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The

Ecologist
Man and the environment • The Quality of life • Pollution • Conservation
Vol. 1. No 6 December 1970

The stable society. Can we achieve it? • Russian roulette


A lesson to local councils • Spanner in the soil

11/III UUvilli VyUIl I vdr


We'd like to sell you some fresh air:
For more than a hundred years Britain has take advantage of this efficient, economical
been trying hard to asphyxiate itself. new fuel the fresher the air will become.
With smog it nearly succeeded. Now at last And the less disfigured our countryside, because
comes a sovereign remedy for cleaning up the air natural gas flows underground.
of this other Eden. Natural High Speed Gas. It's the civilised fuel.
There is no 'cleaner' fuel in all the world. What a relief to be sure for once that our
When it burns it puts virtually children are inheriting something good.
no waste products into the air. So the more we Use Natural Gas-the civilised fuel.
The Ecologist
Vol. 1. No 6 December 1970

Editorial 2

Feature articles
Robert Allen European Con Year Did anything really happen ? 4
Edward Goldsmith The stable society: can we achieve it? A blueprint for survival 8
John Pontin A lesson to local councils A personal view of conservation 14
Marshall Goldman Russian roulette Environmental disruption in the Soviet Union 18
L . B. Powell Spanner in the soil Destruction of Britain's farmland fertility 24

Reports 27
From gin to aldrin • Smokeless hocuspocus • From Snowdonia • The bugs fight back *
First annua] conference of CoEnCo • The Bangle Farm story

Comments 33
Cultural convergence. Energy-slaves. E C Y drowns in sewage.

Ecology action: conservation Directory 36


Feedback 38
Beauty and the beer • Final error? • Natural gas car • The worm turns • Chicago crack­
down • Detergent restriction • Poison in the Baltic • Carbon pollution key ? • Ferroman-
ganese shortage • Wreckers • California's sea birds • Poachers' fraternity • General Smelting
pulls out • Paper victory • And another • Oh ozone! • With friends like these . . . or these . . .
who needs enemies ? • Hogwash • Wrong end of the stick • Meat menace • Japanese night­
mare • U S - Japanese co-operation • When thieves fall out • The Tiber an open sewer • Dirty
Dutch dunes • Polluted Parthenon • Phillipine initiative • Imperilled penguin

Columns
Arthur Puffett Ecotechnics 13
Lawrence D. Hills Down to Earth The ecological orchard 12
Wayne Davis Gargoyle The Grim Reaper 17

Books 41
Key book—Shattered illusions—Too Many • Calamity supermarket—The Doomsday Book *
Buildings that shape us—European Cities and Society • Environmental squalor—The
Assaults on our Senses • Ecology in Paperbacks

Letters 45
Coming events 48

Editor: E. R. D. Goldsmith; Assistant editor: Robert Allen; Managing editor: Brian W. W. Welsh; Associate editors: Michael Allaby, Francis Arnold,
Peter Bunyard, Jean Liedloff; Art and Production direction: Goodwin Sorrell; Staff Writer: Charles Maclean. Advertising manager: Anne Glanfield. Editorial
copy and enquiries should be addressed to The Editor, The Ecologist, 73 Kew Green, Richmond, Surrey. Telephone: 01-948 0690 and 01-940 8556.

Published by Ecosystems Ltd., registered office 11 Mansfield Street, Portland Place, London, W1M 0AH and distributed by the Hachette Group, Continental
Publishers and Distributors Ltd., 4 Regent Place, London, WIR 6 B H ; Telephone: 01-734 5259, Telegrams: Aglibrairi London W . l ; Telex: 25114.
Subscriptions to: The Ecologist, Darby House, Bletchingley Road* Merstham, Redhill, Surrey. Printed by The Garden City Press Ltd., Pixmore Avenue,
Letchworth, Hertfordshire.

1
A
Editorial: The prostitute society
A l l but one of the papers presented at the third (and last) Hyde Park Corner, a spacious and well laid out place,
Conference of the Countryside in 1970, the great setpiece whose harmony has already been compromised by traffic,
of European Conservation Year in Britain, accepted the is now to be destroyed (with the connivance of the Fine
narrow criteria of current economic thinking. Yet in the Arts Commission!) by a monster hotel.
sewage fracas they had before them a textbook demonstra­
tion of the consequences of our obsessive regard for Woburn Square, Carlton House Terrace, and 266 listed
lucre—this time made filthier than ever. The health of the buildings were wrecked in 1969. Who benefits? Why are so
nation was jeopardised, and our rivers sacrificed on the many of our towns and villages being transformed into
altar of cash. shapeless, soulless wastes?
It is time we rethought our values. There should be a
Each month comes news of further inroads on our
limit to the damage we are willing to do our society and
countryside. Whitbread's brewery in country near Salmes-
its environment for the sake of a little money. Yet the
bury; potash mines in the North York Moors National
more we look around us, the more apparent it is that no
Park; copper extraction and an electricity sub-station in
such limit is likely to be set or even considered. Everything
Snowdonia; proposals by Rio-Tinto Zinc to block the
we cherish most is today for sale to the highest bidder. We
Mawddach estuary and dredge it for gold; the flooding of
are truly a prostitute society.
Welsh valleys; the construction of a power station on the
St. Paul's, for example, one of the most magnificent lovely Tamar River.
cathedrals in the world, should be set in a fine square with
avenues leading up to it on either side so that it may be Pesticides and fertilizers are still being manufactured in
contemplated from a distance. Instead, so that every avail­ increasing quantities in spite of mounting evidence that
able inch of land can be exploited commercially, it is so used as widely and indiscriminately as they are, they are
hemmed in by office blocks that one needs a helicopter not very effective—and incidentally contribute to the de­
to see it at all! terioration of soil structure and the soaring toll of birds
2
and other animals. Even Dr Borlaug, Nobel Peace Prize chemical plants, supersonic jets, oil—and wars to protect
winner and "father of the green revolution", has stated our sources of supply. A l l of which means the destruction
that the green revolution—so lucrative to the agro-chemical of everything that gives quality to our lives, that makes
industry—has merely bought us a scrap of time, ten years them worth living, and ultimately of—almost everything . . .
at the most.
We are trapped in a vicious circle, one of our own de­
Nor do we confine our greedy disregard to other species. vising. Perhaps the day will come when we no longer take
Consider the two million Biafrans killed in the recent war, pride or pleasure in the gew-gaws of our culture, when we
mostly with weapons made in this country and sent to their realise that fulfilment does not come with trinkets, how­
opponents partly at least to protect our Nigerian oil in­ ever sophisticated. I t will come the sooner when those
terests. already concerned with the quality of our environment re­
fuse to supinely accept economic dogma and begin to
By insulting our rivers, desecrating our cities, degrading defend and campaign for the wider acceptance of
our countryside, killing off our wild life, endangering our ecological principles.
health with pollutants, and helping to exterminate two
millions of our fellows, we have doubtless made quite a bit The real problem we face today is how to ensure a
of money. What are we going to do with it? harmonious transition from an economy of "growth" to
one of the "steady-state". This does not mean stagnation,
As we approach the season of goodwill, one might be but dynamic equilibrium. This should be the brief of the
forgiven the hope that some of these horrors had been Standing Royal Commission on the Environment; it should
perpetrated in the name of some lofty ideal. Unfortunately pervade the thinking of M r Heath and his brand new
the motives are mean. Progress for us is "economic Secretary of State for the Environment; and it should
growth", and our ill-gotten gains will simply be spent on exercise the minds of all of us this Conservation Year
more office blocks, hotels, power-stations, barrages, mines, Christmas.
3
European Con Year
by Robert Allen spokesman on the environment and was perhaps a little premature. Now
thorn in the flesh of Anthony Crosland. nine months later, with its author safely
'All talk and little action—that's the As years go E C Y has been all too tucked up in Telecommunications,
state of play in European Conservation brief. Given a portentous send-off at there is much justice in the accusation,
Year. Already the cynics are calling it Strasbourg in February, it was politely though ironically it is Mr Heath and his
European Conversation Year.' So cried ushered out at the Guildhall in October. Secretary of State for the Environment,
Christopher Chataway, Opposition Chataway's outburst coming in March Peter Walker, who are in the dock.
4
By a nice quirk of fate the eight months 3rd Conference of "The Countryside tailed," he writes, "unless we decide
odd of ECY have been shared equally in 1970" could not resist a reference: consciously to bring our numbers into
by the Labour and Conservative " I f we underestimated the task in 1963," harmony with the resources around us."
Governments. During their time, he writes, "this is no cause to accept the Our goal should no longer be growth
Labour managed to set up the Standing clamour of the neo-Malthusians that but the establishment of that level of
Royal Commission on Environmental we face impending doom." material well-being "compatible with
Pollution, appoint a Central Scientific This is just eco-polemic (note how retaining and enhancing long-term re­
Unit (also on Environmental Pollution) sinister neo-Malthusian is made to sources—such as healthy land, clean air,
under Dr Martin Holdgate, and publish sound—like Trotskyite). It's a device pure water, wild-life and space for good
the White Paper, The Protection of to show how reasonable the writer is. living, work and recreation".
the Environment: the fight against Most ecologists accept that unchecked The Agriculture report, flying in the
pollution. The year before they had growth, whether economic or demo­ teeth of the latest evidence (see A Span-
created the post of Secretary of State graphic, will end in disaster; they choose ner in the Soil, p. 24 and The Bugs
for Local Government and Regional however to assume that the checks will Fight Back, p. 29) stressed that mach­
Planning, thus giving Anthony Crosland be imposed, and thus they cast them­ inery should be put to maximum use
overall responsibility for the environ­ selves as moderates. It's a pity, really, and claimed that "with proper fertilizer
because even though prospects for eco­ treatment and pest and weed control
ment. A l l this they did to a background
logical sanity are not so dim as they land may be used for more continuous
of merry hoots from the press, the
were, there is still a great deal to be cropping without break crops". I n both
greater part of which misinterpreted
done, and going out of one's way to be that and the Urbanisation report, much
ECY and activities associated with it as
meek and supplicant while sticking was made of the argument that not a
the first fitful movements of a band­
one's tongue out at the rough boys next scrap of primeval Britain remains, that
wagon which after cavorting crankily
door, is not the way to do it. Besides therefore our countryside is man-made.
for a month or so would clatter off into
some of those rough boys next door are The implication is that given a bit more
oblivion.
quite respectable: U Thant—"the en­ care and cash we can go on making it
By another nice quirk the press began
vironmental crisis is the greatest danger more or less as we like. Of course this is
to change their minds soon after the
mankind has ever faced"; President nonsense. Not a scrap of the countryside
election. Rude things were said about a is man-made—it is man-influenced, and
Nixon—"we face the prospect of eco­
fledgling government, whose contribu­ we must take care that our influence
logical disaster"; and Dr Norman Bor-
tion to Conservation Year was to have laug, father of the Green Revolution does not become imposition. Attempts
its members laze in their private envir­ and latest winner of the Nobel Peace to turn agriculture into agri-business
onments, quite content to have returned Prize—"unless we strike a proper may show remarkable results for short
environmental responsibility to the balance between population and food periods but over generations can lead
dreary confines of the Ministry of Hous­ resources, we will face more and more only to gross ecological instability and
ing and Local Government. Reports problems. Within 30 years, there may a progressive loss of fertility.
commissioned by the Labour Govern­ well be a monumental crisis".
ment like those of the Working Party on Industrial threats
Sewage Disposal and the Technical In from the wilderness Another oft-repeated contention,
Committee on the Disposal of Solid It is fruitful to discuss the language particularly by industry, is that the pub­
Toxic Wastes were received in silence. of ECY in this way, because M r Chata- lic must pay for amenity. Keeping the
It was left to the Chief Inspector of way was right—it has been all talk and environment clean and tidy is an ex­
Alkali & Works to publicly shake his fist little action. This is no criticism of the pensive business, and if the public want
at certain prophets of doom who, he magnificent work of the understaffed, to stop industry fouling it, then they
claimed, were making his life a misery. underfinanced secretariat of "The must be prepared to dip heavily into
Countryside in 1970" Committee. ECY their pockets. So far the conservationists,
Shadowy gremlins is the brainchild of Secretary Boote and seem to have meekly accepted these
Finding skeletons (prophets of doom, he can claim with justice that it has put notions; protest has been left to the
alarmists, neo-Malthusians) in their own new heart into the conservationists, National Union of Students Committee
cupboards and giving them a good shake bringing them in from the wilderness on the Environment which, among many
now and then has been a favourite past- they so earnestly strive to protect. There other good points, suggested that
time of environmentalists. Curiously is no doubt that without him and his phrases like "realising our full potential
none of them are ever named: we are colleagues little of the talk would have as an industrial nation" be regarded as
left with the impression that the en­ been as informed as it has been. "the threats they are rather than as the
vironmental lobby is perfectly capable Yet although some politicians and in­ promises they pretend to be".
of coping with wily politicians and dustrialists have been persuaded to The candour and analytical muscle of
greedy industrialists (tact and a spirit of grasp the nettle, most have side-stepped the students make industry's approach
compromise is all you need with them), the deeper implications of ECY. A t the to the problems it faces seem at best un­
but not with the shadowy gremlins "Countryside in 1970" Conference, for imaginative, at worst petulantly defen­
claiming to be on their side and doing example, the reports on Agriculture, sive. A t the CBI Conference on Tech­
the most ghastly damage by predicting Urbanisation, and Industry showed no nology and the Environment, by most
that unless we mend our ways life is appreciation of the special issues men­ accounts a complacent self-congratula­
going to be very unpleasant indeed. tioned by M r Boote in his Review: "We tory affair, Portland Cement's John
Even Bob Boote in his Review for the shall soon find our options severely cur­ Taylor insisted that firms should receive
5
rebates on pollution expenditure as the air and rivers, and for the clearance of cans' book, and establish something like
present system was "a wicked disincen­ derelict land". Well, M r Walker, when their Council on Environmental Quality.
tive", smacking of "inequity". What an may we expect them? Every federal agency, regardless of
unfortunate contrast with the president More promises were made, somewhat size or influence, must lodge with the
of Gulf Oil Corporation, who has gone later, when M r Walker received his CEQ an "environmental impact" state­
so far as to announce that the "well- pasting at the Tory Party Conference in ment on any item of policy, action, or
being of society" is of greater import­ October. Polluters must pay the full cost legislation. Normally these are received
ance than "maximum financial gain". of their pollution; approved green belts when the item is in draft form and the
It is a pity that we are not so brave as will be defended, and more approved. CEQ will ask for the comments of any
the Swedes who now require proof from Finally, housing and local government, other agency or department it thinks
all new factories that they will not pol­ public building and works, and trans­ appropriate. I n this way the likely con­
lute before they are allowed to build. port, have been brought together under sequences of a particular proposal are
the new Department of the Environ­ made public. I f this is too heady a pro­
Existing factories have been given
ment—Peter Walker goes one logical spect for M r Heath, then perhaps he
schedules by when they must have com­
step further than Anthony Crossland. could recommend to Lord Rothschild
plied with the new anti-pollution legisla­
that he bring an environmentalist into
tion, plus a 25 per cent grant to give
Will it work ? his cability unit.
them a hand. I t is accepted that some
It's certainly a step forward, but is Had ECY been taken seriously by
firms may be forced to close. Yet more
it enough? Assuming he has both the Government we should have witnessed
and more of those that are left discover
will and the ability to weld different some constructive political action by
previously unsuspected advantages to
teams of civil servants accustomed to now. Many of the voluntary bodies (the
being clean. Chemicals, for example,
working towards relatively limited ends Noise Abatement Society is a good ex­
that formerly were sent down the drain
(like transport) into a single team cap­ ample) have made positive proposals for
to prejudice the health of honest citizens able of appraising larger environmental change which have been ignored, while
are now reclaimed and used again. and social consequences; what will be next to nothing has been done to im­
But ECY has given us no new legis­ Mr Walker's relations with the Depart­ prove our air and water. Action on river
lation to speak of, let alone any meas­ ment of Industry and Trade, with which quality and sewerage awaits the Report
ures as enlightened as those proposed there may be conflict over energy policy of the Central Advisory Water Com­
for Sweden. Even the word-making or mineral concessions? and with the mittee and the River Pollution Survey
stopped paradoxically during the Food and Agriculture Ministry—which of the Water Resources Board. But as I
general election, notwithstanding pleas may find itself pressing for much un­ suggest in my comment on the sewage
by Peter Scott and Sir Julian Huxley in popular re-organization of the country­ strike (p. 35) the general approach to
the columns of the Guardian and the side? clean water has not been changed by
Times that the environment be made an Lord Kennet liked to remark that you ECY. I t is still short-sighted and mean.
election issue. Though hardly a word can't have a Minister of the Environ­ We are more concerned with how much
was spoken, it is worth bearing in mind ment because he would have to be pollution we can get away with, rather
that the Conservative manifesto prom­ Minister of Everything. There is a lot of than what standards we have a right to
ised us "clearly defined aims and tar­ truth in this, and my own view is that expect.
get-dates for the achievement of cleaner we should take a leaf out of the Ameri­ Of course it all costs money. Over the

In ECY, no less than in any other year, our National Parks have been under severe pressure. The Peak District is suffering
serious erosion and is also the home of Laporte's hunt for fluorspar.
past 10 years industry has spent an aver­ year)? And what about pollution by emissions of carbon monoxide, hydro­
age of £32 million a year on air pollu­ metals? Lead, for example, of which carbons, and oxides of nitrogen, do not
tion control—as against the £350 million the Labour Government's White Paper put more than £50 on the price of a car;
a year which air pollution costs the remarked: "Lead is a well-known they have to be included in models for
country (Beaver Committee estimate)! poison, but the amount that is emitted export to the USA to comply with her
A t present J million tonnes of from motor vehicle exhausts is, in this more humane legislation. The Labour
smoke are discharged into our air—and country, trivial. The air in the most Government's White Paper pronounced
almost 6 million tonnes of sulphur congested street contains far less lead them unnecessary as it has not been
dioxide (the main offenders being for people to breathe than is safely per­ proved that at present levels these
electricity power stations—2 million; mitted inside factories. There is no evi­ gases are harmful to health. Nor has it
and industry—2J million). This figure is dence that cars add significantly to the been proved they are not. Why take the
gradually declining as a side-benefit of lead which occurs naturally in the soil risk?
the Clean Air Acts but not fast enough. or in the vegetable food we eat." The only legislation contemplated
Monsanto's Cat-Ox system removes here is that by October 1971 all new
up to 90 per cent of the sulphur Lead-free petrol vehicles should be fitted with a device to
dioxide; and this or the Swedish A B This is a non-argument—the safety cut down hydrocarbons by 20 per cent—
Bahco So Scrubber system should be
2 limits in factories are obviously too high. presumably because it only costs £1 and
compulsory in coal and oil burning The quantities produced by cars are because half the current output of cars
plant. This would result in a consider­ additional to natural levels—by some is already fitted with i t . . .
able improvement in the quality of the three thousand tons a year; and evidence When it comes to farming and food
air we breathe. Peter Walker is really is mounting fast that the safety limit is quality the hollowness of Governmental
quite unjustified in claiming, with ref­ very low indeed—especially for child­ committment to ECY is even more
erence to air pollution over Teesside, ren. Dr Lennart Danielson of the apparent. Most of the recommenda­
that "there are no specific measures that Swedish Natural Science Research tions of the Brambell and Swann Com­
could produce an immediate improve­ Council considers that at the most an mittees have still to be implemented.
ment short of closing down industry acceptable dosage is between 5 and 10 The Government should explain its
and putting people out of work". micrograms a day, which is slightly willingness to jeopardize our health.
(Weekly Hansard, July 10th 1970). more than we absorb normally in our As for a population policy, that must
The Department of Industry's War­ food. I f our lungs absorb only half remain a vain hope. For not even the
ren Spring Laboratory keeps careful the lead that is present in city air then Conference of "The Countryside in
check on smoke and sulphur dioxide the dosage rises to between 20 and 30 1970" could bring itself to recommend
levels, but on nothing else. As Dr Eric micrograms a day—levels at which lead it. When the converted are afraid of
Albone wrote in our September issue, is undoubtedly harmful: it interferes their own arguments, what point is there
"Nitrogen oxides and oxidants should with the synthesis of haemoglobin and in propaganda exercises like European
be added to the l i s t . . . And a much affects the central nervous system. Re­ Conservation Year. The press and
more general approach to assessing air cently it has been shown that 20 micro­ public have doubtless realized that the
quality should be initiated." What about grams (half the "acceptable level") can environmental bandwagon has barely
carbon monoxide, our greatest single lead to brain damage in children. moved: between them Government and
pollutant (some 7 million tonnes a Modifications to cars to cut down on Opposition have jammed the wheels.

