Antidote for Environmental Hysteria

by Samuel S. Baxter, (F.ASCE), ASCE Pres., Commissioner; Philadelphia Water Dept., Philadelphia, PA,

Serial Information: Engineering Issues: Journal of Professional Activities, 1972, Vol. 98, Issue 1, Pg. 1-11

Document Type: Journal Paper


There have been movements in this country in past years which have caught on to the same degree that Americans have embraced environment, ecology, and related subjects. Abolition of slavery was probably one of these earlier movements, and the prohibition and antiprohibition campaigns earlier in this century were others. Recently, a writer defined three kinds of pollution—actual, political, and hysterical. The extent of the hysterical class of pollution has made the subject of immense emotive force leading to almost unlimited political pollution. There are those who, in the guise of preserving our environment, would want us to stop building roads, and dams, to give up travel and to reduce our use of energy. But don't forget that man is part of nature. Don't forget that he lives on the earth by using nature and nature's products. More than anyone else it is the engineer, and particularly the civil engineer's job that make it possible for him to live happily and peaceably on this planet.

Subject Headings: Pollution | Environmental issues | Political factors | Professional societies | Ecosystems | Historic preservation | Highways and roads | Dams

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