't let regressives lie to you about the wonders of the free market. What they really mean is they want to be free to pollute your air and water. That isn't free market, it's theft of the commons.

Sources:


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