Snowdonia in addition to sheltering a nuclear power station is now threatened by Rio-Tinto Zinc's plans to opencast mine for
copper.
What do we require of a society? tain will be in general use within the

The Firstly, people must be happy—which next decade.


means that it must provide them with This simply means that a man is
the social and physical environment they happy in the fulfilment of his natural
really want. Secondly, it must be de­ functions and unhappy when his social

stable signed to last, so that it will not be cut and physical environment renders their
short by the sort of cataclysms pre­ fulfilment impossible, i.e. when he has
sently menacing the survival of our own become redundant. Thus a man needs to
society. I n other words, it must be a drink, eat, walk, work and struggle (and

society- "stable" or a "steady state" society. the last of these activities is by no means
I shall try to show that a society which the least important).
displays the first of these qualities must He needs to court his mate, marry
automatically display the other, that her, love her, protect her and provide

can we they are, in fact, different aspects of the for her. She in turn needs to be married,
same thing. loved, protected and provided for. She
The trouble with "happiness" like also needs to work so as to provide a
"heat" is that it is a subjective term. As

achieve such, it cannot be made use of in a


scientific context, for it is not measur­
able, nor can it be related to the other
variables of a scientific model.

it?
by Edward Goldsmith
The science of thermodynamics
could only be developed once it was
found that heat was not only a sensation
but also a form of energy and as such,
could be measured and related to other
forms of energy.
Affluence for everybody is an impossible In the same way, the concept of "hap­
dream: the world simply does not con­ piness" can only be taken into account in
tain sufficient resources*, nor could it a scientific theory of society once it is
absorb the heat and other waste genera­ shown to be something other than a sen­
ted by the immense amount of energy sation, something in fact that can be
required. measured and related to the other vari­
Indeed the most important thing to ables made use of in this science. warm and aesthetically pleasing home.
realize, when we plan our future, is that Both of them need children and they in
affluence is both a local and a temporary Happiness turn require all these things which, in
phenomenon. Unfortunately it is the It is a feature of all natural systems a stable society, their parents obtain
principal if not the only goal our in­ including social ones, that they develop maximum satisfaction in providing.
dustrial society gives us. by differentiation, which means that at
Yet it does not even provide the satis­ each stage the functions previously ful­ The small community
faction claimed for it. The more affluent filled in a general way become fulfilled But a man is not only a differentiated
a country is, the more unhappy its mem­ in a more differentiated one. The new member of a family but also of a small
bers seem to be—the US is a good parts that ensure this extra differentia­ community. I say small, because there
example. This is not to use the term tion have thus come into being for a is an optimum and also a maximum
"unhappy" in a loose way. There are specific purpose, for which, in the case size for any system including a social
recognized and measurable symptoms of social systems, they have been de­ one. (See "Bringing Order to Chaos"
of unhappiness: drug addiction, alco­ signed genetically and culturally. The Ecologist Vol. 1 Nos. 1 & 2). When
holism, crime, delinquency, mental Differentiation occurs because en­ this is reached, a system can only con­
disease and suicide—all different ways vironmental challenges require it, or tinue to grow by associating with other
of reacting to an environment to which more precisely, because a system must systems at which point a new level of
people cannot adapt and consequently become more differentiated if it is to re­ organization is said to have been at­
to a life that they cannot tolerate. main stable in the face of new environ­ tained. The maximum size of any system
Such symptoms are rarely to be found mental challenges. is largely determined by the extent to
in traditional rural societies, still less in On the other hand, once these chal­ which the bonds holding it together can
the tribal societies of so-called primitive lenges have disappeared, the extra be extended.
man. Is there anything we can learn differentiation is no longer necessary and A community appears to be held
from them? How can we replace our the parts developed to ensure it become together by a set of bonds that are
society, and what alternative should we redundant. I shall equate "happiness" but extensions of those which hold
aim for? This article is afirstattempt to with adaptability and "unhappiness" a family together. Malinowski was the
answer these questions. with redundancy. In fact, I believe that first to show that no other bonds can
no other interpretation is reconcilable be exploited for this purpose. In each
with a systemic approach to the study of different culture the members of a com­
* see 'Mined out!' The Ecologist Vol. 1., No. 2. sociology—an approach which I am cer­ munity are unconsciously classified in
terms of the way they are associated is that their members have a strong
with the different members of the sense of duty to their family and to their
family—hence the elaborate kinship ter­ community. As social structures disinte­
minology developed by primitive soci­ grate, this disappears and the only duty
eties. Unfortunately these bonds cannot that is eventually recognized is that of
be extended to include more than a very the society towards its members. That
small number of people. I t is for this this transformation occurred during the
reason that a stable community is made decline and fall of the Greek city state
up of countless small groups or associa­ and of the Roman Republic is revealed
tions that are closely interwoven with in the speeches of Demosthenes and the
each other. writings of Cicero. I t is this family feel­
Thus, in a primitive society, a man is ing, and this sense of community that
at once a member of a maternal and a enables society to exist as a unit. Its
paternal kinship group. He is also prob­ absence must ultimately cause its
ably a member of an age grade, of an disintegration.
economic association of some sort, of a In the former case the society is self- able wastelands he inhabits, no mother
secret society, of a military group etc. It regulating, while in the latter it must be can look after two children at once.
is his position as a member of each of regulated from the outside. Self-regula­ However barbarous this custom may
these groups which provides him with tion or self-government in the case of a seem, it betrays a deep sense of re­
his "status" or identity as a differen­ society is a sine qua non of stability in sponsibility towards his wife, family and
tiated member of his social system. In all systems. It is this that the Greeks community, one which is absent today.
an unstable society whose social struc­ called "liberty". Once a society loses its Contraception is also made use of
ture has disintegrated, he has no such basic social structure and requires to be among many primitive peoples. Among
identity. He is lost in a vast anonymous regulated from the outside, decay pro­ certain Nilo-Hamitic societies, the ado­
mass of humanity. It is this lack of iden­ ceeds by positive-feedback, since auto­ lescents of both sexes live together on the
tity which is normally referred to as cracy breeds the need for further auto­ outskirts of the village in apparent prom­
alienation: it is that terrible feeling of cracy by destroying the spirit of self- iscuity, yet as far as I know there is no
loneliness when surrounded by a vast government. This process has been best record of any children being born to
number of people that is so much worse described by H . T. Buckle in his sadly them. It is generally assumed that they
than loneliness in a desert. It is when a neglected masterpiece A History of make use of some secret means of birth
society grows too fast or its mobility in­ Civilization in Britain. control and I have even heard of phar­
creases in such a way that the bonds do maceutical firms attempting to extract
not have time to develop, that its essen­ the formula from them. They are not
tial social structure breaks down, that allowed to get married so it is important
development occurs by multiplication that children be avoided as these would
rather than differentiation and that not be brought up in a stable family en­
alienation inexorably sets in. vironment. Once more we are struck by
the sense of responsibility that charac­
Stability terizes members of simple societies.
Why a society that provides an opti­
mum environment for its members Contact with nature
should be stable is quite evident. The If a society is to remain stable it must
principle involved can be formulated not break away from nature too much.
thus: " I f a system provides its parts Natural mechanisms are complex and
with an optimum environment, then they Small populations self-regulating. A l l people depend on
will tend to conserve it." Thus for man Such societies usually have small and these, and those who least alter them are
to strive to conserve the social system of stable populations. The Great Plains of far less vulnerable than the members of
which he is part, the latter must provide North America which supported some those societies which have developed,
those outlets which will enable him to fifty million bisons, sustained only thirty and grown to rely on, an intricate (but
fulfil those functions for which he was thousand Plains Indians. The vast ex­ inevitably less complex) technosphere.
genetically and culturally designed. I panse of Australia harboured just half As the latter grows at the expense of
have written a lot on primitive societies. a million aboriginal tribesmen while the the biosphere, so must the amount of
It is not so much the fact that they are population of the now extinct Tas- human energy and ingenuity required to
primitive, but that they are stable that manians has been variously estimated control it. This renders it terribly vul­
is of interest. This is particularly true at between two and twenty thousand. A nerable to human error, industrial dis­
of hunter-gatherer societies which have small and stable population was putes, sabotage, and human inefficiency
survived unchanged for thousands of achieved partly because of a high in­ in all its forms. In addition its vulner­
years, making little impact on their fant mortality rate but also because of ability to technical hitches, shortages of
physical environment. the application of various human con­ raw materials, and pollution problems
What are the principal features of trols. Among these, infanticide played a of all sorts, is only too evident.
stable societies? It is only by finding this big part. The Kalahari bushman kills a
out that we can hope to develop a stable new born baby when his wife is still Consumption of natural resources
society of our own. One such feature suckling a previous one. In the inhospit­ Internal self-regulation alone is not
9
B * *
enough. A society must be able to regu­ respect for the natural world surround­ every possible inducement given to
late its relationship with its environ­ ing them, of which they know they are immigrants to return to their country of
ment and ensure the stability of the an integral part. This prevents them origin. I know that this is an emotive
ecosystem that together they constitute. from destroying the environment on subject but if we are to be consistent it
If it fails, and the environment is de­ which they depend. Their members are is necessary to raise it.
stroyed, then the society becomes re­ happy in the fulfilment of their natural Finally, if all these expedients are not
dundant. For the ecosystem to remain roles as differentiated members of their sufficient, a licensing system could be
stable it must be able to live off the families, communities and ecosystems, introduced. Wayne Davis suggests that
interest from the physical resources it and it is this happiness above all else that licences might be negotiable which
requires for its sustenance rather than creates the stability that still eludes us. would mean that only those people who
from the capital; otherwise, as is the case Can these principles be applied to our really wanted children would have them.
with us, it is only a matter of time before society? It would also mean that the rich would
they are exhausted. It is surprising to Though we cannot imitate primitive have more children than the poor which
find to what extent primitive societies societies in every way—and few would would tend to make them poorer (in
and in particular those of hunter- want to—the basic principles that ensure view of the cost of bringing up children)
gatherers have succeeded in developing their stability can undoubtedly be ap­ and by the same token, the poor richer.
a cultural behaviour pattern that enables plied in the reorganisation of our society.
them to accomplish this. In fact it is essential that they are if we Decentralization
This is made possible by a philos­ are to avoid the social and ecological Next we must reduce the impact of
ophy that teaches that man is part of upheavals that threaten to annihilate us each man on the environment by cutting
nature rather than above it. Primitive in the none too distant future. down his energy consumption. A n en­
people do not regard the possession of How are we to set about doing this? ergy tax would clearly be a useful exped­
a soul for instance as a prerogative of ient, but the most effective way of
man distinguishing him from all other Population Control accomplishing this would be to decen­
creatures. A l l have a soul, and often the The first and most urgent task is to tralize our society, both politically,
primitive hunter will pray to that of the control our population. Not only must administratively and economically. This
animal he is about to kill, explaining the any further growth be avoided, but its would lead to that other prerequisite of
necessity for the crime he is about to present level must be reduced probably stability—the development of small self-
commit. Seldom too will he kill more at least by half. regulating communities.
than he strictly requires. Indeed, it is said It is only in this way that this country The totally absurd notion that bigger
can hope to feed itself in the long-term, things must inevitably be better, must
for we must soon return to sound agri­ be abandoned and with it the false ideal
cultural methods which do not destroy of "maximizing" productivity which is
the food-producing capacity of the land, the pretext normally given for making
and we cannot long depend on food sup­ things larger and more centralized.
plies from abroad. Every possible device Indeed it should be a precept of Gov­
should be made use of to ensure that we ernment, as it is of the organization of
achieve this goal. nature, that everywhere there should be
Sterilization centres could be set up the maximum decentralization. Nothing
and abortion could be made far easier. should be done at village level which
Pensions could only be paid to people could not be done by the family; noth­
with no children. This seems to be one of ing at county level that could be done
the few ways of penalizing people with by the village, and so on all the way up.
children, without penalizing the children A nation consisting of 56 million
in Southern Africa that the bees do not as well—at least until they were grown people can constitute a society only if
sting the bushmen because they know up. It might also increase the cohesion it is highly organized into families, small
he will take only the amount of honey of the family unit by emphasizing the communities, provinces, etc. Their mem­
he requires, never more. duty of looking after one's parents in bers must be responsible for running
To sum up, stable societies have many their old age. their own affairs. They must be self-
features in common, the principal ones A more ambitious scheme would be regulating for only in this way can they
being: they are organized in families to negotiate a mass emigration pro­ be stable.
and small communities, which are held gramme as part of a package deal with
together by a closely interwoven set of Canada and Australia (two of the last Welfare
associations that assures that everyone is countries in the world with a lot of Among those activities which must be
linked, in some way, to everyone else. space). This deal might provide an alter­ radically decentralized is welfare. A t the
They are self-regulating and do not re­ native to Britain's entry into the Com­ moment the State, by usurping all those
quire any external force such as an auto­ mon Market. It must not be forgotten responsibilities that should be fulfilled
crat or a cumbersome bureaucracy to that in addition to space, these two coun­ at the communal and family levels, is
govern them. tries possess three of the other things contributing to their disintegration by
Their members have a strong sense of that we will be needing a lot of in the rendering them largely redundant.
responsibility towards their family and next 30 years: mineral resources, fossil Economic activity should also be de­
their community. Their numbers are fuels and food. centralized. Small traders, artisans and
small and they are imbued with a deep A l l immigration could be stopped and businessmen are on the whole stable
10
The most serious challenge is clearly Corps could be instituted, and the more
the provision of alternative employment decentralized its organization, the more
for the countless millions of people who effective it is likely to be, as people will
depend on technology for their living. be keener to help clean up their local
Decentralization would contribute to­ environment than that of people living at
wards this by furthering the development the other end of the country.
of divergent cultural patterns, and of
new activities to replace those that are ' 'Unproductive'' employment
no longer possible. Also it must be accepted that people
citizens who tend to take pride in the should be employed whether or not their
quality of their work and in the services Ritualization of economic activity employment is justified on "economic
that they render the community. This The construction of beautiful build­ grounds". This is already the case in
should more than compensate for their ings, the manufacture of fine furniture, the Soviet Union. "Economically unpro­
lack of "productivity". I t is quite clear the development of local arts and crafts, ductive" work of this sort would un­
that stable societies cannot be created the revival of local festivities and reli­ doubtedly lead to a situation in which
out of soulless housing estates whose in­ gious ceremonies; all these things will there would be more money around than
habitants work elsewhere, and among provide a worthwhile substitute for the goods to buy, again as is the case in the
whom few ties can be established. haphazard accumulation of manufac­ Soviet Union. The dissatisfaction this
tured goods to which our society is gear­ might give rise to would be partly offset
Agriculture ed. In this way economic activity could by the development of the new occupa­
Agriculture must also be decentral­ be "ritualized" as is "aggressivity" tion already referred to, as economic
ized. Contrary to what is generally among stable societies (both human and activity becomes ever more "ritualized".
thought, its output is probably increased non-human). Ritualized aggression pro­ Meanwhile there will certainly be infla­
by reducing the size of units rather than vides a satisfactory outlet for a society's tion—but on nothing like the scale that
by increasing them (see " A jump ahead aggressive requirements without its lead­ would accompany the total breakdown
of Malthus". The Ecologist, Vol. 1. No. ing to the annihilation of its enemies. of our society, which is possibly our
1). In any case, intensive modern agricul­ Similarly, ritualized economic activity only alternative. Besides, monetary con­
ture which requires larger units does not can be regarded as providing an outlet siderations should be looked at in their
appear to be the way to increase long- for man's essential requirements for correct perspective. Inflation is by no
term food production. It leads to the creative work in such a way as to mini­ means the tragedy it is made out to be
deterioration of soil structure (see " A mize the resultant damage to the en­ by today's economists.
Spanner in the Soil") and to consider­ vironment. A more serious objection is that the
able pollution. Decentralization will result in a re­ transition to a stable society would prob­
The flight to the towns must also end. duction of mobility. I f people are em­ ably have to be carefully orchestrated as
The total destruction of rural life and ployed where they live, fewer cars will a single programme. I f any part of it is
the elimination of the small farmer, who be used. By reducing our dependence left out, because it is regarded as objec­
should normally constitute the backbone on technology, decentralization would tionable by some sector of society in
of a stable society, is a social disaster fulfil yet another essential function: terms of current ethical norms, then the
whose cost to the community cannot be that of reducing our vulnerability. whole programme may well be a failure.
over-emphasized. The complex and self-regulating sys­ It follows that this social transforma­
tems of nature would be allowed to tion can only be ensured by a Govern­
Energy consumption slowly replace the relatively simple and ment having a mandate to plan and im­
Decentralization would help fulfil yet externally regulated systems of our tech- plement such a programme as painlessly
another purpose. Man's impact on his nosphere, a substitution essential to the as possible i.e. over the maximum period
environment is best gauged in terms of establishment of ecological stability. consistent with avoiding the catastrophes
the amount of energy he uses. The more with which our society is at present
technological devices are allowed to re­ National Service for Conservation menaced.
place natural ones, the more dependent Clearly the transition to such a society
we become on manufactured goods, and would not be easy. The principal prob­
the higher must be our energy consump­ lem obviously would be how to provide
tion. This can only be reduced by de­ satisfactory employment for so many
veloping labour intensive industries so people. New occupations that do not
that human energy can slowly replace require the use of power, would prob­
that of machines. Whether we want it or ably take some time to develop. The dole
not, this is bound to happen in the end, does not solve the serious psychological
as our fossil fuels run out and our sup­ problems of unemployment. It is at best
plies of non-renewable mineral re­ a palliative. The only alternative is to
sources are exhausted. But if we wait accept that a vast amount of work is re­
until this happens, by which time our quired to clean up the mess resulting
dependence on technology will have sub­ from a hundred and fifty years of
stantially increased, the problems will uncontrolled economic growth.
have become that much more difficult A sort of national service for conser­
to solve. vation on the lines of the Conservation
11
avoids the risk of the spores of Gleos- they are small and crawling from blos­
som to fruitlets or leaving these for large
Down porium fungus getting into the cuts and
causing the Brown Storage Rot of apples
against which orthodox growers spray
apples.
Its ally is the black-kneed capsid,

to Earth
by Lawrence D. Hills
with captan once a fortnight from July
till picking time.
Late pruning gives a chance to ex­
which spends the winter as an egg mak­
ing a smooth bulge in the bark near the
bases of young twigs. It used to be safe
amine the developing buds for the first from winter wash and carried on alone,
colonies of wooly aphis (Eriosoma lani- until the new light oil washes mixed with
The ecological gerum) which can be dabbed away with B.H.C. and applied in spring destroyed
orchard methylated spirit. This reinforces the the last of the fruit farmer's friends.
efforts of Aphelinus mali Britain's only
y
This creature, Blepharidopterus angu-
outdoor biological pest control, which is latus has only one generation a year, but
What will become the most famous or­ naturalised in the orchard. Where wooly each can eat up to 4,230 red spider mites
chard in England is at Stock, in Essex, aphis is bad, sowing buckwheat for its in a lifetime. Gardeners who prune
where John Habgood has learnt to apply white flowers through the summer will their trees to look like crew-cut hedge­
the principles of ecology to growing fif­ attract our two commonest hoverflies, hogs usually prune away their capsids,
teen acres of apples entirely without Syrphus balteatus and Sribesii with lar­ so look for the bulges before you snip,
spraying. There are many orchards un- vae that will go in under the wool and even in February.
sprayed through neglect which produce hunt the aphides out. Unlike the Aphelinus which is inclined
small crops of scabby fruit, but John to eat itself out of a job and then starve,
Summer pruning does more than re­
Habgood grows up to 18 tons an acre leaving the orchard open to attack until
duce the leaf area of the trees, slowing
of first class Scarlet Pimpernels, Wor­ down their growth and putting their another stock is introduced, Anthocoris
cester s and Cox's Orange Pippins for strength to fruit rather than wood pro­ and the black-kneed capsids will live on
sale in 30 lb. boxes to health food shops duction. It removes the soft shoot tips the millions of springtains (Collembola
and customers all over Britain. on which the apple aphides can start, so spp) that feed on the algae, for the sur­
The orchard is grassed down and the with no tips there are no aphides and no face "vegetation" of fruit trees is a rich
10 ft. 6 in. between the rows is mown need to spray against them. It should be pasture for slow moving herds and swift
three or four times a year with a tractor- realised that spraying against everything carnivores.
drawn rotary mower, while a large lawn as recommended by the manufacturers Our oldest application of biological
model is used in the 5 ft. 3 in. gaps be­ costs over £100 an acre, so there is a control was feeding the farmhouse cat
tween the dwarf pyramid trees. Every cash return from applying knowledge of so it would always be available to eat
winter, about 15 cubic yards an acre entomology and ecology to fruit grow­ any mice that arrived. John Habgood is
of compost is spread along the rows, ing, apart from any premium from sell­ feeding countless millions of assorted
made from the mowings of three acres ing unsprayed fruit to a clamouring and "mousers", while the humus in the soil
of grass and clover ley, with horse man­ expanding market. below supports still more grazers, thus
ure and spent mushroom bed material. John Habgood's trees are green with providing prey for a horde of ground
This generous feeding not only sup­ algae and dappled with lichen and there­ beetles during their wait for the cater­
ports the trees with their heavy yields, fore he has no trouble with red spider pillars of the codling, march, and winter
but also the earthworms that take under mite, which is an entirely man-made moth to drop from the trees and pupate
dead leaf and even soft summer prun- pest. After the 1914-18 War winter tar in the soil where they spend the winter
ings. It is now known that 97 per cent of oil washes became popular, controlling in constant danger.
the spores of apple scab (Venturia in- a number of pests and leaving the trees Not even the many species of ichneu­
aequalis) over-winter on dead leaves, with clean grey bark. Then the red spider mon and tachinid fly or the branconid
and the heavy worm population takes mites which had lived on algae and and chalcid wasps can parasitise all the
them safely underground, spores and all. lichen through the long history of Eng­ caterpillars, so the many orchard birds
A gardener aware of this principle would lish apple growing, began to attack the including goldfinches, wrens and hedge-
not sweep up his dead leaves, but chew leaves. The tar oils destroyed both their sparrows are of value while the tits are
them into fragments with a rotary food supply and their main enemy, An- hard at work all the winter. Bullfinches
mower to make sure they went safely thocoris nemorum, our most versatile however are the curse of the orchard,
under. Spreading extra leaves from other predator. and putting on scaraweb at a cost of £5
trees touched up with the mower would This tiny bug (which unfortunately an acre (apart from labour) to protect
pay on sandy soils as a way of building has no popular name) is about a sixth the buds, then taking it off exactly in
humus to grow enough worms to control of an inch long and capable of eating time to let the bees get to the blossom, is
scab without spraying. 50-60 mites a day. It breeds twice a year an annual nightmare.
The other 3 per cent of spores will be and hibernates only in hard weather, So are late frosts, and despite artful
found on the twigs, and delaying prun­ spending mild winter days searching for gaps cut in the high windbreak hedges
ing until February allows them to de­ red spider and other pest eggs. In addi­ to let the cold air flow away like water,
velop enough to be seen and cut away tion it eats all species of aphis, capsid John Habgood has had to disappoint
with any canker and mildew. These bugs, scale insects, apple suckers, apple some customers, though in good seasons
prunings are burnt to get rid of the blossom weevils and small caterpillars. he may have room for new ones who are
spores, for burning is the cheapest and These include the caterpillars of the prepared to pay for the finest apples ever
safest fungicide. February pruning also apple sawfly and codling moth when grown without spraying.
12
turned in. Although many cans were

Ecotechnics collected in this initial effort, the scheme


proved uneconomical.
In the second phase of the Miami
trials, large waste containers were placed
by Arthur Puffett in the forecourts of supermarkets. A
local hospital was paid eight cents per
pound for aluminium cans deposited in
Recycling these containers by the general public.
The cans were collected by a local
'nonreturnables' haulier and shredded for eventual collec­
tion by Reynolds. Again, it was found
that the servicing of numerous collecting
points by private contract was unecono­
mical.
Phase three of the trials involved a co­
operative agreement with Goodwill In­
dustries (an organization employing
handicapped people, similar to Rein-
ploy) whereby special collection boxes
were provided in which old clothes and
other material was deposited, apart from dorsed by the Technical Committee of
Aluminium cans. Goodwill, for a fee, the National Society for Clean Air in
collected the cans on its norma) servicing their report " A i r Pollution and Road
runs to the boxes, shredded them in Vehicles" published in 1967), J. & S.
equipment supplied by Reynolds, and Sieger Ltd., Stanley Green Road, Poole,
shipped them back to one of the Com­ Dorset, have developed a portable in­
pany's reclamation plants for recycling. strument with which an unskilled opera­
The primary problem noticed tor can check the carbon monoxide level
throughout the various stages of the of vehicle exhausts in a matter of
Miami experiment was that, regardless seconds, either at "spot checks" or as
of the economics involved, very few part of the standard MOT test and
cans were collected in relation to the servicing procedures.
total amount available in the Miami Termed the "COSIGN", the instru­
area. ment is for use with all petrol engines,
Learning from their errors, Reynolds but is not applicable to diesel exhausts.
launched a test programme in 1969, in Operated by a rechargeable built-in
Paper and steel have been reclaimed Los Angeles. The cans were collected battery, the COSIGN has two unions at
from salvage for many years, the quan­ at a Reynolds-operated aluminium can the rear. One is connected to a light­
tities of non-ferrous metals in household reclamation centre, and the public, or­ weight sampling probe fitted with a
waste making further separation un­ ganizations (particularly Boy Scouts), coarse filter which is inserted into the
economical. The increasing trend to­ and local canners and bottlers generat­ exhaust pipe. The exhaust sample is
wards aluminium containers for soft ing scrap were paid a guaranteed rate of drawn into a cooling chamber and mois­
drinks, beer and convenience food pack­ ten cents per pound. This centre also ture trap and then, cooled and cleaned,
ages has not gone unnoticed however. accepted all other aluminium consumer is transferred to the unit by means of a
Reynolds Metal Company, of Rich­ scrap, including pie plates, T V dinner pump. A second pump draws a sample
mond, Virginia, realised the potential of trays and foil. The economic break-even of clean air from the atmosphere into
reclaiming aluminium. A ton of alumin­ point was achieved in October 1969, and the unit through the other union. The
ium is worth $200 in the secondary mar­ has remained above this level to date. speed of the two pumps can be varied
ket, compared with $20 for steel and $16 The success achieved in Los Angeles to ensure a balanced flow of exhaust gas
for waste paper. (Scrap dealers in the has since been repeated in several cities and fresh air. A meter indicates when
UK offer £100 per ton for aluminium in the USA, and Reynolds envisage a a balance is achieved, the mixture being
cans, considerably more than the Ameri­ nationwide service in the near future, fed to a sensor filament which responds
can market.) Reynolds originated their situated in every major consumer area. to selected combustibles and gives a
aluminium can recycling programme in read-out of the carbon monoxide con­
January 1967, and their method is worth "Breathalyser" for cars tent, the whole procedure being accom­
relating in full. Road-side "breathalyser" tests for plished in five to fifteen seconds.
A chain of garages in Miami agreed cars may soon be the pattern on British COSIGN has already been sent to
to serve as redemption points for all- roads. Limited legislation already exists motor manufacturers for trials and com­
aluminium beverage cans. The general in the United States and Germany gov­ ment, and it is now with the Motor In­
public was reimbursed with a coupon erning permitted levels of carbon mon­ dustry Research Association for evalu­
worth one-half cent, redeemable in oxide in exhaust systems. ation and report to the British Technical
petrol or oil, for each aluminium can In anticipation of future policy (en­ Committee.
13
A lesson
to local
councils
A Councillor's personal view of
Conservation
by John F . C. Pontin
Chairman, Buxton Borough Council
Planning Committee and Chairman,
Land Use Committee, Buxton Civic
Association Ltd.
View of Grin Quarry.

Industry exists to exploit the environ­ everyone pays it lip service. But defend­ warns of the future threats to the
ment and make profits. Politicians exist ing the "ecological conscience" requires countryside by the extractive industries.
to hold office. The preservation of more than a lecture, more than a self- He makes the valid point that derelic­
beauty and the creation of peace are congratulatory speech: it requires real tion depreciates, and helps to create the
thus the tasks of the ordinary citizen and commitment. sense of apathy towards the environ­
his local councillor. Few councillors see Criticism of local industry will call ment. As a look round Buxton will
this so clearly as John Pontin, and fewer down upon you a stern lecture; if you show: houses and shops in need of a
still are so willing to espouse the causes fight jumbo jets, pesticides, or derelic­ coat of paint or repair, kerbs broken,
of happiness and humanity, of values tion, you are an extremist or a fanatic. trees damaged by lorries and "killed
unquantifiable by economists and thus The natural environment, our home, is off" by road salt, fine buildings allowed
neglected by government—both local in peril, and a clear understanding of to fall to pieces for lack of mainten­
and national. our relationship with nature is vital. To ance, and others that have not been
this end the Christian can play his part. cleaned for years. John Barr states:
Until one is committed there is hesi­ "Our tolerance of industrial dereliction
In a society obsessed by the creed of tancy, the chance to draw back. The is one of the inefficiencies which have
continual growth the wider spectrum of need is for people to act, as well as talk. prevented Britain from fully entering the
human fulfilment is lost. Conservation is The same technology that now ex­ 20th century." One might say the same
not just a matter of people, buildings, ploits the world could, and must find for Buxton.
or wild life, but of the whole quality of ways to make the need for present The mis-use of insecticides to restore
our existence. We are facing a crisis in methods of exploitation unnecessary. "order" has contributed to the poison
human ecology. While many are willing Nearer home we can ask the questions: chain from which, in the end, man him­
to drag their feet and look the other way, must the patterned vulgarities of the self might suffer. The fertility of the soil
there are others who like the painless bulldozer and dynamite slash their way lies in the top six inches, and nature's
kind of conservation which costs into more and more of the Derbyshire cycle is within that small area of birth
nothing, and which is concerned about hills? A n ethical obligation on the part and decay.
problems other than those in their own of the private owner is the only real It is assumed that there are two
locality. remedy for this kind of situation. An groups within our society, one dedicated,
It is essential that people are not too economic system that is based solely on small in size, which works to preserve
embarrassed to challenge the status quo self-interest tends to ignore other ele­ beauty and wild life, and the other, much
and poke about in some grimy corner ments in the value scale. larger, which it appears cannot be
of reaction. People must look beyond As social ethics were governed over a moved to action by any appeal to beauty
their own self-interest and not fear to century ago by self-interest, so are the or plea for mercy.
commit themselves. land-use ethics of today. We need a There is still a great gulf separating
When Silent Spring was published, major change of attitude away from the the human animal from the other mem­
business and government agencies tried irresistible expediency of getting away bers of the kingdom, but different as
to prove that Rachel Carson was an with it a little longer. I f we love the we are from the other creatures with
hysterical fool. The conservation move­ place in which we live, then the quality whom we share the earth, one tremen­
ment has now become a revolution, in of human existence depends on the deci­ dous fact remains: we are all A L I V E .
which the most hopeful sign for the sion to find responses, to meet the needs Alexander Pope put the attitude into
future is with the young, the rebellious of our time. epigrammatic form in his Essay on Man,
young, who reject many of our social- John Barr, in his book Derelict one of the most widely read poems ever
economic values. Conservation is " i n " , Britain, examines the problem and written.
14
Has God, thou fool, work'd solely for of a flower or an animal. Above all it
thy good, must be understood that practical con­
Thy joy, thy pastime, thy attire, thy siderations need the enlightened
food? "moral" and "aesthetic" values.
Henry David Thoreau's search for
Humanitarianism, in the widest sense beauty was one of the primary motiva­
of the word, is firmly established in Eng­ tions in his life. He delivered an oration
lish poetry, as indeed the mutual chari­ in which he said: "This curious world
ties between the saints and beasts, from which we inhabit is more wonderful
the end of the fourth to the end of the than it is convenient; more beautiful
twelfth centuries, can be found in Helen than it is useful; it is more to be admired
WaddelPs translations from the Latin. than to be used." "More to be admired
The major villain was the great mathe­ than to be used" may well be an
matician Descartes, who, to put it as exaggeration. Thoreau foresaw an
simply as possible, stated that animals imprisoned mechanised future for man,
are only machines. I t was the poets, and his life was a kind of rebuke to
essayists, and pure humanists who pro­ all those around him who were merely
tested. The reaction against Cartesian- running around earning a living. In
ism, directly or indirectly, can be found 1861 he wrote in his Journal: "Thank
in William Blake's: God men cannot fly yet, and lay
waste the sky as well as the earth. We are
... For he saw that Life UVd upon safe on that side", and then added "for
Death ... the moment". Thoreau was a great
The Ox in the slaughter-house naturalist, and he loved the woods and
moans ... fields, the lakes, the flora and the fauna.
tions. Today we can read of the work of
He did not want to see it exploited, or as infecting primates to obtain information
and: men say, "improved" for man's benefit. for "the benefit of man". Pigs are no
The integrity of Thoreau's art, and the longer whipped to death to please epi­
fact that in the United States he has cures, but pate-de-foie-gras are still
To see a World in a grain of sand,
been recognized as one of their greatest found in so-called high class food stores.
And a Heaven in a wild flower,
writers, an influential social philosopher, The 1880's found men like Henry Salt,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
and a pioneer ecologist, ends the story Edward Maitland, Edward Carpenter,
And Eternity in an hour.
that he was an imitator of Emerson, or and George Bernard Shaw fighting the
a 19th century Diogenes. He believed humanitarian cause. Sir Lewis Morris
Samuel Johnson, Milton, Shelley, Cole­
that nature was a pilgrimage of life, and reminds us:
ridge, Wordsworth, Keats, Hudson,
that man was not born in a vacuum set
Davies, and Edmund Spenser, all had a apart from the community of animals,
wider awareness of those creatures who . . . and while ye lick my hand
plants, rocks, and soil. Lay bare your veins and nerves in one
share the earth with us. Today men like Konrad Lorenz, red wound,
St. Bonaventura, in The Life of St. Julian Huxley, Robert L . Rudd, Aldo Divide the sentient brain;
Francis, mentions that when Francis Leopold, C. W. Hume, F. Fraser And while the raw flesh quivers with the
"bethought himself on the first begin­ Darling, Max Nicholson, have made pain,
ning of all things, he was filled with a yet their contribution to our understanding A calm observer stands ...
more overflowing charity, and would of our relations with other animals, to
call the dumb animals, howsoever small, re-establishing our unity with nature, Today, the "cranks" are the new en­
by the names of brother and sister, for­ and to ending the deterioration of the lightened, who care about the real future
asmuch as he recognized by the names world in which we live. of man and his environment, the learn­
of brother and sister, forasmuch as he We are all deeply involved in these ing to live with the plants and animals
recognized in the same origin as in him­ problems, humanist and Christian alike. who share our planet with us. We need
self." St. Francis, for some of us, is for­ The Church can make its contribution, a theology of ecology, in that Christians
ever preaching to the birds of Alviano, for the wider issues need " . . . yet more must recognize that a weak faith in the
and it is only with understanding and overflowing charity". The infliction of value of creation means only self-inter­
compassion that the ethic of conserva­ pain and suffering is still with us. The est for self-survival. The despoliation of
tion will be possible. tyranny of many laboratory experiments, nature has drawn some encouragement
To many people conservation means broiler factories and the intensive rear­ from Genesis, but it did not give man a
no more than the efficient exploitation ing of veal calves are examples of man blank cheque. It is written in the Book
of natural resources to produce wealth. using his power to remove animals from of Job:
If conservation is no more than an elab­ their natural habitat. It was common
orate variation of the old idea that the practice at one time to learn to operate
Who knoweth not in all these that the
world is for man's use only, then it will by practising on living horses; they died
hand of the Lord hath wrought this?
be unrealisable. Man must take an inter­ from the sheer inability to endure, hav­ In whose hand is the soul of every living
est, and indeed delight, in the simple life ing suffered between 20 and 60 opera- thing, and the breath of all mankind.
15
In the Koran also it is written: "There part, and so the local authority has a The Conservation Society warns that
is no beast on earth nor fowl that major responsibility to obtain and en­ there can be no respite from housing
flieth, but the same are a people like courage citizen participation. Major shortages, overcrowded classrooms, con­
unto you, and to God they shall return." planning and development call for full gested roads, and spoilt countryside
If the words are not acceptable in their and active involvement at the right stage in one of the world's most densely popu­
literal sense, they are still fundamental in order to avoid the fait accompli. lated areas. Conservation is impossible
truths. St. Francis of Assisi, whose love In the local effort it is possible to be without some kind of balance, for no
for all living creatures is part of this wearied profoundly and even physically human population can go on increasing
tradition, may in the minds of many be by the kind of response received, and independently of its environment. Our
considered an eccentric who carried by the difficulties and distractions faced attitude to child-bearing remains virtu­
things too far. The lessons however are every day. Inspiration, as well as facts, ally unchanged from the Middle Ages.
still there. Man has everything to gain must be used to deal patiently and per­ On high fecundity, let John Stuart Mill
from taking a fresh look at the world of sistently with the contending forces, in­ have the last word: "If the earth must
nature, of which he is a part. We have, cluding the "yes—but" types. The will lose that great portion of its pleasant­
in this 20th century, the business techno­ to reshape, as we must, and to make ness, which it owes to things that the
crat who knows that the Cartesian view value judgements which will act as a unlimited increase of capital and popu­
is nonsense, but sees no harm in using guide between man's finer and his baser lation would extirpate from it, for the
animals as machines. capacities, is not beyond the capabilities mere purpose of enabling it to support
Dr Fraser Darling's comment in his of the individual. a larger, but not a better or happier
book Wilderness and Plenty on the The first and most powerful point to population, I sincerely hope that, for
treatment of bulls, chased round pad­ remember is that, if the area around the sake of posterity, they will be con­
docks with a stick to serve a canvas cow Buxton is to suffer limitless expansion tent to be stationary long before neces­
and rubber tube, is just one example of of quarrying, then the basic and irre­ sity compels them to it."
the need for an extension of ethics into placeable capital—the environment in The general public must be made
our treatment of sentient beings. The which we live—will be lost for ever. The aware of the terrible danger that faces
fact that girls sit eight hours a day slash­ the community of Buxton. It is obvious
ing the throats of live birds in a broiler that, if this town has any future at all, a
chicken processing factory, should give passive acceptance of present value
cause to consider the need for effective judgements will not suffice. I f "quality
humane legislation. of life" has any meaning, then the prac­
The obsession with continuous econo­ tical arguments must be considered with
mic growth is one of the major barriers the qualitative ones. We must face the
to seeing ecological sense. The "conven­ prospect of shrinking open spaces, pol­
tional wisdom" (to quote Professor Ken­ lution, noise, and increasing ugliness,
neth Galbraith) of the presumptions and until the economics of ecology are re­
preconceptions of economic dogma, that garded by citizen and policy-maker
is used to give respectability to dead alike, in place of the gross national
spoil heaps, polluted streams, slurry product, as the chief index of the state
John Carrs famous Crescent, the principal
ponds, hills savaged by industrial plun­ architectural feature of Buxton, erected by the of the nation.
dering, can no longer be accepted as pro­ fifth Duke of Devonshire.
E. M . Forster once offered good ad­
gress. The squalid epitaph "where vice which we might heed: "If you de­
there's muck, there's brass" dies hard. sire to save the countryside there is only
Issues must be examined in terms of burden of proof is with the developer, one way: through good laws rightly
what is ethically and aesthetically right, that noise, dust, garbage, traffic, exhaust applied ... That is your only hope . . .
as well as economically expedient. fumes, and despoiled areas, will have no It needs men of good will. . . lest de­
A better environment calls for a new major effect on the prospects of an ex­ struction spread and cover the fields and
evaluation of costs and benefits, and the panding and "healthy" economy. the hills with its senseless squalor. Now
kind of measures required to produce Only a public outcry over the degrad­ is the moment. Soon it will be too late."
better judgement values than hitherto. ation of the environment will produce a Buxton today stands poised on a pin­
Policies and action which have a basic political response. The last government nacle. It has an overall environment that
environmental valuation place a strain had a very good record in strengthening is diminished daily by pollution, noise,
on short-term interests, and it is vital the powers available under the Town and blight. It is a Borough of vanishing
therefore that citizen participation & Country Planning Act; they reduced beauty, and of increasing ugliness with
should exist. The dangers inherent in the destruction of our present stock of the passing of each year. Shortsighted­
planning, in local as in national govern­ historic buildings, they gave us the Civic ness is conservation's mortal enemy, for
ment, of over-centralization sheltering Amenities Act and the Countryside Act. it presents the case "have now, pay
behind "official" committees and The Conservative government (to quote later". The town has reached the point
bureaucratic officers ("we know what is the Prime Minister) will "treat the en­ in its history where it is essential that a
best") must be faced. While we may vironment question as of high priority". comprehensive policy be formulated to
look to the government to do more, However, urgent attention and positive deal with the competing short-term and
ordinary people must also play their action is required, not just talk. long-term necessities.
16
birth rate of 50 and a death rate of 25,

Gargoyle Nigeria is adding people at a rate of 2.5


per cent per year for a doubling period
of 28 years. I f your senior med students
by ll would go over there and work on this CRANKS
Wayne Davis :
high death rate problem, you might cut
Professor of Zoology
oj Zoology
lr' 4*< »** *
V/$J$*' it to about five and give the nation the
University of Kentucky
benefit of a doubling time of 16 years. HEALTH
This would give them a potential popu­
The Grim lation, within 100 years, of 3.6 billion,
Reaper or about the population of the world to­
FOODS
i day. Now, having solved their medical
problems for them we can move on to Marshall St
The Grim Reaper is sharpening his some of the other high death rate nations London Wl
scythe. He's been unemployed for some and see what can be done there.
The world's population is now in­ Our shop offers you the best
time now and is anxious to get back to selection of unadulterated and
work. Such a large backlog has develop­ creasing by two per cent per year, a rate unrefined vegetarian foods.
ed that one might think he would have which doubles the population in 35
as much trouble making a dent on it as years. This rate itself has doubled in the open Monday to Friday
has Planned Parenthood. But technology past decade and is still going up as 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
has tremendously increased his effici­ modern medicine advances around the
world. The growth rate could go to a Saturday
ency; he'll probably trade in the old
doubling time of about 20 years. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
scythe for a fleet of combines. Once he
starts swinging he will move with re­ But don't let anybody tell you that
markable speed. And he shall begin the world population will double to
within the next 10 years. seven billion in the next 20-35 years. I t
Now let me give you some figures on will be less than it is today because we
human population. First consider the have reached the end of the rope. The
Hutterites. Since coming to the U.S. population crisis is here now.
less than 100 years ago they have dou­ Any serious attempt to maintain the
bled their numbers five times for a 33- people scheduled to be here during the
fold increase, entirely by breeding within next 10 years will result in ecocata­
strophes the likes of which the world has Our restaurant offers you a
their own sect. Their average number continuous buffet service of
never seen. For example, just to ade­
of children is 10.4. Thus the average fresh salads, fruit and vegetable
quately feed the hundreds of millions juices and vegetarian savouries.
couple has its children, 108 grandchild­
who now get less than an adequate daily
ren, 1,125 great grandchildren and lives open Monday to Friday
number of calories would require a six­
to see the first of their 11,703 great, great 10 a.m. to 8-30 p.m.
fold increase in the use of pesticides in
grandchildren come along.
the underdeveloped nations which al­
"Objection", you say. "The Hutterites
ready are using most of the world's
are an obscure little sect and give a

mm
DDT. The oceans already are in serious
biased picture of world demography.
trouble from DDT pollution. And a
There are only 15,000 of them. It would panel of fisheries experts recently told
take 100 years for them to reach a mil­ the Food and Agricultural Organization
lion and in 200 years there would be only of the United Nations that in the Far
55 million Hutterites. How about the East alone fisheries' take from the
rest of the world?" ocean must go from 14 million tons to
A l l right. The Hutterites have a birth 82 (more than this year's take for the Country Branch:
rate of 45.9 per thousand and a death entire world) by the year 2000. CRANKS HEALTH FOOD
rate of 4.4, for a natural rate of increase
Economist Colin Clark argues that we SHOP & JUICE BAR
of 4.15 per cent per year. According to can support at least 28 billion people
the 1969 World Population Data Sheet serving light health food
(Nature, 181: 1235, 1958). He thinks of vegetarian lunches.
of the Population Reference Bureau, 34 man as a sessile machine into which you
nations have higher birth rates than the shovel a daily allotment of food. But 35 Castle Street, Guildford,
Hutterites. For the entire continent of Surrey
man is a large organism which has a
Africa the rate is 46. Now when the tremendous influence on his environ­ Shop
medical missionaries really get moving ment. Food may never become the limit­ Monday to Saturday
and bring down the high death rates in ing factor on his population. There are 9 a.m. to 5-30 p.m.
many of these nations, they should be many other things such as war, patho­
able to catch up with the growth rate of genic bacteria resistant to antibiotics, Juice Bar
the Hutterites. I n Nigeria there are al­ air pollution and pesticides which could Monday to Saturday
ready 54 million people, about where the do the job even before the food crisis 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Hutterites could be in 200 years. With a arrives.

17
Russian roulette Environmental disruption
in the Soviet Union

by Marshall I . Goldman
Professor of Economics, Wellesley Col­
lege, Wellesley, Mass., and Associate of
the Russian Research Center, Harvard
University

Like the United States, the Soviet The Russians have been slow to deal
Union is a vast country. There are enor­ with air pollution. Of all the factories
mous areas in both countries where acknowledged to be a source of air pollu­
population and industry are sparse and tion, only 14 per cent are fully equipped
where there have been no serious in­ and only 26 per cent partially equipped
Environmental disruption is usually stances of environmental disruption; with purification facilities.
regarded as a function of selfish private there are also regions where the ecologi­
enterprise where the public good and cal balance has been severely affected. Massive fish kills
social costs are ignored. The Labour Most major Soviet cities have an air There are numerous and persistent
Party reflected this view in its election pollution problem. Tiblisi like Los complaints in the Soviet press about
manifesto, which declared that pollu­ Angeles has air inversions and therefore massive fish kills. Hundreds of millions
tion could be prevented only "by a Party smog about half of the year. Leningrad of rubles worth of fish have been killed
which is not the creature of private has 40 per cent less daylight than nearby in the Gulf of Finland, the Caspian Sea
profit" Pavlosk. The level of carbon monoxide and the Volga and Don Rivers. A t Ash-
So it comes as something of a sur­ in several Armenian cities such as Ere­ kabad near the mouth of the Volga, the
prise to learn that environmental disrup­ van exceeds the maximum norms estab­ near destruction of the fish population
tion is as serious a concern in the USSR lished by the Ministry of Health. In threw off the ecological balance. With
as it is in the USA. It is a major problem other cities as well health has been affec­ most of the fish gone, the mosquito pop­
and the Russians are as puzzled as the ted and factories closed. A lead paint ulation grew rapidly and there is now a
rest of us that they should be so affected. factory was shuttered in Krasnogorsk; malaria peril in the area.
Professor Goldman, in this examina­ 300 boilers and a zinc and lacquer fac­ Oil disposal is a particular menace.
tion of the problem, suggests the answers tory were shut down in Cheliabinsk. Because of the quiescence of the Baltic
to the questions the Russians themselves Similar cases have arisen all over the Sea, oil discharge from Latvia and
are asking: "Why in a socialist country country. In Sverdlosk and Magnitogorsk Estonia along with that from other
whose constitution explicitly says the however, there were complaints that non-Soviet areas is not readily dispersed.
public interest may not be ignored with several of the factories remained open Until 1965, the oil refineries at Baku
impunity, are industry executives per­ because the public health authorities had along the Caspian Sea had no treatment
mitted to break the laws protecting yielded to pleadings and pressures from facilities and waste oil was dumped di­
nature?" Soviet Life. And "what is it in factory directors. Shchkino, a major rectly into the water. Nor until recently
our society with its consistent progress chemical complex was erected within was any effort made to prevent oil
in all spheres of life, that interferes with view of Leo Tolstoy's historic country tankers from discharging their ballast
a rapid advance in such an extremely estate at Yasnaya Polyana. The estate overboard. However, harbour treatment
important field as the rational exploita­ with its museum and magnificent forests plants have now been constructed and
tion of nature?" (Academician Inno- is an international tourist attraction. Due it is claimed that 40 per cent of the oil
kenty Gerasimov). to the smoke from the factory however, waste flowing into the Caspian Sea is
some of the forests are dying. cleaned up. Nonetheless, complaints still
18
are made about the ineffectiveness of the been imposed on the mill built at Baik- average of 5 to 16 metres, and in some
new treatment plants. A spectacular alsk which is already in operation. The places, 40 metres of shore have gone.
illustration of how seriously water second mill which is located on the As the sea coast disappears, so have
courses are abused occurred in Sverd- Selenge River, a tributary of Lake buildings such as a sanatorium, fish pro­
losk in 1964, when the oil-covered Islet Baikal, has been ordered to refrain from cessing plants and hospitals. The main
Rie caught fire. production until the purification equip­ rail line from Tuapse to Adler is also
To make matters worse the Soviet ment has been completely installed and on the verge of dropping into the sea.
Union has built a massive system of tested. Yet complaints persist that The Black Sea coast is being destroy­
dams, reservoirs and irrigation canals neither treatment plant has been com­ ed not only by construction too close to
which has led to the diversion of so pletely effective. A drinkable but none­ the shore, but by contractors who freely
large a quantity of water that there is theless tainted mixture is being returned avail themselves of the pebbles and
now serious concern for the future of to the lake. The Limnological Institute sand on the shore for construction in­
the Aral and Caspian Seas. The Caspian of the Soviet Academy of Sciences re­ land. It is estimated that each year they
Sea has dropped 2\ metres over the past ported that the number of animals and remove as much as 120,000 cubic metres
20 years. This has reduced the spawning plants has recently decreased by one of beach material. Natural replenish­
areas for the Caspian Sea sturgeon by half to one third in the zone where the ment of these materials is blocked by the
about one third. The combined effect waste from the Baikalsk Plant is dis­ construction of dams and reservoirs
of the oil and smaller spawning area re­ charged. along the streams feeding into the Black
duced the fish catch in the Caspian from Conservationists argue that the lake Sea. Without the pebbles and sand, there
1,180,400 centners in 1942 to 586,300 will only be protected if no waste at all is little to cushion the immense impact
centners in 1966. The disappearance of from the paper plants is permitted. To­ of the waves as they crash against the
the sturgeon has reduced the output of ward that end, a proposal has been made coast and eat it away.
caviar so drastically that the Russians that a 42 mile long sewage conduit be Recently other examples of resource
are talking about producing artificial built over the mountains to the Irkut abuse have come to light. Kislovodsk,
caviar. Beginning in 1961, the Aral Sea River that flows away from the lake. high in the Caucasus and one of the
also began to disappear and by 1969 So far, this has not been approved, most popular health resorts in the Soviet
it had dropped by 5^ feet. The average primarily because it would take at least Union, has long been noted for its pure
depth of the Sea is 50 feet which means 35 million rubles to build. But even this air. A natural protective barrier around
that at the present rate by the year 2030, would not entirely prevent deterioration the city was denuded recently when it
the Sea will have turned into a salt of the lake's water: operation of the was discovered that the hills above the
marsh. paper plant affects water quality in other city were rich in lime. Eight lime kilns
ways. To supply the paper plants with were built to process the material and
No running water raw material, logs are rafted across the now the city is not only full of smoke
Indicative of the scope of the water lake. It is estimated that 10 per cent of from the kilns, but the mountain barrier
problem in the cities is that in 1960, 62 the logs sink. These sunken logs absorb which blocked the northern blasts of
per cent of all the units in the urban some of the water's oxygen and form a winter has been removed.
housing fund had no running water. covering over the natural bed of the Soviet geographers and ecologists fear
Since 65 per cent of the homes had no lake which disrupts the breeding of that the entire climatic pattern of Siberia
sewage system, there is likely to be con­ the fish. Furthermore, the cutting of the may have been disrupted. The construc­
siderable contamination of the ground timber contributes to an erosion prob­ tion of the impressive network of hydro­
water and well supplies. During the past lem as the removal of trees tends to electric stations, irrigation reservoirs,
decade, the situation has improved but loosen the soil so that the flow of silt to and canals has altered the flow of water
it is likely that the figures are still high in the lake increases. Gregory Galazi direc­ to their traditional water bodies. A t the
the rural areas. Major cities like Vladi­ tor of the Limnological Institute, points same time it has resulted in a significant
mir, Orenburg, Tiumen, Sukhimi and out that it is not just the Lake which is loss of water through evaporation and
Voronezh lacked adequate drinking threatened, but the whole taiga region. seepage into the ground through unlined
water in 1967. Over 65 per cent of the Just a few miles from Lake Baikal is irrigation canals. This has disrupted the
factories in the RSFSR discharge their Mongolia and its Gobi Desert. The trees traditional moisture patterns so that even
sewage without treating it and 60 per hold the desert dunes in check and as rainfall cycles have been changed, while
cent of the cities and suburbs in the the trees are cut for shipment to the there has been widespread salination of
same republic lack even the equipment paper and pulp mill, there is fear that the the soil because seepage from the un­
for testing their water. desert will spread. Already some scien­ lined canals has caused a rise in the
Lake Baikal contains more fresh water tists report there has been an extension water table in what are generally very
than any other lake in the world. It has of the dunes area. dry areas. Moreover, the damming up
almost double the volume of Lake Sup­ of water bodies has had a pronounced
erior and it is five times as deep. It would Disappearing coastline effect on the ground water flow which
take 400 years to refill it compared to As in western countries there has been has been cut off in some instances. There
about 100 years to fill Lake Michigan. abuse in the Soviet Union of other nat­ is fear that this may have consequences
Despite protests that any industrializa­ ural resources. There has been concern that are as yet unknown in areas which
tion near the lake would destroy the over the fate of the Black Sea coast, take their drinking water from wells.
quality of its water, two paper mills were a good portion of which is resort area. There are also fears that this restructur­
built and plans for additional mills have The shoreline is disappearing. From ing of nature may result in the creation
been discussed. Stringent controls have 1956 to 1966, the sea coast shrank by an of new desert areas and a disruption
19
The Caspian Sea, where fish catches are declining partly as a result of the large drop in water level. 150 years ago it was up to
the tower of Baku in the centre of the picture. In 60 years time the sea could be a salt marsh.
of the Arctic Ocean as Russia's north- natural resources. Environmental dis­ preme Soviet of the Ukranian Council of
flowing rivers are diverted to the more ruption results when too many of the re­ Ministers passed a law protecting the
populous South. The reduction of warm sources are taken from their natural republic's natural resources. But deter­
water inflows might also throw off the state and transformed. In the course of ioration of the air and water in most
temperature balance of vast regions. production, some by-products have no regions of the Ukraine has become con­
value and so they are discarded into the siderably worse since that time. The
USSR like USA air or water, or left on the ground as same kind of law exists in Kirgizia but
Just as many of the examples of en­ solids. I n addition the product is also no one has ever enforced it.
vironmental disruption in the USSR likely to be discarded after a time and The problem of law enforcement is
could be duplicated in almost any of our it too is likely to end up by being put hampered because the Soviet Union like
countries, so many of the explanations into the water, air, or discarded as a other nations has not established clear
for it are similar. Like us, the Russians solid. The more production there is, the lines of authority over the different
have had a population explosion, and more there is to discard and as our cities forms of pollution. In the republic of
there has been a marked migration from grow, the more concentrated these drop­ Moldavia for instance, there are seven
the countryside to the city. The urban pings become. Again excessive concen­ different ministers or agencies respon­
population almost doubled from 69 mil­ tration places an undue burden on the sible for the quality of the water and no
lion in 1950 to 134 million in 1969. As digestive powers of nature. The task is one knows who is ultimately in charge.
ecologists point out high population den­ made all the more difficult by technologi­ The temptation to violate the law is
sities lead to a concentration of waste cal innovations in the use of new and enhanced by the fact that the violator
deposits in the form of nitrates and synthetic compounds. Plastics and deter­ faces only his private costs and is not
phosphates which are not easily absorb­ gents which are just appearing in the held responsible for the social costs of
ed by the land. Soviet Union are not easily decomposed, his action. Some economists assumed
Malthus worried about the popula­ reprocessed or recycled. this would not happen in a socialist
tion growing faster than the output of economy but that each government fac­
food. When population exceeded food Inadequate legislation tory would include in its price an
supply, population growth would be Although the hazards of environ­ amount equal to the social costs for
checked. A more appropriate concern is mental disruption are recognized and which it is responsible. While the Rus­
not the relatively slower growth of food laws are passed to preserve or protect sian accounting system of Khozraschet
production but the inadequacy of our natural resources, the laws are often vio­ does involve charging for the cost of fac­
air and water. Food supplies can be in­ lated. This happens in the USSR as well tors involved directly in consumption,
creased—water and air supplies are as elsewhere. A t Lake Baikal 50 ruble the Russians have been no more success­
fixed. Unfortunately these fixed re­ fines were imposed for infractions of the ful than the rest of us in making explicit
sources have to be spread thin not only law by the paper plants. The law was the social costs arising from an enter­
because the population is growing but violated because the penalties imposed prise's activities and including them in
because each person in that population were not nearly enough of a deterrent the cost of production. Like most of us
consumes a larger amount of air and to the paper plants. I t was much cheaper the Russians feel that air and water are
water each year as industrialization to pay the fine than improve the mach­ free goods and therefore there is a reluc­
grows. inery or close down the whole operation. tance to attach any value' or charge for
Basic to the whole process of indus­ I n other instances, the law is not en­ them. This would appear to be an especi­
trialization is the transformation of forced. For example, in 1960, the Su- ally inappropriate step in a socialist
20
Lake Baikal—the deepest lake in the Wo, I. It contains more fresh water than any otl ler lake, though this is now being seriously
contaminated by paper plant operations.
country. Even if they wanted to of sole owner of all the country's produc­ 1960's. Another is the effort to triple the
course, the Russians would find it hard tive resources, it is ill-equiped as an im­ output of automobiles by 1971. I n eco­
to measure the consumption and dis­ partial referee between industry and the nomic shifts of this nature, it is impos­
charge of the air and water by a particu­ citizen consumer. Since the state is the sible to anticipate the effects on the
lar user. This is something that almost manufacturer, there is an identity of existing ecological balance.. For ex­
everyone in the world has trouble doing. interests between factory managers and ample, there are some Russians who
So air and water are generally treated as local government officials. Traditionally, have perceived the dangers to air quality
free or undervalued goods. Inevitably the most applauded government official in the rapid increase in the number of
this leads to misallocation. A n example is the one who facilitates the most rapid automobiles on Russian streets. But
is the overuse of water in irrigation. A t growth in the region under his jurisdic­ though the increased production of
best the Russians make a minor charge tion. The prime question is, how much automobiles is scheduled for this year,
for the water and very often it is free. has production increased in your region, only recently has there been talk of the
It is estimated that this leads to a 25 per not how much cleaner are your rivers need for automobile exhaust controls.
cent overuse of water. this year. And nothing is apparently being done
There is pressure to exploit natural re­ towards the production of such devices.
Seven unique factors sources to the utmost. For Goslan and Although the Russians are experi­
I f environmental disruption and other government organizations which menting with more flexible and decen­
some of its causes are no different in are striving to increase their output tralised forms of managerial initiative
the USSR than in the other developed quickly the virgin timber on the shores and plant operation, tight controls con­
countries, it is possible to identify at of Lake Baikal is a great temptation. tinue to be exercised from Moscow. This
least seven factors unique to an econo­ At one time many of the capitalist commitment to centralised control to­
mic system like that of the Soviet Union. countries were under the same kind of gether with the fact that supervision
Industrialisation has come only re­ pressure. Now as more people have be­ must be conducted over such a large
cently to the Soviet Union. Even though come aware of the issues private indus­ country tends to make the Russians
the USSR produces the world's second trial interests are frequently offset by insist on uniformity. The effect is often
largest gross national product, there are diversified and often anti-industrial in­ that no provision is made for the
some economists who feel the Soviet terests. No governor or prime minister peculiarities of local conditions. Thus
Union has a long way to go before it is wants economic depression in his area, one writer complains that the standard­
industrially on a par with Western but to the extent that he has to appeal to ized rock wool manufacturing plant may
Europe, Japan and North America. In the voting power of conservation- be perfectly suitable for most of the
their desire to catch up the Russians minded groups, he is more likely to serve country, but not for Moscow. Nonethe­
place a heavy premium on continued in­ as an impartial mediator. less the Izolit Rock Wool Plant with
vestment for future growth, so they are standard equipment was built in Mos­
usually reluctant to divert funds from Massive lurches cow and disbursed phenols in the air
productive to non-productive uses. Un­ Because of the centrally controlled throughout the neighbourhood.
fortunately, expenditures on pollution nature of economic growth in the Soviet This restraint on local initiative has
control tend to be regarded as non-pro­ Union, Soviet economic activity often also hindered the establishment of pollu­
ductive. "Conserve" seems to stand in lurches suddenly and massively in new tion control industries. Such gaps often
opposition to "produce". directions. Such was the decision to ex­ exist in the Soviet system. The central
Since the Soviet government is the pand chemical production in the early planners and allocators of capital simply
21
have not yet decided such plants are Siberia, has led to a radical change in
needed. When a decision is made the the moisture cycle. New areas of eva­
operation may be a large scale one with poration have been set up as dams and
several plants being constructed at once. reservoirs are built while old evapora­
In the meantime however a good deal tion basins are reduced by the diversion
of irreparable damage may have been of inflowing streams. This has resulted
done. It is very difficult for a Russian in a disruption of the entire moisture
factory enterprise to innovate and an­ circulation pattern in Central Asia and
ticipate future needs by itself. I n other Siberia. New dust bowls are being
economic systems, private entrepre­ created and the entire climatic pattern
neurs or corporate entities with access may be affected.
to their own sources of capital often Another peculiarity of the Soviet
seek to anticipate needs. If they predict system is that until July 1st, 1967, all raw
correctly, they profit; if they are wrong materials in the ground were treated as
they risk the loss of their capital. But free goods. This was largely a by-pro­
this ability to take risks and the exis­ duct of the theory that land had no value.
tence of private and decentralised In addition, private ownership of natural
sources of capital facilitates the process resources was prohibited. This meant
of innovation. to the mine operator that all mine sites
The Russians recognise that their sys­ were free. Whenever the mine operator
tem does not provide for such forms of had finished extracting the richest ore on
Lake Ritsa, Georgia.
innovation. They now regard this as a the site, he was prepared to move on if
handicap and for that reason, one of he could find another site where he could who would tear up the beach and use the
their current goals is to decentralise extract more material at a lower cost. sand and pebbles for construction pur­
initiative. So mine operators did not care much poses. The absence of private property
Not only do the Russians lack fac­ about intensive exploitation of their and a failure to make such a calculation
tories devoted to the production of mine deposits and K. E. Gabyshev states seems to be the major explanation for
pollution control devices there is even a that some mines and oil wells in the the erosion of the Black Sea coast.
shortage of specialists in pollution. USSR had only a 50 per cent recovery
Many factory managers have nowhere to rate. A result of these processes was that Advantages
turn for advice when they are ordered large quantities of salvageable materials What then are the advantages of the
to improve the quality or reduce the were often discarded, increasing the Soviet system from the point of view of
quantity of their effluent. Moreover in amount of waste to be disposed of. environmental destruction? The un­
the absence of specialised production In partial recognition of the distor­ balanced nature of Soviet growth in
facilities, anything that is produced is tions generated by the refusal to acknow­ some respects retards the production of
usually built on a custom basis by a firm ledge the value of unmined minerals, goods for the consumer. This may result
specialising in something else. This often the Russians introduced rent charges as in less environmental disruption. I f
results in inefficient equipment and dup­ of July 1967. It is not entirely clear how fewer synthetic or exotic compounds
lication of effort. these rent fees will be applied. Obviously are developed, there are likely to be
A well-intentioned programme may it is intended that miners and drillers fewer noxious by-products. For many
create unanticipated by-products which will work their raw material deposits years the Russians were criticised be­
have disastrous consequences for the more intensively so there will be less cause of their failure to provide high-
environment, e.g. the use of DDT de­ waste. However it is possible that unless test ethyl gasoline for use in their
stroying fish and bird life. This is a the charges are properly scaled, rental automobiles. Today Moscow is the only
hazard which confronts all societies, but charges on mining land may actually major city in the world where the cars
when the state gathers all the economic accelerate rather than retard mine do not pollute the air with ethyl-lead.
power in its hands, the likelihood of a abandonment. (The question remains however as to
major disruption is greater. Some Soviet Strangely enough, there are some in­ how much this was a case of foresight
scientists fear that a fundamental dis­ stances where an absence of private pro­ and how much a lucky accident.) Simi­
equilibrium in the climatic balance of perty may actually lead to environmental larly, for a long time, one of the reasons
Siberia has already been set off. This is disruption that a system of private pro­ given for the decision not to produce
not to say that similar situations could perty might prevent. This happens when more automobiles was the desire to
not occur in nations with private enter­ a private property holder calculates that avoid the increase of air pollution.
prise but the more diverse the economic his private benefit from converting the To the extent that the Russians have
interests and power, the harder it is to land to some new destructive use is not de-emphasised the production of con­
organise a massive reconstruction of greater than the private cost he would sumer goods, there is less waste to dis­
nature. A n exception was the Tennessee bear from yielding the land. For ex­ card; they do not have to contend for
Valley Authority project in the United ample, a resort owner or a landowner one thing with disposable bottles. The
States but such an undertaking would might feel that he would prefer to keep cheaper cost of labour in relation to pro­
probably be much more difficult to his beach as a swimming area for himself ducts helps to explain why there are few
arrange in a non-depression period. or even preserve it for future sale at a empty bottles lying around Russian
As a case in point, the diversion and much higher price to a large resort streets. Bottles are in short supply and
redirection of rivers in Central Asia and owner rather than sell it to a contractor their deposit value is high. Therefore
22
it pays to devote labour to picking up individual landlords are not compelled
and sorting a valuable commodity. to participate in the system. Conse­
Cheap labour also explains why so many quently some of the advantages are lost.
societies including the Soviet Union can Normally a TETs type system makes
handle their sanitation problems despite possible a hotter fire, better smoke con­ P e r s i s t e n t Pesticides
the absence of sewer systems. The cost trol equipment and therefore a more in t h e Environment
of collecting night soil is offset by the efficient form of combustion and less air
Clive A. Edwards
value it has as a fertilizer. pollution.
The persistence, sources, fate and
The junk business in the Soviet Union Occasionally there are drawbacks to possible control of pesticides are care­
such a system. Russian engineers have fully reviewed and critically evaluated.
is still a vital industry. I n the USA where Amounts of pesticides in soil, freshwater,
the price paid for waste paper, metal, had difficulty providing for the varying seawater, soil and aquatic invertebrates,
heat needs of different buildings and plants, fish, birds, other vertebrates,
oil or used clothing has trouble keeping human foods and human beings are sum­
up with the rise in the price of unskilled rooms in TETs operations. It also hap­ marised. Ways in which the amounts of
the residues can be decreased are
labour, it has become unprofitable to pens that sometimes the gains derived thoroughly investigated.
collect certain kinds of scrap. This dis­ from concentrating the combustion in
0 408 70095 5 82 pages illustrated 1970
rupts the recycling which most ecolo- one large furnace and boiler are offset
£5.00 (100s)
gists view as essential. In most American by the need to send steam and hot water
cities, the owner must pay the junk man long distances. There is a tradeoff point
to haul away an old car. I n 1969, over where the loss of heat necessitates so
50,000 cars were abandoned on the much extra combustion that the effluent Physical a n d g
streets of New York City. Because of is actually increased.
Engineering A s p e c t s •
the reversed values in the USSR, no one The enormous power of the state in
would dream of abandoning a car. It the USSR can also be an advantage. of Thermal Pollution •
would be repaired or at least reused as When a law is passed it can be very Frank L. Parker and •
a set of spare parts. effective. Moreover the state can simply Peter A. Krenkel *
decree the establishment of a natural Edited by $
Social costs preserve. In other countries with private Richard G. Bond MS, MPH 9
A traditional criticism of the Soviet property, this can be an expensive and
time-consuming process. It is necessary
and Conrad P. Straub PhD. •
price system is that it frequently bears
In this book there are 29 tables and graphs £
no relation to scarcity values or market to overcome numerous court suits and and diagrams which deal with up-to-date f
clearing prices. While this creates other compensate private property holders. information on the effects of heated dis- A
charges and cost comparisons. Major £
difficulties, some day it could be used to If study of the USSR demonstrates sources of thermal pollution, including f
advantage in contending with environ­ anything, it is that not private enterprise central electric generating stations are f
discussed in detail. g
mental disruption. Just as Russian but industrialisation is the primary
prices in the past have not reflected 0 408 70143 9 100 pages illustrated 1970 J
cause of environmental disruption. The
land and capital costs, so future Russian question remains, can we have indus­
£5.00 (100s) «

pricing officials might decide that all trialisation without environmental dis­
Russian products henceforth will include ruption? Since the answer seems to be
some specified markup reflecting social no, it should come as no surprise that C o m m u n i t y Medicine 3
costs. It would still be hard to deter­ despite the differences in the economic Teaching: Research S
mine what social costs are attributable systems, the problems of environmental
to which products, but implementation disruption in the USSR are no simpler a n d H e a l t h Care *
of this decision should be easier to carry than in the USA. It is with some disap­ Edited by $
out in the USSR than in other countries. pointment that an American reads M . Willoughby Lathem MD J
Because government agencies own the Loiter who implies that the Russians and Anne Newbery •
utilities as well as most of the buildings, should adopt American methods to solve Here is a systematic and thorough f
it is relatively easy for the Russians to the Russian problems. examination of the problems and poten- £
tials of community medicine as seen f
avail themselves of certain economies of Currently the proposals for the solu­ through the eyes of 22 international m
scale in dealing with environmental dis­ tion of environmental disruption in the authorities. Attention is focused on the f
characteristics, general trends and £
ruption. For example the Russians make USSR seem to be no more advanced changes in medical education required f
extensive use of a system of centrally than they are in the USA. One thing by this innovative approach to health f
care. A
supplied heat. In densely populated does seem clear however and that is
urban areas, this eliminates the need for 0 407 90002 0 334 pages illustrated 1970 X
unless the Russians change their ways,
each building to have its own furnace and there seems little reason to believe at £4.30 (86s) 0
hot water heater. In most large Russian this point that a strong centralised and
cities, heat and hot water are supplied to planned economy has any notable ad­
Available from leading booksellers or O
an entire neighbourhood by the Telovaia vantages over any other economic
Elektrot-sentral' or TETs. Fifty per cent system in solving its environmental
of all heat consumption is provided cen­ disruption.
The B u t t e r w o r t h •
trally in the USSR and 65 per cent of Group •
Acknowledgement
this central heat is supplied by a net­ The author is grateful to Leonard Kirsch of the University of 88 Kingsway London WC2B 6AB %
work of TETs stations. Similar systems Massachusetts, Boston, for his many suggestions and to
Elena Vorobey of the Library of the Russian Research Cen­
exist in most large American cities, but ter for her valuable bibliographical help.
23
Barley showed a similar increase, that of most countries. By providing

Spanner from 17.8 to 27.4 cwt. Oats went up


from 16.3 to 25.4 cwt, potatoes from
7.1 to 9.8 cwt, and sugar beet from 10.5
just over 50 per cent by value of our
total food requirements it has been a
major factor in saving us from national
to 15.1 cwt. bankruptcy.

in the soil Cattle and calves increased from


9,629,000 in 1946 to 12,374,000 in 1969.
Pig numbers soared from 1,955,000 to
But grim, forbidding signs have
appeared in this picture of progress.
Efficiency is more than a matter of in­
7,078,000. Sheep and lambs went up creased yields. The economists, tech­
Why it is time to give up industry from 20,358,000 to 26,604,000 and poul­ nologists and chemists have been leav­
for good husbandry try from 67,117,000 to 127,220,000. ing nature out of account and nature is
As with crops, yields of milk and eggs retaliating. The pressures exerted upon
by L . B. Powell showed big increases. The average yield farming since the 1947 Act have taken
of dairy cows rose from 544 to 815 gal­ toll of the most basic resource of all—
lons while new hybrid breeds of hens the soil. Much of Britain's farmland is
meant a rise in the average number of now debilitated to a serious degree. It
British farming has been made in­ eggs per hen from 108 to 211. is becoming worn out.
credibly productive through mechaniza­ These figures are the more striking in
tion and the massive application of view of the decline in manpower and Deep misgiving
chemicals. But this increased efficiency loss of farmland. The total labour force Yields have begun to decline, in some
has been bought at a high price, and was 976,000 in 1946. It was more than cases very substantially. Crop diseases
now we are faced with evidence that the halved by 1969. There are various esti­ and the ravages of pests have increased.
soil we depend on for half our food can­ mates of the rate at which farmland is Among farmers of the older generation,
not survive for much longer this inten­ taken for urban development, but the familiar with the traditional practices
sive attention from the agro-industries. figure most quoted is 50,000 acres a of good husbandry, there has long been
By cutting back profit margins in year, which means that in eight years an deep misgiving, a realization that sooner
order to compel farmers to increase their area the size of Nottinghamshire goes or later the techniques of high pressure
output, successive governments have en­ out of farming use. Professor Ellison, farming would have to be called into
couraged agriculture to realize on its who produced an official paper for the question.
capital—the acquired fertility of the Department of Education and Science That time has come. Warnings that it
land, built up by centuries of wise hus­ on the multiple use of land, concluded was at hand have multiplied in recent
bandry. It is as if the soil were being that a further 50,000 acres per year were years. In a paper given to the Farmers'
mined—and lest the proponents of in­ being taken for other non-agricultural Club in 1967, M r H. R. Fell drew atten­
dustrial farming remain intoxicated uses, such as forestry, reservoirs, etc. tion to the deterioration in husbandry
by their short-term achievements—it Draught power on the land shows standards and the effects it was having
should be remembered that mining al­ dramatic changes. I n 1946 there were on the soil. In 1969, prompted by dis­
ways ends in abandonment 436.000 farm horses at work. By 1960 quieting reports from various parts of
the number was down to 46,000 and the country, the National Farmers'
for the years since no figures are avail­ Union of England and Wales set up a
The postwar record of productivity in able. The war boosted the number of committee to probe those problems of
British agriculture betters that of most tractors to 180,000 but in 1969 there soil structure and texture that were
other industries. During the last two were 420,000, nearly one for every farm most alarming
decades the increase in overall produc­ worker. A l l other kinds of machinery With an organization reaching down
tion has been estimated at no less than and equipment showed big increases. to every parish where farming is carried
35 per cent. In 1945, the year before the on, the N F U is uniquely fitted to in­
Agriculture Act which heralded the An imposing record vestigate matters of this kind, and it
"great leap forward'*, the average yield Looked at quantitatively, it is an im­ soon became evident that trouble was
of wheat in the U K was 19.1 cwt per posing record, justifying the claim that widespread. During the autumn of 1968
acre. By 1968/9 it had risen to 28.2 in terms of output per man and per acre and the spring of 1969 exceptionally
cwt. British agriculture is more efficient than bad weather over much of the country
brought into greater prominence the ad­ emphasized the wide ranging extent of Emrys Jones, director of the new Agri­
verse effects modern farming practices soil deterioration. "There is no doubt," cultural Advisory and Development
were having on the soil and the ability it said, "that real problems exist in most Service, has described as "the agro-
of water to drain through surface layers. parts of the country, and that these are chemical" era in British agriculture,
considered as arising from the systems when the traditional practice of return­
Urgent inquiry of cropping and cultivation which have ing farmyard manure to the land gave
In December 1969, M r Cledwyn been practised." And the Union way to widespread use of artificial fer­
Hughes, then Minister of Agriculture, went to the root of the matter when it tilizers, accompanied by extensive use
called upon the Agricultural Advisory observed: "Farming practice and soil of new herbicides and pesticides, the
Council to undertake an inquiry into husbandry are determined, to an in­ toxic effects of some of which persist
soil fertility and soil structure as a mat­ creasing extent, by current financial con­ for many months in the soil.
ter of urgency, and a group of special­ siderations, and full recognition must be Ease of handling, plus the fact that
ists, headed by M r Nigel Strutt, was given both to the economic causes of the these fertilizers carried a subsidy, stim­
appointed for the purpose. present situation and to the changes that ulated their adoption in the early days.
The group's terms of reference were: must be made to correct it." Another phase in the farming revolution
"To advise whether, and if so, the extent which was to have serious consequences
to which, present practices are having Loss of humus in soil management came with the de­
adverse effects on soil fertility and soil It is understood that the survey velopment of intensive systems of live­
structure; whether it considers the Nat­ showed a serious decline in the organic stock keeping—factory farming, so
ional Agricultural Advisory Service has content of soil in many areas, to some­ called—which meant vast accumulations
all the information necessary to advise times as low as 3 per cent. This means of farmyard manure and other wastes on
on methods of preventing any such dam­ a drastic loss of that essential soil con­ farms which do not have enough land
age or remedying it after it has taken stituent, humus, and of trace elements for muck-spreading.
place; and whether any further steps are that are just as necessary for healthy Another pronounced feature of the
necessary to get this advice across to plant growth as are nitrogen, potassium agro-chemical phase has been the ap­
farmers." and phosphorus. plication of continually higher rates of
The survey was not confined to areas Humus, to quote the late Sir Albert nitrogen per acre in spring and early
where signs of deterioration were most Howard, is "a complex residue of partly autumn, necessitating the use of heavy
clearly to be seen. Soil profiles were oxidized vegetable and animal matter machinery. This has been accompanied
taken throughout the country and evi­ together with the substances synthesized by heavier stocking, always in the hope
dence was submitted by many individual by fungi and bacteria which break down of reducing unit costs of production and
farmers and various organizations. Giv­ these wastes." He went on: "This meeting the challenge of poor returns.
ing evidence for the Soil Association, humus also helps to provide the cement Emrys Jones has described the most
Douglas Campbell, the Association's re­ which enables the minute soil particles extreme example of intensive stocking
search farm director, helped to keep the to aggregate into larger compound he saw, on a farm in Montgomeryshire,
inquiry down to earth by emptying a particles and so maintain the pore space. where 75 cows were being kept on a
bag of soil from Haughley's organic sec­ If soil is deficient in humus, the volume 36-acre holding of heavily fertilized
tion onto the table during one session, of pore soil is reduced; the aeration of grass. The fields, he said, were literally
declaring: "This is what it's all about." the soil is impeded; there is insufficient disintegrating, the cows were pulling the
The upshot has been a report which, organic matter for the soil population; soil away in lumps as big as pancakes.
scheduled for September/October, has the machinery of the soil runs down; the The great increase in barley produc­
been postponed to November, then supply of oxygen, water, and dissolved tion which we noted above has largely
January, and now . . . ? Advance infor­ salts needed by the root hairs is reduced; been achieved at the expense of grass,
mation indicates that this is a lengthy the synthesis of carbohydrates and pro­ the best conserver of soil structure and
and factual document, confirming the teins in the green leaf proceeds at a texture. On this the N F U evidence was
widespread fears that have been ex­ lower tempo; and growth is affected." illuminating. Between 1960 and 1967
pressed, identifying and analysing there was a reduction of 350,000 acres
causes, and proposing remedies. Pre­ The agro-chemical era of permanent grassland, and in the same
sumably some of them are unpalatable. The beginnings of this deficiency in period there was an even greater re­
The evidence submitted by the N F U organic matter go back to what M r duction in temporary grass, or leys,

25
amounting to some 570,000 acres. Along tions, on land where intensive livestock owing to shortage of labour, and many
with this reversion from grass the old systems are practised. counties have reported that the general
and well proven practice of fallowing On this aspect the NFU stresses again condition of drainage systems leaves a
was abandoned and now occurs on very the effect of economic pressures, point­ lot to be desired."
few farms. ing out that cultivations have become an Will the Soil Structure report induce
urgent task that must often be under­ the Government to finance a massive
Go back to grass taken in unfavourable weather. "Far­ new drainage campaign? I t could be
The need for a substantial return to mers are unhappy," says the Union, done for a fraction of the expenditure
grass is one indication of the survey, but, "that they can no longer restrict land on Concorde and would be an invest­
as Emrys Jones has pointed out, this work to ideal conditions, so that time­ ment to ensure that the national larder
will not be easy on the clay soils of the liness in cultivations is now an ideal will be kept well filled.
Midlands, which he describes as having rather than a practice. The evidence we Will the cost-prize squeeze which has
been thrashed and pounded by heavy have received stresses that these factors pressed heavily on agriculture for so
machinery year after year; and there will
form the major cause in the formation long be eased enough to encourage a
be the financial problem of re-institut­
of unrecognized soil pans and the final return to good husbandry? Will it be
ing herds and flocks in place of corn,
breakdown of the structure." national policy to plant great num­
potatoes and other arable crops. I t is
Earlier this year M r Jones expressed bers of trees as shelter belts and to re­
foreseeable also that there will have to
be a large-scale revival of planting trees the view that a massive new drainage store hedgerows of which many
as shelter belts, and the restoration of campaign would be needed if the desired hundreds of miles a year have been
hedgerows—not least in East Anglia rate of agricultural expansion is to be destroyed? Will there be also another
where the blowing of fenland soils long achieved. The evidence of the NFU sub­ massive new campaign to advance the
ago gave warning of nature's retaliation stantiated this, pointing out that the rate municipal composting of town wastes
for the removal of natural cover. of installing drains had not kept pace which could provide vast quantities of
The weight of machinery used on the with the need to replace existing sys­ organic matter for farms, market gar­
land has of course increased enor­ tems. "Many old drainage systems are dens and orchards?
mously, and ironically the ill-effects of now past their useful life," it was stated, The report is a challenge to the
this are seen where large slurry tanks "and comprehensive redraining is neces­ Government to get its priorities right.
have to be used, in unsuitable condi­ sary. Maintenance has not been kept up When will it be published?

WITHOUT
PROTECT HARMING
From the author of 'African WITH WILD
Genesis' a n d ' T h e T e r r i t o r i a l I m p e r a t i v e ' BIRDS
comes a third controversial volume A n i m a l and Bird R e p e l l e n t s
AND
cleared by M.A.F.F. ANIMALS
PROTECT A L L PLANT

THE SOCIAL CONTRACT L I F E F R O M DAMAGE


m% BY BIRDS STOP
fttigftg & ANIMALS THESE

Robert Ardrey Brassicae


Pulses
VICES IN
ANIMALS
A Personal Enquiry into the Evolutionary PIGS from fighting
Cereals and tail biting
Sources of Order and Disorder
Seeds
POULTRY from
Vegetables featherpecking and
Flowers cannibalism
Shrubs CALVES from teat
& Trees and navel sucking
are all subject to HORSES from
damage from wild chewing manes,
life. woodwork and tack

CURB is usually DOGS & CATS


effective against from chewing,
pigeons, rooks, game scratching and
'Stunning. I believe it is the most important book birds, sparrows, fouling
to be published this year. I urge and beg you to starlings, bullfinches,
CURB is non-
read it' GRAHAM LORD, SUNDAY EXPRESS rabbits, deer, hares,
odorous, non-
rats and mice.
staining and effective.
CURB is cleared
'I believe that Robert Ardrey's three books are the for toxicity and
Cleared for toxicity
and phytotoxicity.
most important to be written since the war, and phytotoxicity.
arguably the most important books of the 20th CURB is long PUFFER PACKS,
lasting, safe, easy AEROSOLS and
century' ANTONYJAY 50S to apply. POWDER.
Full details from the manufacturers
COLLINS SPHERE LABORATORIES (LONDON) L T D .
Turban House, 36 Botolph Lane, E.C.3 Tel.: 01-626 6491

26
begin to increase uncontrolled by their of Law. Today we are exporting our

Reports natural predators wherever the adver­


tisement is read. It is also recommended
as a seed treatment, though it is about
refuse chlorine and crude oil refinery
wastes yet these are of as little perman­
ent value in terms of a world that is one
From gin to aldrin 100 times as toxic to pheasants and re­ world, because it shares one atmosphere
In the March number of Ceres, the lated birds as DDT. and seven interconnected seas, as the
FAO periodical, there was an adver­ Finally, can tropical countries like gin and gunpowder of our ancestors.
tisement for aldrin, which is reproduced Africa and India, where there are no Lawrence D. Hills
on this page. This is an organo-naptha- restrictions on the use of aldrin, really
lene compound, a group which is among afford to poison their bird 3 and wild Smokeless hocuspocus
the most violently poisonous of all the life with what even Britain has banned? Britain's entry into 1970 European Con­
organo-chlorine pesticides and includes To quote "The Further Review of Per­ servation Year has been something of a
aldrin, dieldrin and endrin. Dieldrin is sistent Organo-Chlorine Pesticides in back-door affair. After a few months
about five times as toxic as DDT but Great Britain": "Thus in tropical coun­ of what was taken to be traditional
40 times more so when absorbed tries where food production is vital and British reserve came the first glorious
through the skin; when it was sub­ statement. The government, in the shape
stituted for DDT against resistant of Lord Robens, chairman of the
National Coal Board, announced that
malaria mosquitoes it had to be with­
drawn because of attacks of convulsions
Aldrin the smokeless fuel situation, which dates
among the sprayworkers that could last back to the winter of 1969, when 16
makes the earth a healthy place
four months. Aldrin becomes dieldrin for crops to grow in local authorities were forced to suspend
in the soil, so it appears to break down, smoke control orders because supplies
but in fact has become something worse. had run out, could not be put right in
time for the coming winter. Lord
Aldrin itself, banned completely in
Robens suggested that no further smoke
Sweden and West Germany, is extremely
control areas should be brought into
toxic, attacking the liver and kidneys.
operation until the problem had been
It persists up to four years in the soil,
resolved.
but far longer as dieldrin. It was re­
sponsible for the widespread slaughter The causes of the smokeless fuel crisis
of birds in Michigan in 1959 when it was are obscure. I f tempted to look further
sprayed from the air against the Jap­ than the popular "breakdown in com­
anese beetle. In 1964 it was recom­ munications" theory, one soon gets lost
mended (the Ministry of Agriculture in a maze of bureaucratic buck-passing.
"recommends", it does not ban, except The NCB blame the gas industry for
in extreme cases) that it should no going over to natural gas too quickly
longer be used in fertilizer mixtures. and allowing their coal-gas works, which
What is striking about the advertise­ produced coke as an important by­
ment is the care of its wording. " I t is there is a high incidence of mortality product, to run down. The gas industry
harmless to beneficial micro-organisms from insect-borne disease, the hazards blame the Coal Board for not making
to wild life and the presence of minute provision for their switch to natural gas,
in the soil." Aldrin inhibits the action of
residues in human fat may rightly be re­ although it had been announced several
the nitrogen fixing nodules of legumes,
garded as relatively unimportant." If years previously. The government blame
but these are not in the soil. They are on
your child will starve, die of tick fever, the Socialists for allowing the situation
the roots. In Britain aldrin is no longer
bilharzia or malaria unless you use the to develop and the Socialists . . . presum­
used against carrot and cabbage root
persistent pesticides, before he is ten, ably are holding their fire for when the
flies, because it produces a swift increase
why worry about the risk of tumours, crisis deepens.
of resistant strains of the pests attacked.
leukemia, or less easily identifiable The present situation is already deep
It kills the ground and rove beetles that
complaints in his forties and fifties? enough. A total of 92 new smokeless
normally destroy up to 80 per cent of
the pupae in the winter, and leaves the Why not, however, grow tobacco for zones have been postponed until after
surviving flies to flourish. These crea­ nicotine, pyrethrum, derris and other April; the London boroughs have re­
actual and potential pesticides that have ceived a 40 per cent suspension of smoke
tures, like the predators that fill the same
no risk of the Nemesis of resistant control orders (at the time of writing
ecological niche in tropical countries,
strains, which are worse than before, in­ two boroughs have already had their
are not ra/cro-organisms, but insects, so
creasing without the predators we have orders lifted); supply of smokeless fuels
the advertisement is telling the truth.
killed, and of the birds that are gone for is falling behind demand by about
In Britain it has produced resistant ever? Grown and used by do-it-yourself 400,000 tons. And the worst may be yet
strains of cabbage root fly in Oxford­ methods they would not be more costly, to come. Bad weather early next year,
shire, Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, and biological pest control could be still smog, a miners' strike, a shortage of
Warwickshire, Kent and Bedfordshire, cheaper. We need to export skilled en­ ordinary coal could each and all make
and carrot flies in Norfolk, Cambridge­ tomologists and ecologists, both British this a memorably unpleasant winter.
shire and Lincolnshire. It is only a mat­ and trained overseas students—for the There is, however, another side to the
ter of time before resistant mole- need of all the underdeveloped countries story of smokeless fuels which is likely
cruckets, cutworms and other soil pests is for more biologists and fewer Doctors to be neglected during the present crisis.
27
taking photographs, writing letters, even wash-out. The NCB do not seem over-

Reports
It concerns the people who live in the
trying to force the Welsh Office to set up
a public inquiry (though this was neatly
side-stepped by the NCB).
In the last year or so the Committee's
concerned, but then why should they
be? After all the Disticoke batteries do
produce large quantities of first rate
phurnacite. As for pollution, the NCB
areas where smokeless fuels are made efforts have at least been rewarded by claim with pride that they have spent
and who pay the price for our enjoy­ signs that the people of Mountain Ash more than £^ million on anti-pollution
ment of air without smoke. are beginning to shake off their apathy measures. What they omit to say is that
The town of Mountain Ash squats for­ and react positively against the filthy this amount has been staggered over a
lorn in the Aberdare valley set between conditions created by the plant. The 20 year period. In fact the Coal Board
hills like miners' knees. The surface of valley doctors have written to the Aber- appear never to have taken the Balfour
the earth is broken and bleeds dust from dare Leader, the local newspaper, ex­ process very seriously, as is borne out
its open wounds. The grass is black with pressing concern at the dangers to health only too clearly by the new Disticoke
coal-dirt and the people all smell of arising from the dust and fumes and oven nearing completion, and by con­
soap. A shroud of yellowish smoke stating that bronchitis had increased in tracts that have been made for a further
hangs over the town: sulphurous fumes the area in recent years. The staff of the three Disticoke batteries. These could
fill your nostrils and permeate the atmo­ local Comprehensive School, situated in increase pollution of the Aberdare valley
sphere. Both smoke and smell, and the the shadow of the plant, have set up by as much as 50 per cent.
dirt too, come from the Aberaman Phur- monitoring systems for measuring the
nacite Plant a mile or so farther up the amount of solid particles deposited in
valley. The hillside across from the plant the atmosphere. And now the house­
is covered in dead and dying vegetation. wives are up in arms and ready to fight
It looks like a filmset for a science fiction to the last. As one of them put i t :
horror movie. "When you can't put a baby outside in
Phurnacite and most solid smokeless a pram for more than an hour without
fuels are made by heating ordinary coal its face getting covered in black smuts,
so as to drive off the tar and smoke- I don't see how anybody can remain
producing constituents, leaving behind apathetic."
carbon and ash. But this process does But although people are coming to­
not get rid of sulphur dioxide, oxides gether at last to combat the pollution,
and sulphides of metallic radicals and no one wants to see the plant closed Aberaman Phurnacite Plant
other effluents. These escape into the down. The old fear of unemployment
atmosphere when the smokeless fuel is is still very real. The plant provides
burned in your grate. So much for clean about 800 jobs itself and many more in One aspect of the problem which the
air. Of the effluent which is extracted in the five collieries serving it with coal, inhabitants of Mountain Ash find par­
the process of making coke, a consider­ most of which would have to close down ticularly galling, is the persistent
able amount escapes into the atmo­ if the plant were to go. As it is one rumour, circulated by the men who actu­
sphere direct from the smokeless fuel colliery is only being kept open because ally operate the ovens, that the pollution
plants themselves. The people and other of the smokeless fuel crisis. But even­ is largely avoidable given correct work­
life in the vicinity of these plants are tually the pits will close and the phur­ ing of the plant. The NCB of course
subjected to this pollution. I f you some­ nacite plant will have to import its coal flatly deny it. However, I was told by
times wonder where the smoke from from farther afield. In the meantime new Mr Williams, secretary of the Aber­
smokeless fuel goes to, ask them—they industries are staying away from the cwmboi Clean Air Committee, that be­
know. valley because of the pollution. cause of the national shortage of smoke­
The plant at Aberaman went into The NCB have met the barrage of less fuel a circular had recently gone
operation 28 years ago and in 1947 was complaints and questions over their round at managerial level which stated
taken over by the National Coal Board. plant with equanimity and polished an­ that nothing must be allowed to inter­
The NCB have since made several ex­ swers. They recognize with requisite fere with the smooth running of the
tensions to the plant, which now pro­ grace that all is not as it should be. The plant. Production must go on at all
duces over 800,000 tons of smokeless trouble, they say, is being caused by costs. When I took the matter up with
fuel a year with a projected 930,000 tons worn-out equipment which is gradually an official at the plant he denied cate­
for 1971/72. Pollution has always been being replaced. They also admit that the gorically that such a document had ever
severe, but during the last seven years Disticoke process, always used at the existed.
the situation has steadily deteriorated as plant, although economic is not particu­ At night the pollution from the plant
the plant has expanded. larly clean. For this reason they set up is worse. The smell of sulphur is stron­
In 1963, however, one or two deter­ an experimental plant on the site using ger and the fall-out of dirt, heavier.
mined valley dwellers came together the cleaner Balfour process, which was Nobody in Mountain Ash leaves their
and formed the Abercwmboi Clean A i r intended, so they said, to replace the windows open at night or their cars out
Committee specifically for the purpose Disticoke batteries. of doors. I t is assumed that what anti­
of fighting pollution from the phurnacite But the experimental plant has been pollution safeguards exist at the plant
plant. Since then it has campaigned in­ in operation now for over two years and tend to go by the board under cover of
tensively, holding meetings with the pub­ has known nothing but technical diffi­ darkness. Whether this is so or not,
lic and the NCB, organizing petitions, culties and failure. Mildly put, it's a heavier pollution by night is also caused
28
grammes, and once these have slowed and affect Dolgellau. With a northerly
down it will be a long and difficult task current in Cardigan Bay it is likely that
to regenerate the previous impetus." resort beaches as far away as the Lleyn
The irony of such a setback is that it peninsula could be silted up, but the
by a minor temperature inversion which may well rate as the most significant people who would suffer most would be
forces the particles in the atmosphere aspect of Britain's contribution to Con­ the residents of the area, most of them
down into the valley. servation Year. incomers who came here to live because
A temperature inversion is an inter­ Charles Maclean the estuary is one of the loveliest in
face in the sky at which warm air rising Europe.
hits cold air and then inverts. According From Snowdonia Gwen Moffat
to Mr H . Harrop-Griffiths, an ortho­ The Snowdonia National Park, site of
paedic surgeon associated with the a nuclear power station and associated The bugsfightback
Sabrina Project and particularly con­ dams, reservoirs, power grids and three Archie was a cockroach who lived in
cerned with the effects of air pollution proposed new pump storage schemes, the New Yorker office. I n Don Mar­
on health in South Wales, "a tempera­ is threatened again. Rio Tinto Zinc have quis's famous Archie and Mehitabel
ture inversion in the Aberdare valley applied for permission to drill for cop­ books Archie learned to write messages
could very easily happen on a larger per in a large area of the upper Mawd- by jumping on the keys of a typewriter.
scale, given the right climatic conditions, dach, the river that forms the estuary in­ One of his pleas was for a stronger cock­
and if it did, it would undoubtedly carry land of Barmouth, well known to roach poison to be left around: the boys
off a lot of people. We have in fact got tourists and salmon fishermen. weren't getting kicks from the old kind
another Aberfan building up under our Although the public inquiry isn't to any more. A t long last his request has
noses." be held until December 15th, R T Z have been answered. They are changing the
To put all our minds at rest an Alkali been drilling for two and a half years. pesticide because Blattella germanica,
Inspector is making a report on the pol­ Apparently they can do so if they don't the German cockroach, is now resistant
lution of the Aberdare valley, but it remain in one place for longer than a to DDT and dieldrin.
seems that his information will not be month. However, if they're caught out, James R. Busvine, Professor of En­
available for at least a year or so. Also all they need do is apply smartly for tomology as Applied to Hygiene at the
comforting is the knowledge that a team "permission to drill" and continue as London School of Hygiene and Tropical
from the University of Wales Institute before. A good case for plugging a legal Medicine, believes that pest resistance to
of Science and Technology is making a loophole? pesticides will prove to be a more
study of the dead vegetation on the hill­ RTZ say they have spent £100,000 serious problem than the pollution they
side opposite the plant, but their in­ on drilling so it's to be assumed they've cause. Already resistance is hampering
formation will not be ready for three found what they're looking for. Deep disease control programmes in the
years. Meanwhile the likelihood of any mining in this area is impracticable. It's tropics.
serious measure being taken to halt the more likely that the mines will be open­ We usually think of pesticides in con­
pollution is slim. But the people of cast and there is talk of their being two nection with the control of agricultural
Mountain Ash will not tolerate the miles square. With modern methods of pests, but in developing countries they
fumes, dirt and dangers indefinitely. A l ­ extraction the area needn't look to a are used far more widely to control dis­
ready incensed, they could become solution of the employment problem. ease. Anti-malarial insecticides are
militant. The local occupations are farming, sprayed on the inside walls of houses. In
The NCB claims that not all its forestry and tourism, all doing well. the early days of the anti-malarial pro­
smokeless fuel plants pollute as badly Forestry will survive but with an open­ gramme it was believed that the disease
as the one at Aberaman. But whether cast mine farmers will be dispossessed might be eliminated entirely through
they do or not it is evident that we are and it will be the end of tourism. prolonged control of the vector, the mos­
not getting our smokeless zones for But this is only one half of RTZ's quito; and indeed this has happened in a
nothing. Nor can we afford to fool our­ project. Having made a survey of the number of countries. The insecticide
selves that transferring pollution from estuary they have applied for permission ideally suited for the purpose appeared
one place to another has anything to do to drill for gold which may lie on bed­ to be DDT, which is cheap, relatively
with controlling it. But smokeless fuel rock at a depth of 200 feet. Extracting safe to handle, and persistent, a factor
is less harmful than ordinary coal and it will necessitate a barrage across the which reduced the frequency of neces­
the present crisis is in no way eased by river mouth and a dredger 300 feet long, sary applications. But DDT has been a
learning a few ecological home-truths 80 feet wide and 80 feet high. I t would victim of its own success. Its persistence
about smokeless fuels. A clean air take 15 years to work the area and in and the widespread use that has been
policy, however self-deceiving, is better the process it would ruin the salmon made of it have caused pollution and at
than none. fishing and upset the ecological balance the same time the mosquitoes them­
The real danger of the crisis is that along the banks. I n one place there is a selves have evolved into strains which
it will have a long-term effect on the raised bog, a site of special scientific have the inherited ability to detoxify it.
fight against air pollution in this coun­ interest which would be specially liable This is a serious problem in itself, but
try. As was pointed out by the North to flooding in the event of sluice gates in the response to the first appearance of
West Economic Planning Council re­ the barrage being unable to cope with resistance is likely to be an anxious
cently "Interruption and delay to par­ flood water or melting snow. Farmland search for alternative pesticides, some
ticular orders will reflect on total pro­ might suffer, floods could even back up of which may pose a direct threat to
29
America and the Caribbean from which confined them to Wales and the border
they had been eliminated. It is doubtful counties.
whether yellow fever can be eradicated We shall have to depend on pesticides
at all. Typhus and relapsing fever are for at least a decade, in spite of their
the health of those exposed during the transmitted by lice but although a 1965 diminishing effectiveness and the many
application, increased pollution, and a survey showed widespread resistance, dangers inherent in their use. However
further increase in resistance on the part the typhus control programme has not it is obvious that we cannot rely on them
of the pest. been severely affected so far. Plague has indefinitely. " I cannot put the case
Resistance is a response to pesticide been eradicated from most of India, but strongly enough for the need for new
use. In any population there will be in­ there is concern that the malarial cam­ measures," Prof. Busvine told the FAO
dividuals possessing the necessary meta­ paign may have produced resistant meeting, " I t is no exaggeration to say
bolic pathways to detoxify the pesticide, strains of the fleas that transmit it. There the future of world agriculture may well
or which simply have skins too thick for have been outbreaks of plague in Viet­ depend upon it."
it to penetrate. These individuals will nam and control has been hampered by Michael Alia by
survive to breed. With successive appli­ the resistance of the vectors. There have
cations the proportion of resistant in­ also been outbreaks in Tanzania. A
First annual conference of
dividuals in the overall population will number of enteric and ophthalmic dis­
CoEnCo
increase until resistance is sufficently eases are carried by flies, but since there Conservation or conversation? The joke
widespread to render further applica­ are also other ways in which these may be corny, but the problem is real.
tions useless. diseases spread the significance of the fly There is a new division in the conserva­
The biological mechanisms by which is difficult to assess. However, resistance tion movement, part generation gap, part
resistance develops are now well known. among flies has now reached the point political, part a fundamental difference
DDT may be dehydroxychlorinated to where chemical control does not work in approach which arises from two quite
DDE or oxidized to dicofol. Organo- at all. Bedbugs are also resistant to in­ dissimilar appreciations of the problem.
phosphorus compounds can be hydro- secticides and although they are not The traditional conservationist is con­
lized in various ways. The story is important disease-carriers they are a cerned with wild flora and fauna. His
complicated by the fact that a number of nuisance and a failure to control them aim is to preserve the species in which
enzymes and several metabolic path­ tends to antagonise householders; this he has a particular interest. He opposes
ways may be involved and detoxification hampers anti-malarial campaigns. threats to them or to their habitats.
may take place through any of them or Chagas' disease is carried by the big This is very worthy and very neces­
through several simultaneously. tropical "cone-nose" bugs, which are sary. I f he is challenged he will point
DDT is an organochlorine compound, naturally tolerant to DDT. Resistance out, quite rightly, that it is a poor civil­
a relative of dieldrin, aldrin, chlordane to the alternatives, dieldrin and HCH, ization that has no room for corners of
and heptachlor. The most effective alter­ has been reported from Venezuela and wilderness, that cares nothing for the
native to DDT is dieldrin and one may Brazil. Trypanosomiasis, transmitted by survival of non-human beings. He may
be successful where resistance has re­ the tsetse fly, has not been controlled suggest that a reduction in the global
duced the effectiveness of the other. with insecticides until recently. So far genetic pool, particularly of plants, may
Nevertheless, such a substitution fre­ resistance has not presented problems, be dangerous. I f pressed he may say
quently provokes a similar resistance to but the areas treated represent only a that the wild creature is like the miner's
the substitute. Because they are less per­ small part of the total area inhabited by canary. I f it cannot survive then how
sistent and are not carried along food the tsetse fly. long will it be before man cannot sur­
chains, there is a preference nowadays At a July meeting of the FAO Work­ vive either?
for the organophosphorus compounds, ing Party on Pest Resistance to Pesti­ This argument was advanced at the
such as malathion, but scientists have cides, of which he is a member, Prof. first annual conference of the Commit­
traced the ways by which insects may Busvine made an urgent plea for more tee for Environmental Conservation,
detoxify these compounds too. research into alternative methods of pest which was held at Bedford College, Lon­
Resistance is now widespread. Prof. control. He reported on 600 cases of re­ don, on September 23rd. M r Richard
Busvine and Dr R. Pal, a biologist in sistance, involving over 100 different Fitter, of the Fauna Preservation
the Vector Biology and Control section types of pest. "And these only represent Society, was replying to criticisms which
of the WHO, have summarized the re­ the cases we have verified," he said. had been advanced by some of the
sults of an investigation into pest re­ Although Prof. Busvine is concerned young delegates, who accused the con­
sistance, particularly with regard to dis­ mainly with human health, agricultural ference of being concerned more with
ease control. In an article in the WHO pests are also acquiring resistance. the "lesser crested grebe" than with
Bulletin they have reported that malarial Frank Wilson, who is in charge of the man. They were right, and so was Mr
mosquitoes in many countries are re­ Sirex Biological Control Unit, said in a Fitter.
sistant to DDT and dieldrin and in the lecture on September 18th that about The new conservationist has an out­
areas of the world where malaria is still 250 farm pests are now so resistant that look which is frankly anthropocentric.
a major problem eradication pro­ pesticides can no longer be used against Man is at the centre, only now it is his
grammes are suffering severe setbacks. them. The Battle of the Rats has also survival that is in question. He considers
Yellow fever is transmitted by culicine suffered a serious reverse recently when man an endangered species, hell bent
mosquitoes and DDT-resistant strains Warfarin-resistant strains finally broke on his own destruction. The traditional­
are now invading parts of Central through the cordon sanitaire that had ist regards him as a rather messy fellow;

30
survey the field, and continued volun­ It is one of CoEnCo's stated aims "to
tary activity. develop the process of explanation and
The conference then went on to con­ education in environmental issues, par­
sider, and adopt, four reports from ticularly among townspeople and among
careless of the welfare of the other CoEnCo sub-committees. The first, on the young." We must wish CoEnCo
species with which he has to share the water, summarized the present situation well. I t is the most serious attempt so
and made a number of minor recom­ far to bring together the leading conser­
planet.
mendations. In the discussion, Laurence vation and amenity organizations. I t
The aim of the CoEnCo conference
Hills of the Henry Doubleday Research could become extremely powerful and
was to present to other organizations a
Association called for stiffer penalties could exercise a unique watchdog func­
report which CoEnCo had prepared and
for pollution, and other speakers urged tion over the whole environmental field.
which it planned to take forward to the
stronger legislation or more effective en­ If it is to do so it must develop the teeth
October Countryside in 1970 Confer­
forcement of the laws that exist. which at present it lacks. If it is to cap­
ence. CoEnCo hope to take over from ture the imagination of the young it must
Mr Stanley Cramp, chairman of The
the Countryside in 1970 Standing Com­ be prepared to take account of their
Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
mittee the task of co-ordinating the work sense of urgency and it must consider
and vice-chairman of CoEnCo, intro­
of the many voluntary bodies, local duced a report on environmental pollu­ and discuss openly the basic causes of
authorities, government agencies and tion, which consisted of a resume of the the problem it attempts to solve. I f it
ministries in the broad field of environ­ main sources of pollution, including fails to do this, if it is timid and super­
ment and amenity. pollution by noise, and 25 recommenda­ ficial, it will fail utterly. The day before
After a brief introduction by the tions, including immediate control of the conference Mr Peter Scott gave a
chairman, Lord Molson, the conference pesticide use and a ban on persistent talk in which he challenged the concepts
began with an address by Mr Anthony organochlorines, legal controls on mat­ of economic growth and affluence. There
Crosland, the Labour minister who was erials discharged at sea outside coastal is yet hope.
given overall responsibility for environ­ waters, further examination of alterna­ Michael Alia by
mental matters. tives to the petrol engine, the suppres­
The division between the two kinds of sion of Chemical emissions from indus­ The Bangle Farm story
conservationist appeared at once, for Mr try and stricter control of noise. In November 1968 the Minister of
Crosland spoke of economic growth. The sub-committee which considered Housing and Local Government, on the
The new conservationist is opposed to the sonic boom found itself in difficulties recommendation of his Inspector, re­
unbridled economic growth which he for lack of information. It seemed un­ jected an application to quarry gritstone
sees as the cause of the degradation of aware of the extensive research con­ on Bangle Farm, Chantry, near Frame
the planet, while the traditionalist may ducted in the US. It concluded that a in Somerset. This application had been
believe in "progress" and increasing continuing watch must be maintained the subject of a Ministerial Inquiry
prosperity which will provide the funds while Concorde undergoes flight trials. which was expected to last four days,
to clean up the mess. Mr Crosland Other speakers cited specific instances of but in fact lasted for two weeks. To
steered a middle course. Economic damage caused by supersonic overflying understand the reasons for this long
growth at any price, he said, was a nine­ and one said that Concorde costs drawn-out proceeding it is necessary to
teenth century attitude not found today, £100,000 per day in damage, a cost know something of the background of
which should be recovered from the the quarry industry in the East Mendips.
but no growth at all would result in
operator. Shortly before the 1947 Planning Acts
social atrophy. If the conservation move­
ment were to adopt this view they might The report on road transport recom­ a number of quarrying permissions were
mended no increase in the maximum granted which were, of course, unres­
come to appear as an affluent group of
permitted weight of heavy lorries and tricted. Most of the firms concerned
people telling working people they could
stricter control of heavy traffic generally. were family businesses, giving employ­
never enjoy a middle class standard of
The conference ended with a discus­ ment to a neighbourhood badly hit by
living. He was sure CoEnCo would not
sion of CoEnCo's future strategy. Mr
fall into this trap. closure of the coal pits in the North
Rolf Gardiner, of the Soil Association,
He spoke, too, of the achievements he Somerset Coalfield. Quarrying had al­
suggested three themes for exploration;
has seen in improving the environment. ways been a local industry. The slow
a search for a thriftier style of consump­
Complacency is in the ear of the listener, extraction rate, however, allowed nature
tion, the removal of cover from farm­
but if you believe man's survival is in to recolonise a worked-out quarry with
land, and the use of organic manures.
doubt talk of past achievements is a rich variety of bird, plant and insect
Other speakers challenged the general
macabre. Population growth, in Mr life.
acceptance of economic growth and the
Crosland's view, is possibly the world's rate at which Britain consumes world In twenty years the situation has
most serious problem, but one which resources. changed completely owing to the vast
does not concern Britain at the present The general tone of CoEnCo's first demands of road construction schemes,
time. He welcomed the fact that in the annual report was mild and in spite of and the enormous increase of the ex­
US ecology has become an election the efforts of some of the smaller bodies traction rate made possible by modern
issue. represented, the debate never became machinery. With a few exceptions
Mr Crosland listed what he regarded animated and radical alternatives to our national firms have absorbed the family
as four essentials: more research, more present industrial society were not con­ businesses. This expansion has not been
public expenditure, a central body to sidered. accompanied by an increase in the num-

31
Reports Ecologue
bers employed at the quarry work­ Avon River Authority objected to the DEMOLITION: GLASGOW 1970

ings. One company has even gone so application because the authority I hate the long, slow death-by-torture
These houses die.
far as to say that they have doubled feared, not only further pollution, but
their production with a reduced labour also a disturbance of the water system Made destitute first,
of the East Mendips. County and Dis­ Tenants evicted,
force.
Vendor dispossessed, they bare
A situation has arisen in the East trict Planning Officers, although natur­ Blind, greying faces to the vandal's stone.
Mendips where a seven-mile belt of ex­ ally required to preserve a degree of Starved next,
detachment and to avoid partisanship, Deprived of heat,
panding quarries is only interrupted by Water, light, they wait,
one mile of unspoilt country. I t was were invariably helpful when applied to The due arrival of the disposal team.
local efforts to protect this "lung" of for information.
Tile by tile the laths are bared
open country from the proposal to In his conclusions the Inspector said Till my nerves quiver as though skin were peeling
quarry gritstone on Bangle Farm that that he was not satisfied that the Bangle Strip by strip from off the reddening flesh.
resulted in a presentation of evidence Farm site was capable of. yielding the Slowly lie revealed
to the Minister's Inspector, who gave it suggested quantity of gritstone and that The intimacy of cupboards,
it was in the national interest that the The garrulous bravery of wall-paper,
considerable prominence in his report. The antique, ineffectual grate;
This concluded by recommending that site should be exploited. But from an And unsupported floorboards sag beneath
planning permission should not be gran­ ecological point of view his conclusions The litter of disintegrating walls.
ted. I t may be of value to those strugg­ on the damage that would be done to the I do not care
ling to protect man's environment to environment were even more important That these were slums, insanitary, out of date, or that
and interesting. He found it very im­ Delinquents, rats and bugs infested them.
know some of the steps by which evi­ Their teeming life deserved a better death.
dence was collected and the source from portant that this unspoiled valley should
which help was obtained. be preserved, and considered that the B. M. Cook
proposed workings would result in the
As the whole neighbourhood was al­
drying out of the valley's eastern slopes
ready suffering from nuisances caused Ants
with consequent destruction of the vege­
by dust, blasting, pollution of streams Busy ants, like thefingersof restless hands,
tation from which fauna and flora might Run through the sands,
and waterways, and heavy traffic on Bent on patterning mutely,
still be able to re-establish themselves Minutely,
roads totally unsuited for lorries, there in the worked-out quarries. For ages and ages,
was no question that objections were Innate images
Everyone working for conservation Of industrious hills,
coming from only one section of the The ant production mills
and ecological re-establishment in the From which ever new colonies grow,
community. This was underlined by a Though the ants don't know
East Mendips is only too well aware What all this is for and why this is so.
three to one victory in a current Local
that perpetual vigilance is necessary. Claire Russell
Government election for the candidate
The result of the Bangle Farm Inquiry
who opposed the application. Advice
shows that time and money spent in this
on various aspects was sought from the
way is not always wasted. I t showed No Daffodils
Council for the protection of Rural
that, even in the most desperate cases—
England, the Angler's Co-operative I wandered lonely as a cloud
such as in the early stages, Bangle Farm That floats beneath the stratosphere
Association, the Country Landowner's
appeared to be—it is well worth pre­ But all the time my head was bowed
Association, the Mendip Preservation And heavy was the atmosphere.
senting a reasoned plea for protecting
Society, and from individuals who were Beside the lake, below the hills
the environment, and following it up There were no golden daffodils.
possessed of a familiarity with the energetically.
natural history of the district. The Continuous as the graphs did show
Only too frequently protesters have Tell particles of iodine
Somerset Trust for Nature Conservation their mouths stopped by the insistence They came in never-ending flow
considered the matter to be of such im­ that some fresh ecological outrage is in
Along with strontium eighty-nine.
No cows did chew the grass that kills
portance that they were legally repre­ the "National Interest", that combina­ —/ saw no golden daffodils.
sented and their witnesses supplied tion of bugbear and will-o'-the wisp, The earth was shrouded in a mist
evidence that was incorporated practi­ whose benefits, if any, are invariably Which reached across both land and sea
cally verbatim in the Inspector's report. applied to areas far from the sufferings No living thing could now exist
With such foul air as company.
The Member of Parliament for Wells, it inflicts. Often protesters are discour­ I gazed—and gazed—but all was still
who frequently received complaints in aged by the prospect of fighting large There was no golden daffodil.
the past from constituents on the nuis­ industrial firms with unlimited financial Tor oft, when in my tomb I lie
ance caused by the quarrying industry, resources. I f combined local effort ex­ And ponder on this final state
I curse those men who did not try
judged this to be an appropriate pended on the Bangle Farm Inquiry has To build a new world without hate
moment to propose the setting up of an done something to undermine these mis­ And then my soul with sadness fills
advisory committee which could handle conceptions that effort will not have And withers with the daffodils.

complaints about dust, blasting, pollu­ been in vain. With apologies to W. Wordsworth
tion and traffic problems. The Bristol Violet Powell Harold Goldstone
32
Cultural convergence ecological niches. These were originally Vergiat, common to the Urbunnas of
attributed to cultural contacts, or diffu­ Central Australia, the Anulas of the
sion. But it can now be shown that simi­ Gulf of Carpentaria, the Bukanas of
lar cultural traits can be developed quite New Guinea, the Sulkas of New Britain
independently by people inhabiting dif­ as well as to many other peoples of
ferent continents, isolated by oceans, Australia, Oceania and Africa, such
mountain ranges, and other natural bar­ as the Bushmen of the Kalahari and the
riers, and who could have had no poss­ Manja of the Ubangui. Kenyatta points
ible contact in historical times. to the existence of this same belief
Take "ancestor-worship" or "com­ among the Kikuyu and related tribes.
munion with ancestors" as Jomo Ken- The study of social structures reveals
yatta prefers to call it. astonishing similarities in those de­
It appears to have characterised, to veloped by peoples at the same level
a greater or lesser degree, the beliefs of complexity, and fulfilling similar
and practices of practically all peoples ecological niches in totally distinct areas
If two similar biological systems are at a certain stage of cultural develop­ of the world. Bilateral extended families,
subjected to the same environmental ment. Thus we find it among the Aus­ unilateral clans, that may be patrilineal
challenges, i.e. occupy similar ecological tralian aborigines, the Indians of North or matrilineal, rules of residence, that
niches, the particularities of their re­ and South America, the peoples of India may be patrilocal or matrilocal, strict
spective behaviour patterns will tend to and South-east Asia, and both the laws of exogamy and endogamy, age
grow more and more alike, and if this Chinese and Japanese. Lods tells us that grades, secret societies, military socie­
process continues for a sufficient period it was the original religion of the Jews, ties, etc., are to be found among people
of time, their original general differences Karsten that of the empire of the Incas, as remote from each other as the Amer­
can become obscured. This phenomenon Fustel de Coulanges that of the ancient indians, the Bantu, and the Australian
is known as convergence, the opposite Greeks, and Robertson-Smith that of aborigines. Indeed, as Murdock writes,
of divergence, and is one of the main the ancient Semites. The latter goes so "Any structural forms can be developed
features of biological evolution. Thus, far as to say that his picture of religion, anywhere if conditions are propitious."
the ant and the termite, which are of in which ancestor worship plays a pre­ The same is true of religious systems.
very dissimilar origin, one being de­ ponderant part, " . . . holds good, I be­ Similar myths, beliefs and religious
scended from the wasp and the other lieve, for all parts and races of the an­ practices are to be found among peoples
from the beetle, have, as a result of be­ cient world in the earlier stages of their between whom there can have been no
ing subjected over the course of many history." possible cultural contact.
millions of years to similar environ­
The examination of magical practices Gray points to a striking example of
mental challenges, grown to resemble
leads us to a similar conclusion, as does such religious convergence: that be­
each other both structurally and be-
that of the different rituals that punc­ tween Christianity and the religion of
haviourally. Fish and dolphins provide
tuate the life-cycle of man in simple the Sonjo of Northern Tanzania, which
another example, as do many marsup­
societies. Thus, initiation ceremonies ap­ he considers was, " . . . developed inde­
ials of Australia with the placentals from
pear to be common to all peoples, and pendently (of Christianity), perhaps
other parts of the world.
There is no reason to suppose that very often they take similar forms. during a time of crisis, brought on by the
cultural evolution does not occur in the Among these, circumcision appears to incursion of the Masai into the region."
same way. be common to peoples as distant from Thus, its similarity with Christianity
The early ethnographers were mainly each other as the Australian aborigines cannot be explained in terms of cultural
struck by exotic cultural divergences. and the ancient Egyptians. The notion diffusion, and the two religions can only
Slowly, with the development of scienti­ that during circumcision the initiate is be regarded as adaptive reactions to
fic method, the accent has shifted to the swallowed by a large monster, who similar systemic conditions, i.e. as very
study of the much more impressive vomits him back to life, after which striking examples of cultural converg­
similarities between the cultural pat­ traumatic event the child qualifies as ence.
terns of peoples occupying similar an adult of the tribe, is, according to Such movements, which were un-
33
doubtedly of a messianic or Revitalist Kenyatta, Jomo, Facing Mount Kenya. The mass of the people were supported
Murdock, G.P., Social Structure.
nature when they were founded, seem to Gray, Robert R . , "Some Parallels in Sonjo and Christian in absolute idleness by corn, which was
occur in periods of social disorder, after Mythology" in African Systems of Thought. given without any references to desert,
Cohn, Norman, The Pursuit of the Millenium.
the breakdown of a cultural pattern, and Lanternari, Vittorio, Les Mouvements Religieuxdes Peuples and was received, not as a favour, but as
their object is clearly to recreate a new
Opprimes. a right, while gratuitous public amuse­
Lowie, Robert H . , "Les Messianisme Primitif. Contribu­
ments still further diverted them from
one, more in keeping with changed sys­ tion au problene d'ethnologie", Diogene.
labour."
temic requirements. The literature on
But there were other effects as well.
this subject is already very considerable.
Large scale agriculture quite apart from
Norman Cohn shows how similar were
the revolutionary movements in the
Energy-slaves being detrimental to society, is also, in
the long term, extremely inefficient (see
European Middle Ages that are norm­
One Jump Ahead of Malthus, The
ally classified as heresies. Vittorio Lan-
Ecologist Vol. 1. No. 1). And so agricul­
ternari shows how all the revolutionary tural production fell. Meanwhile the de­
cults developed by primitive peoples, mand for corn increased as more and
whose cultures have been destroyed by more unemployed thronged to the capi­
contact with the colonialist powers, are tal, and there was no alternative but to
but variations around this same theme. obtain if from abroad, in the form of
The most famous among these are poss­ tribute mainly from Africa and Sicily.
ibly the Peyote religion among the This tended to reduce the demand for
Navahos, the cargo cults among the Roman corn and, as a result, agriculture
Melanesians, Rastafarianism in Jamaica, became further depressed and the land
the religion of Handsome Lake among Slavery is today looked upon with hor­ fell to waste.
the Iroquois and that of Father Cicero ror for its undesirable effects both on
But slavery had still another effect:
in Brazil. These, however, are only a few the slaves and on their owners.
the economy became increasingly pre­
among tens of thousands of such move­ Gibbon, and after him, Lecky, regard­ carious. Slaves were not stable patriotic
ments. In Nigeria alone, there are so ed it as one of the chief causes of the people as were the yeomen of old. They
many messianic movements developing fall of the Roman Empire. were wont to revolt. Also life-lines were
as a result of the breakdown of local Its pernicious consequences were in­ long. As Lecky writes "Adverse winds,
tribal cultures in an urban setting that deed immense. As Lecky writes (A His­ or any other accidental interruption of
the messiahs heading them have started tory of European Morals from Augustus the convoys of corn, occasioned severe
their own trade union. Wherever they to Charlemagne): " . . . In addition to its distress in the capital: but the prospect
occur, whether it be among the tribal manifest effect in encouraging a tyran­ of the calamities that would ensue if
societies of India, Pakistan, China, nical and ferocious spirit in the masters, any misfortune detached the great corn-
Africa, Australia, or Melanesia, they will it cast a stigma upon all labour, and at growing countries from the empire,
have many similar features: their once degraded and impoverished the might well have appalled the politician."
leaders will have in common certain free poor. The poor citizen found almost Slavery was thus totally disastrous. It
psychological traits, their doctrines will all the spheres in which an honourable caused the destruction of rural society,
appeal to the same frustrated psycho­ livelihood might be obtained wholly or the development of vast depressed and
at least in a very great degree pre-occu- uprooted urban populations increasingly
logical requirements, and the responses
pied by slaves, while he had learnt to re­ dependent on welfare, the decay of the
of their adepts will be characterized by
gard trade with an invincible repug­ countryside and ever greater dependence
the same pattern of naivity, self-sacrifice,
nance. Hence followed the actors, pan­ on food from abroad, in short, a society
and fanaticism. Lowie considered that
tomimes, hired gladiators, political spies, whose economy could be entirely dis­
a study of the messianic cultures of
ministers to passion, astrologers, religi­ rupted by any number of accidents, one
primitive peoples provides, " . . . an irre­ or more of which simply had to occur
futable proof that cultural traits can ous charlatans pseudo-philosophers,
in the end.
develop independently in distinct areas." which gave the free classes a precarious
and occasional subsistence, and hence, Needless to say exactly the same
What is true of myths, social struc­ thing is happening to us.
tures and religious movements, must too, the gigantic dimensions of the sys­
In the name of increased productivity
undoubtedly be true of all cultural traits, tem of clientage . . . And, above all, the
we are methodically stamping out the
and hence of cultures as a whole. Indeed, public distribution of corn, and occa­
small farmer and the small business
the latter can only be regarded as long- sionally of money, was carried on to
enterprise and replacing them with giant
term adaptive responses, which, like such an extent, that, so far as the first
and totally anonymous combines. In this
all other behavioural responses, can be necessaries of life were concerned, the way we are bringing into being a society
subjected to precise scientific examina­ whole poor free population of Rome made up on the one hand of potentates,
tion. was supported gratuitously by the and on the other of a structureless pro­
Government. To effect this distribution letariat increasingly dependent on wel­
promptly and lavishly was the main fare, and increasingly lacking those
Further reading object of the Imperial policy, and its moral qualities that characterized the
Lods, Adolphe, Israel. consequences were worse than could yeomen and artisans whom they have
Karsten, Rafael, La Civilisation de VEmpire Inca.
Fustel de Coulanges, La Cite Antique. have resulted from the most extravagant now replaced.
Robertson-Smith, "Essays on the Religion of the Semites".
poor-laws of the most excessive charity. At the same time our ever more in-
Vergiat, A . M . , Les Rites Secrets desPrimitifs deVOubangui.

34
dustrialized economy is becoming in­ E C Y drowns in sewage Resources Board, England's rivers were
creasingly dependent on imports of food among the cleanest in Europe. Now they
and raw material from abroad, and cor­ are the dirtiest. At one point in the strike
respondingly more vulnerable to any 5 miles of the River Ray and 10 miles of
physical, social or economic changes the Thames were grossly polluted and
that supply us with these essential pro­ between 10,000 and 20,000 fish were
ducts. lost. It is likely that the anglers, those
If the industrial proletariat is fulfilling champions of river health, will sue Swin­
many of the functions that the slaves don corporation for at least £25,000 to
once fulfilled in Roman society—their pay for restocking and restoring the fish­
" I think the health and safety of the
work is supplemented by a totally new eries to normal.
people is a damn sight more important
type of slave, the mechanical or 'energy- It took 10 years for the Lea Conser­
than a wage claim." Thus spake brave
slave'—whose exploitation enables the vancy to clean up the River Lea and
Alderman Frank Marshall, chairman of
most impecunious member of our in­ fish had only just returned to it. Now up
the Association of Municipal Corpora­
dustrial society to vie with the richest to 100,000 fish have been lost, a two-
tions. How we all endorsed this excellent
Roman slave owner, in the 'standard mile stretch is entirely Ashless, and M r
sentiment—and how quickly the behav­
of living' that he is capable of achieving. Ronald Toms estimates that " i t will
The term 'energy-slave' was coined by iour and statements of the Government,
probably take another 10 years before
Dr. J. P. Lodge of the Centre of Atmo­ the employers, the unions, the press, and
the river becomes fishable again." I n
spheric Research, Boulder, Colorado. Alderman Marshall himself, demon­
other rivers affected by the strike, it will
He observed that if one calculated the strated how little it was understood. For
take about 3 years for fisheries to be
energy required to maintain the Ameri­ the Alderman was pleading not for the reasonably restored, but still 10 years
can 'standard of living' and divided it by capitulation of the local authorities for for complete restoration.
the amount of energy that could be the sake of a greater good, but against
None of this is news to those involved
furnished by one slave, this would give it. He was urging them to sit the strike
in the dispute, it has all been written up
us the number of 'energy-slaves' in out to save the extra £1 which was the
in detail by the press. For the unions
America. Divide this by the population cause of it all.
Mr Derek Gladwin said, "We cannot be
of the USA and you obtain the number The local authority manual workers unaware that rivers are being polluted
of 'energy-slaves' at the disposal of the are some of the most ill-paid workers in and there is a possible danger to
average American. the country. A n ordinary sewage lab­ health. That, in Conservation Year,
This works out at an almost unbe­ ourer gets £14-10-0 a week, a Class 1 is tragic..." A curious statement, sug­
lievable figure of 500 'energy-slaves' operator £16-15-0. Overall, they wanted gesting that if it had happened last year
per person. Now if there are two hun­ an increase of 55/—20 per cent. Their or next year then it would have been
dred million people in the USA and each employers demurred, offered 35/- (14 all right.
has 500 'energy-slaves', then its true per cent), which they later raised to be­ But Conservation Year or no, we
population is two hundred million tween 37/- and 38/- (about 16 per cent). should no longer be prepared to allow
people plus their one hundred billion Deadlock. For the unions the issue was so gross an insult to our rivers. We can­
'energy-slaves'. clear: they deserved the extra £2-15-0. not predict the long term effects of, for
Dr Lodge speaking at the first Likewise for the employers it was clear: example, the extra burden of industrial
National Congress of Optimum Popu­ they could not afford to fork out an extra chemicals (the behaviour and properties
lation and Environment in Chicago said £67 million. For the Government, be­ of which when released as effluent are
"The 'energy-slave' number also is the nignly watching over the economic well- unknown). And ecological balance, once
truest measure of our total impact on being of the land, clarity for it too: a upset, may return in an entirely different
the environment. The wastes of these 16 per cent wage increase was bad form. This doesn't apply to rivers alone:
slaves comprise the true pollution prob­ enough, one of 20 per cent was quite out nobody knows to what extent the bac­
lem, for 'energy-slaves' like humans of the question—the dangers of an in­ teria in the activated sludge used to
must inhale air, excrete wastes, consume flationary epidemic much too great. purify the water has been thrown out of
food (fuels) and dissipate their body For their parts, the press and the pub­ kilter, nor how long it will take to get
heat. lic seem to have felt considerable sym­ back to normal.
"Overall, the per capita waste from pathy for the strikers, recognising how A l l praise then to the Guardian, which
'energy-slaves' is probably comparable essential their work is and how long alone among the press, argued (16.10.70)
to that of humans, and, being foreign they have been ignored. The consensus that the dispute should have been con­
to the normal biological processes, many seems to have been that they deserve sidered in ecological terms. Nobody
of the wastes from the 'energy-slaves' are their extra 38/-, but that 55/- would en­ wants claims for 20 per cent pay rises
far more difficult for the environment danger the nation. For economic and right across the nation—but that is a
to cope with." political reasons The Times (14.10.70) risk we can afford to take. We can no
In additions, and this is not gone into and in particular the Daily Telegraph longer afford to risk our water systems.
by Dr Lodge, they contribute to the de­ (21.10.70) both spoke firmly against The pig-headedness of most of the local
velopment of a depressed, decadent and meeting the unions' demands in full. authorities, the silence and inactivity
highly vulnerable society, as is one Simple? Not quite. For the issue was of the Government, and the weary pre­
whose 'standard of living' is artificially only partially economic and political— dictability of most of the press, are true
inflated by the exploitation of a vast it was also ecological. Before the strike, measures of the meaninglessness of
slave-population. according to a spokesman of the Water European' Conservation Year.
35
W Anglers' Co-operative Associ­ tive and conditions may be gruelling.

Ecology ation 53 New Oxford Street,


London, WC1. (Telephone: 01-240
1339). Leading organization for
Volunteers are taught the theory and
practice of conservation while they
perform tasks of importance in the

Action
Conservation Directory
anglers. Represents many local angling
clubs and societies throughout Britain.
Concerned about the pollution of in­
land water. Protest. Information.
management of areas of natural habi­
tat on nature reserves, national parks,
National Trust land and farm land.
Direct action.
Many readers have written to us requesting
the names and addresses of organizations
active in the field of environmental con­
N British Association for the Con­
trol of Aircraft Noise 2 Serjeants G Conservation Society Hanyards
Lane, Cuffley, Potters Bar, Herts.
(Telephone: 2517 284).Concerned with
Inn, London, EC4. Supports the resit-
servation. The list here is by no means man's relationship to his environment
ing of London Airport on the east
comprehensive and will be added to in
coast and the redevelopment of the and population growth. Most vocal
subsequent issues of The Ecologist.
National or local bodies wishing to be Heathrow site. Seeks to deprive civil British organization urging a popula­
included in the directory should send details airlines of their immunity from civil tion policy for this country. Protest.
to The Managing Editor, The Ecologist, 73 action for nuisance. Protest. Informa­ Information.
Kew Green, Richmond, Surrey, marked
tion.
Conservation Directory.
L Council for the Protection of
Rural England 4 Hobart Place,
Readers who wish to protest against
damage to the environment should begin by
G British Society for Social
Responsibility in Science 70 London, SW1. (Telephone: 01-235
approaching their local authorities. The Great Russell Street, London, WC1. 4771). Strength in country branches,
urban or rural district council or the county (Telephone: 01-242 8535). Primarily its headquarters will put individuals
council may welcome support from a mem­ for scientists, but welcomes lay mem­ into touch with their nearest branch.
ber of the public for its own objections to a
private project. If the protest concerns
bership. Led by young scientists and in Represented at many public inquiries,
public health in the broadest sense, then the touch with most British universities. often effectively. Protest. Information.
Concerned with moral issues involved
local Medical Officer of Health or the Pub­
lic Health Inspector may be able to help.
If the protest concerns a river, stream or
in the application of scientific and L Council for the Protection of
Rural Wales Meifod, Montgom­
technological developments. Protest. eryshire. (Telephone: Meifod 383). See
lake, then the appropriate river authority
may take action. The addresses of all these Information. Council for the Protection of Rural
organizations will be found in the telephone England. Protest. Information.
book, in main post offices and at the council
offices. W Central Council for Rivers Pro­
tection 10 Wyndham Place,
London, W l . (Telephone: 01-262 T Environmental Consortium 27
Nassau Street, London, W l .
If these approaches fail, or if the com­
plaint is too general for them to handle, 9242). Association of organizations (Telephone: 01-635 0726). Brings to­
one or more of the following organizations concerned with the control of river gether specialists in all the fields likely
may take up the matter.
pollution. Has 24 member organiza­ to be affected in the planning of new
The organizations are listed alphabetic­
ally and after each one there are key words tions. Information. urban developments. Advocates reno­
which indicate its main value to a member vation of existing buildings in London
nrrr Civic Trust 18 Carlton House
of the public: Protest means the organiza­ before new ones are constructed and
tion will take up individual complaints and 1 X J Terrace, London, SW1. (Tele­
discusses and produces plans for new
pursue them; Information means it has a phone: 01-930 0914). Encourages high
towns and cities which take account
useful fund of information; Direct action quality in architecture and planning.
means it sponsors work in the field. F o r of the natural, as well as the urban,
Aims to prevent and eliminate ugli­
ease of reference the following key suggests environment. Protest. Information.
the main fields of concern of each
ness, whether from bad design or from
organization: neglect, and to stimulate public inter­
est and inspire civic pride. Concerned L Farm and Food Society 37 Tanza
Road, London, NW3. (Telephone:
air
G general with problems of urban development. 01-455 0634). Small organization but
Protest. Information. an active one. Concerned with nutri­
tional quality of food and intensive
£ j land noise W / l T Wl Conservation Corps rearing of livestock. Has amassed con­
N T T l X J T T Zoological Gardens, siderable amount of information on
towns and
T buildings W
water
Regent's Park, London, NW1. this subject. Issues reports and takes
(Telephone: 01-722 7112). World's part in protests. Protest. Information.
leading youth organization devoted ex­
W | wildlife clusively to conservation in the field. Fauna Preservation Soci­
Sends out parties at weekends and W i L ety Zoological Gardens,
It is as well to remember that many of the throughout the school and university Regent's Park, London, NW1. (Tele­
organizations listed are voluntary and vacations to work in and for the coun­ phone: 01-586 0872). Concerned with
depend for financial support on the sub­ tryside. Its sites range from Cornwall conservation of wildlife all over the
scriptions of their members and donations.
If you are helped by one of them, think
to Sutherland, many of them in Bri­ world. Has access to much scientific
about joining or try to donate what you tain's loveliest scenery. The work is information. Publishes a journal,
can afford. hard, accommodation may be primi­ Oryx, three times a year. Information.

36
L Good Gardeners' Association
Arkley Manor, Arkley, S. Herts.
(Telephone: 01-449 2177). Provides in­
Square, Edinburgh EH2 4DU. (Tele­
phone: 031-225 2184). Aims are simi­
lar to those of the National Trust for
T Society for the Protection of
Ancient Buildings 55 Great
Ormond Street, London, WC1. (Tele­
formation, guidance and advice for England, Wales and Northern Ireland. phone: 01-405 2646). Advises on
those who wish to grow their own food Protest. Information. problems affecting old buildings and
without using artificial fertilizers or offers technical advice on treatment
W/ZT \%7 Nature Conservancy
chemical sprays. Runs training courses and repair. Circulates detailed index
W l±J W 19 Belgrave Square,
for gardeners. Information. Direct of threatened properties to prospective
London, SW1. (Telephone: 01-235
action. purchasers. Protest. Information.
3241). Government-sponsored organ­
ization administered by the Natural
L Henry Doubleday Research As­ The SoiI Ass

sociation 20 Convent Lane, Book­ Environment Research Council. Con­


\\7iT \\7f^ °-
W l l j W V J ciation Walnut
ing, Braintree, Essex. (Telephone: cerned with the conservation of wild Tree Manor, Haughley, Stowmarket,
Braintree 1483). Provides useful, prac­ flora and fauna. Owns and maintains Suffolk, IP14 3RS. (Telephone:
tical information for the amateur gar­ national nature reserves and conducts 044970 235). Concerned with the re­
dener who wishes to eschew artificial research. Boasts one of the world's fin­ lationship of man to his environment
fertilizers and chemical sprays. Co­ est teams of ecologists. Great deal of with particular reference to the long-
operates with its members in conduct­ information about wild animals and term effects of farming techniques on
ing surveys and experiments related to plants and effects on them of changes the appearance of the countryside, on
horticulture. Information. Direct in their environments, including pollu­ soil fertility and nutritional quality of
action. tion. Information. food. Interested in the composting of
urban wastes. Conducts research and
W Institute of Water Pollution
Control 49-55 Victoria Street, N Noise Abatement Society 6 Old
Bond Street, London, W l . (Tele­
phone: 01-493 5877). Aims to elimin­
issues publications. Advocates the pro­
duction of food without use of arti­
London, SW1. (Telephone: 01-799
1931). Learned society and profes­ ate excessive and unnecessary noise ficial fertilizers or chemicals. Protest.
sional association concerned with from all sources by taking steps under Information. Direct action.
advancement of science and practice existing law to protect the public from r 1

assault by noise, to press for enforce­ T T Town and Country Planning


of water pollution control. Informa­
ment of present laws against noise and A A j Association 28 King Street,
tion.
for new byelaws where existing laws London WC2. (Telephone: 01-836

W National Federation of Anglers


45 Belgrave Street, Derby.
seem inadequate. Protest. Information. 5006). Issues reports, holds confer­
ences, and publishes a monthly journal
Sports organization concerned with
improvement of fishery laws, develop­
ment of fishing waters and combating
L Ramblers' Association 124 Finch-
ley Road, London, NW3. (Tele­
phone: 01-435 5481). Protects rights
to promote an understanding of
national and regional planning polices
that will improve living and working
of river pollution. Protest. Informa­ of way on country paths, aims to pre­ conditions, safeguard the best country­
tion. serve beauty of the countryside and side and farm land, enhance natural,
secure right of public access to the architectural and cultural amenities
A National Society for Clean Air
134-137 North Street, Brighton,
BM1 1RG. (Telephone: 0273 26313).
open country. Protest. Information.
V l / i T Royal Society for the Pro-
and advance economic efficiency. Pro­
test. Information.

Aims to promote clean air in Britain W I J L tection of Birds The


by creating a body of informed opinion
and by exerting pressure where it can.
Lodge, Sandy, Beds. (Telephone: 076
78551). Protects wild birds and their
L Ulster Society for the Preserva­
tion of the Countryside West
Winds, Craigavad, Co. Down, N .
Large fund of information. Protest. habitats. Maintains thirty nature Ireland. See Council for the Protection
Information. reserves as bird sanctuaries. Aims to of Rural England. Protest. Informa­
educate the public about wild birds tion.
r p i r National Trust for England, and to this end produces manuals, wall
A 1 J Wales and Northern Ireland charts and other publications, and WJtY Universities Federation for
(The National Trust for Places of makes films. Protest. Information. W l J u Animal Welfare 7A
Historic Interest or Natural Beauty) Lambs Conduit Passage, London,
r n e
42 Queen Anne's Gate, London, \ 7 L / i T Society f ° * Promotion WC1, (Telephone: 01-242 9221).
SW1. (Telephone: 01-930 1841). • T l A j of Nature Reserves British Promotes humane behaviour towards
Exists to promote permanent preserva­ Museum (Natural History), London, wild, domestic and laboratory animals
tion for the benefit of the nation of SW7. (Telephone: 01-589 6323). Co­ all over the world. Protest. Informa­
land and buildings of beauty or his­ ordinates the activities of the county tion.
toric interest. Can declare its property naturalists' trusts, which cover most of
"inalienable". Protest. Information.

r r i T National Trust for Scotland


Britain. Trusts hold meetings and lec­
tures and own and manage local nature
reserves. Will put individuals into con­
W Water Pollution Research
Laboratory Elder Way, Steven­
age, Herts. (Telephone: Stevenage
A 1 J for Places of Historic In­ tact with their nearest county trust. 2444). Research into water pollution.
terest or Natural Beauty 5 Charlotte Information. Information.

37
Feedback
I Beauty and the beer
There was no hope of reversing a
decision to permit the building of a
the car in various types of terrain. The
test is aimed at reducing air pollution.
Los Angeles Times
^ Poison in the Baltic
First steps to clear the Baltic of poison
gas dumped there at the end of the
brewery in the Preston-Blackburn green Second World War have been taken by
The worm turns
belt, M r Graham Page, Minister of German authorities. The need for this
Fifteen states have filed suits in the
State, announced at a public meeting. action arose when fishermen found a
Supreme Court to force the four major
Subjected to a barrage of criticism, the mustard gas bomb in their nets last
automobile manufacturers to equip cars
Minister then made what was intended April and one was temporarily blinded.
with better pollution-free engines "at
as a concession but may well confirm This, and cases of skin burning, led to
the earliest feasible date". The states
conservationists' worst fears. " I t is a widespread alarm and threatened to
complained that for 17 years the major
green area," he said "which needs very keep tourists away from the Baltic
careful consideration before any manufacturers conspired among
coast. The Times
infringements are made on it. I t needs themselves to squeeze out any
the same sort of consideration as a green competition for making and installing
belt although it is not such on the
development plan." The inescapable
pollution control devices, in violation
of the Sherman Anti-trust Act.
B Carbon pollution key?
Contrary to the general view that
conclusion was that even official green New York Times
excessive phosphates are the key factor
belts are far from safe from develop­ in accelerating eutrophication ("ageing")
ments on the scale of the proposed 5 Chicago crack-down of natural lakes—generating nuisance
55-acre brewery planned for Samlesbury. The City of Chicago has filed a suit to growths of algae and wide-spread
A speaker from the Council for the ban the sale of vehicles in the city if stagnation—a new study suggests that
Protection of Rural England said that nine top automotive manufacturers fail excessive carbon may in fact be the
to find the Minister of Housing making to install effective pollution-control critical factor. A new report by
such a decision was "like catching devices. Mayor Daley announced the US biologist Pat C. Kerr, a Federal
a policeman with his hand in the till." Water Quality Administration research
suit and criticized the products of the
The Guardian scientist, claims that a recent series of
nine firms as "inherently and immi­
nently dangerous". Apart from laying experiments have demonstrated that
l[ Final error?
down exhaust emission guidelines the suit carbon is the controlling factor in growth
The population of the world increased of the algae that are making waterways
by 71 million in 1969—more than the also asks that manufacturers be ordered
green and scummy. Although the studies
combined total of everyone killed in to recall all vehicles made since 1960 and
confirm that the noxious alga blooms
both World Wars. This gain of 2.2 per registered in Chicago for free install­
are dependent on phosphorus and
second means that each day there were ation of the devices by June 30,1972.
nitrogen—important fertilizing
190,000 more mouths to feed. Whether Daley said contaminants from vehicles
elements—the extent that they stimulate
enmity between nations constitutes a account for 60 per cent of the total air growth is now said to be controlled by
greater threat to man's future than the pollution in Chicago. the abundance of available carbon, both
daily avalanche of babies is debatable. Chicago Sun-Times in the dissolved form, as carbon dioxide
Politics and economics are important, gas, and as carbonate.
but biology is fundamental, and failure
El Detergent restriction Sport Fishing Institute Bulletin,
to recognize this in time and accord it
A restriction on the sale of detergents Washington
priority could be man's final and fatal
error. The Lancet or other cleaning agents which exceed
a prescribed phosphorus limit is
proposed in a new Chicago city *"f Ferromanganese shortage
3 Natural gas car ordinance. The limits follow There is growing concern among both
Sacramento's pollution control officer recommendations by H . Wallace Poston, buyers and consumers that
has tested a car converted to operate on Chicago environmental control ferromanganese could be in really short
liquefied natural gas, the same as that commissioner who has called for a supply by early next year. This
used for heating and cooking. On an gradual phasing out of the phosphorus essential material for quality steel-
813-mile trip, he checked the volume of content of detergents beginning on making is currently in tight supply. It
air pollutants emitted, the operational December 1st of this year. is feared that a genuine squeeze will
costs per mile and the performance of , Chicago Tribune develop in the coming months if world
38
demand continues to grow and if US lettuce and celery are also growing in
domestic consumption, closely related 0 General Smelting pulls out diminished quantity because of
to steel production, spurts ahead again. Philadelphia's tenth-rank air polluter, the effects of dirty air.
Mining Journal General Smelting Co. is going out of Philadelphia Inquirer
business. After clouds of zinc-oxide
Wreckers fumes from their retort furnaces created 0 With friends like these . . .
To our grandchildren we should be a a major visibility problem last year, The chairman of the air and water
generation that wrecked their world, the company had invested about $30,000 control committee of the Chambers of
without a thought for them, Mr Eliot in pollution control equipment. It was Commerce of Great Baltimore told a
Slater, of the Institute of Psychiatry, facing an additional expense of up to sceptical audience of Northeast
London, said at a symposium on human $75,000 to curb fumes and smoke from Baltimore residents that he was "not so
differences and social issues at the a scrap preparation unit. Robert Nauer, sure that cleaner air means better
institute. Many changes could never be plant manager, declared, "When a health". John W. Stout, chief
reversed. What was needed were new company has been unprofitable or environmental engineer for the
ethical principles and a humble marginal for a long time and then has Baltimore Gas and Electric Company
awareness that the world is not ours to big pollution-control expenses piled on also warned of possibly dire economic
spend but is held in trusteeship. Our top of its other problems, you've got to consequences if strict standards for
ethical values must be long-term, for an look hard at its prospects". General allowable air pollution in Maryland
ethic that concerned itself solely with Smelting is the second Eastern are adopted. Mr Stout said he favoured
the here and now was already outdated. Pennsylvania firm to go out of business
cleaner air (sic) but warned against
Future generations would think of us as within the last year under pressure of
the imposition of standards that would
one in which mankind multiplied strict pollution control.
be too strict, and thus drive industry
without reason and without control. Evening Bulletin, Philadelphia away from the state.
The Times Evening Sun, Baltimore
\f\ Paper victory
II California's sea birds The Oxford Paper Co. has voluntarily
IB . . . or these . . .
agreed to close permanently a section of
Evidence is mounting that a chemical A Flambean Paper Co. news release
its paper mill at Rumford, Maine, to
calamity of unsuspected magnitude is suggests that too much pollution control
eliminate an alleged discharge of
striking species after species of sea birds might cut off fish food supplies. The
mercury into the Androscoggin River.
along the California coast. Some firm said that a spent sulphite liquor
Oxford's paper mill was one of 10 plants
populations are already threatened with evaporator installed five years ago
in seven states that the US Interior
extinction. I t began with pelicans laying reduced the biological oxygen demand
Department named when it requested
eggs with shells so thin and in the river by 65 per cent, stimulating
the Justice Department to sue to stop
chalky they crumbled and broke before spectacular fish growth. If food escaping
the discharge of poisonous mercury.
they could hatch. Now this has spread to the plant were cut further, fish
Wall Street Journal
egrets, herons, murres and cormorants. production might taper off. State fish
The calamity is apparently man-caused. 15 And another experts concede that the mill's aerating
The eggshell thinning is closely In Wisconsin, the St. Regis Paper Co. might help but pollution experts note
correlated with the presence of residues has decided to shut down its pulp that stream readings of dissolved oxygen
of chlorinated hydrocarbons from operation in the face of a $6 million have ranged close to the two parts per
pesticides and industrial pollutants, bill for equipment needed to treat the million permissible. Bacteria growing
most notably, DDT. mill's sewage to meet the State's on discharged sugars do feed the fish but
San Francisco Chronicle standards. The shutdown, alluded to as the organisms also seriously reduce the
"probable" in a St. Regis news release fish's oxygen supply.
llE Poachers' fraternity would affect about 100 employees. Milwaukee Journal
The ease with which salmon poachers Milwaukee Sentinel
are able to obtain Cymag, a cyanide IS! - - - who needs enemies?
poison used legitimately for rabbit 1 El Oh ozone! The president of a Cecil county
clearance and killing wasps, has been Two plant pathologists at Rutgers chemical plant testified today that the
sharply criticized by Mr Leslie Steward, University have warned that huge installation of either of two air pollution
fishery officer with the Lancashire crops in the Garden State have died or systems recommended by the state
River Authority. His attack follows the are in danger of dying because of air Health Department would be costly,
poisoning of four Lancashire rivers with pollution. The culprit is ozone, a complicated and a potential source of
cyanide, resulting in the deaths of at chemical compound harmful to plants, danger. He claimed that the
least 500 salmon, 1,500 coarse fish and which is formed when the ultraviolet "confinement" of air in fume-collecting
an unknown number of sea trout. A rays of the sun react with burning gases. ducts could result in build-ups of
Lancashire poacher was recently fined The most blatant examples of excess explosive levels and endanger the
£250 for poisoning salmon and there is burning are automobile exhaust and "community". The Sun, Baltimore
a theory that recent attacks on salmon factories emitting nitrogen dioxide into
were made to raise money to pay his the atmosphere. Spinach production has Hogwash
fine by other poachers. dropped 63 per cent in the last 12 years When Hog Builders Inc. of Nebraska
Anglers Mail as a result of excess ozone. Cabbage, put up a building on 40 acres of virgin
39
Missouri soil and set about raising hogs much time as they can away from the serve 3 million Romans are now
by the thousand, a farmer across the city. Tagonoura, once a picturesque declared unsafe for bathing. A legal
road could no longer enjoy pleasant village with a celebrated view of Mount dispute is now in process in Genoa after
evenings on his patio because of the Fuji is today a nightmare of a polluted a magistrate countermanded the police
stench, and the clear stream across his port, clogged by slime from waste magistrate's order forbidding bathing
land became heavily polluted with their discharged into the water by paper within 200 yards of any sewage canal.
excrement. This sturdy yeoman, factories. A t Kurobe, a farmer daily The degree of pollution registered by
declared Professor James W. Jeans at a pours away milk which cannot be sold various institutes up and down the coast
California Trial Lawyers Association because his 325-acre tract of land is is said to be more than a hundred times
seminar, sued Hog Builders for damages. contaminated by cadmium. Blindness, above the safety level. It is estimated
" A Buchanan County jury knows how madness, children born mentally that 90 per cent of Italian industrial
to evaluate these things," Professor retarded or with defective physical companies evade the laws and regula­
Jeans recalled with relish, "and they co-ordination have plagued the mercury- tions on pollution. It is believed the
gave the farmer $140,000 against this poisoned inhabitants of Minamata and cost of dealing with pollution is beyond
thin-lipped, blue-nosed Yankee bastard claimed 46 victims over the last 20 years. the strength not merely of municipal
out of Nebraska." The lesson of this There can be no doubt that these dis­ finance but of the Italian state.
case is that good old-fashioned damage asters—and thousands of others The Economist
suits may well be the key to cleaning like them—are a direct consequence of
up the environment. Japan's enormous expansion of £1 Dirty Dutch dunes
San Francisco Chronicle industrial production during the last A full-scale investigation has been
decade. Los Angeles Herald Examiner ordered by the Dutch State Secretary
|J| Wrong end of the stick for Health into reports that stretches of
Vitamin E might make people's lungs US-Japanese co-operation the country's coastline are polluted. A
strong enough to withstand polluted air The White House has announced that recent Belgian consumer report alleged
for longer than they do now, it has been President Nixon and Prime Minister that tourists are exposed to a variety
suggested by some experiments on rats. Sato of Japan have agreed to an of infections and serious diseases,
Experiments by Los Angeles and New "intensified programme of co-operation including typhus and cholera.
York researchers have shown that in solving mutual problems". Japanese Scheveningen and Vlissingen were the
common elements of air pollution— and US pollution experts will hold two worst beaches named. The Secretary
ozone, a gasoline irritant found in smog immediate meetings, it was announced, declared thesefindingsmight seriously
and nitrogen dioxide—hasten ageing of to map an accelerated programme of affect Holland's tourist figures.
the lungs, rendering them more vulner­ work. Special attention will be focused Travel Trade Gazette
able tadisease. Rats which had been on air pollution problems such as those
given vitamin E did much better in 2,0 Polluted Parthenon
which hit the US and Japan in late July
polluted air than rats which hadn't had Smog and jet aircraft sound waves are
and early August. Chicago Tribune
it, experiments have shown. slowly destroying the Parthenon.
San Francisco Examiner "Within a few years the Acropolis will
£5 When thieves fall o u t . . . be hidden from our eyes behind a cloud
Meat menace
On the French Riviera, prefect Rene of smog," a recent report by the Greek
Fresh evidence of the dangers to public
Thomas blames his polluted beaches on Chamber of Technology warned. The
health through the spreading of bacteria
the human waste and industrial refuse report claimed that the Acropolis
resistant to antibiotics is contained
that flows into the Mediterranean from monuments "during the last 25 years
in a report in the current issue of the
nearby Italy. In Geneva, the Swiss claim have suffered more damage than during
Lancet. A n examination of 400 carcasses
their lake is contaminated by untreated the previous 25 centuries".
of pork and beef have shown that 82 per sewage from Evian, the health resort, Los Angeles Herald Examiner
cent of the pork and 52 per cent of the and other French cities on the southern
beef were contaminated with drug- Phillipine initiative
bank. Swedish specialists accuse Great
resistant colif orm organisms capable of The world pollution crisis has sparked
Britain and Germany of at least partial
transferring their resistances of disease- off a drive to clean up air and water
responsibility for their local air filth. " A
carrying bacteria. Five per cent of the in the Philippines, as yet a relatively
confusion of pollution" European
organisms from the pork were resistant little industrialized country. President
politicians dub it and tend to ignore the
to chloramphenicol, the only drug of Marcos has taken the lead in the new
problem because of its international
value in the treatment of typhoid. This campaign with a personal directive
complexities. San Francisco Chronicle
established a correlation between the ordering a clean-up of the environment.
use of antibiotics in animal feeding
stuffs and the extent of antibiotic-
£E The Tiber an open sewer
This summer will be remembered in 30 Imperilled penguin
Evening News

resistant organisms in the animal.


Italy as the year of the poisoned sea. In There is now genuine fear that the rare
The Guardian Braying Jackass Penguin could become
most places pollution is visible to the
Japanese nightmare naked eye and when the sea is calm, a extinct. Flightless, it cannot escape from
Trees and shrubs are dying from air wide band of scum hems in shallow- the oil pollution caused by increased
pollution in the gardens of the Imperial water bathers. The mouth of the Tiber shipping around the Cape of Good Hope
Palace in Tokyo and the Emperor and and stretches of the popular beaches since the Suez Canal was closed.
Empress have been urged to spend as between Anzio, Ostia and Fregene which Evening News
40
tural productivity, but just how do they country according to what it consumes, and
Key b o o k Every month a key book or achieve their magnificent results? According in such terms the United States far leads the
books in the field will be described and to Borgstrom their success has less to do world; for with a population size of six per
analysed in this column. with know-how than with rank exploitation cent of the total world population it con­
of developing countries. Though they can sumes between 40 and 50 per cent of the
ill-afford it, these export vast quantities of world's resources presently being used.
Shattered illusions valuable food as fertilizer or animal feed- Many people argue that the only way to
TOO M A N Y : a study of earth's biological stuffs to the rich developed nations. The inter­ tackle the inequalities between the developed
limitations, by Georg Borgstrom, Macmillan, nationally-backed Peruvian fisheries, for ex­ and developing nations is to raise the standard
New York. ample, export almost all their sea-catch everywhere. There is room and food for all,
to Western Europe and the United States. The they claim and they look to land that has still
If you are alarmed that there are too many total quantity of protein exported in this way, to be brought under the plough, to deserts
people in the world you'd better think again. is equivalent, Borgstrom estimates, to the which with a little water judiciously applied
At a recent conference held in Aspen, Colo­ will flourish again, and also to the oceans
rado, a number of well-known scientists and teeming with unlimited quantities of exploit­
intellectuals got together to discuss the role able food.
of technology in the world at large. They A few choice facts from Borgstrom and
may not have been unanimous about very reality becomes more forceful than fiction.
much, but very few, if any, disputed with The good land has all been taken years ago,
the chairman, Professor Roger Revelle of A STUDY OF EARTH'S BIOLOGICAL LIMITATIONS he says, and the 1,800 million acres that are
Harvard, when he stated that the earth could left are second or third rate stuff. Even pro­
Georg Borgstrom
support 50,000 million people if only existing ducing maximally this land could not feed
agricultural techniques were applied effici­ more than 15 years' growth of the present
ently to all cultivatable land. And that by world population.
encouraging economic development the popu­ The idea of reclaiming vast areas of desert
lation of the world would finally reach a is excellent on paper, but where will the
stable level. This was reckoned at some 15,000 water come from? The rate of evaporation is
million; just about four times the present so high that the cost of getting water to the
amount. desert is prohibitive; it is a matter of robbing
Many people are delighted to hear this Peter to pay Paul.
sort of thing. It's most reassuring to think The tragedy of deserts is that they are
that the world is nowhere near too crowded largely man-made and man's record in the
yet, and that with a bit of planning and 20th century is worse than it has ever been.
ingenuity there should be plenty of the Professor Borgstrom points out that in 1882
goodies of life for all. It also means that the the deserts and wastelands of the world com­
prophets of doom such as Paul Ehrlich, even prised about one-tenth of the total land area.
when stridently eloquent, can be shrugged They now comprise well over one-quarter of
off as alarmist and thought to be well-mean­ total South American production of meat. the total land area, and yet they expand.
ing distorters of the truth. And yet the Peruvian peasant continues to For years man has been talking about
But can we shrug off Borgstrom, who has live on a bare subsistence diet. exploiting the oceans as if they were a new,
spent a lifetime studying the nutritional prob­ He tells the same story with regard to the hitherto unexploited resource. It is now appa­
lems of developing countries? His training protein-rich oilseeds, such as peanuts, sun­ rent that the oceans have already suffered a
is unlikely to make him an alarmist of the flower seeds, soybeans and cotton seeds. No great deal of damage at the hands of man
doom-gloom type, and yet his book Too less than 95 per cent of these go to Western and that productivity instead of going up as
Many makes just as much impact as any of Europe, primarily to Britain. The total would be expected with the expertise and
Paul Ehrlich's controversial and explosive amount comes to some 1.5 million metric technological aids now employed, is going
statements. And like Ehrlich he shatters a few tons of protein. "Enough" says Professor down, sometimes precipitously. As a result,
glittering illusions. Borgstrom, "to raise by 50 per cent the pro­ fishing fleets are having to sail further and
Science and technology are credited with tein content in the poor diet of the malnour­ further away from their coastal waters to
having transformed agriculture from some­ ished of the world." make significant catches.
thing inefficient and rudimentary to its pre­ Borgstrom's book is full of facts and figures But much nearer home man is facing one
sent state of superlative factory-like produc­ such as these and we can no longer ignore of the most terrible problems of all; his fresh
tivity. Such a claim is one of the first myths Paul Ehrlich's claim that the worst signs of water is not only being soiled by industrial
to crumble under Borgstrom's analytical population excess are to be found in the effluent, agricultural run-off and urban sew­
gaze. rich 'over-developed' nations of the world age, it is vanishing, and vanishing fast. And
Countries like Britain, Holland and Den­ rather than in the poorer developing nations. without water man will not be able to grow
mark pride themselves on their high agricul­ Ehrlich estimates the population size of a food, let alone run his industries.

41
Once again the developed nations lead the transportation costs of the manufactured publication of this, Gordon Rattray Taylor's
world in the art of water exploitation; water is nitrogenous fertilizers, they also improve the latest catalogue of what may truly befall the
used lavishly on the land to get maximum structure of the soil by providing an organic swingers in their wooded discotheques, the
crop growth, it is used in ever-growing quan­ basic. Professor Borgstrom, like many others, ten-child families with their fat wads of state
tities by industry and polluted in the process, suggests that any sort of arable farming other assistance—all of us, everywhere in the world.
and not least it is used extravagantly by the than a proper rotation of crops using legumes And a chilling catalogue it is too, its warnings
housewife. such as white clover, beans, alfalfa or what­ the more terrible not only because they may
Crops and the livestock that feed on them ever, is utter folly. well be shrugged off by officialdom as pan­
require enormous amounts of water for their The present trend in farming, particularly icky science-fiction but because already they
growth. Wheat for example needs 350 to in the developed countries is to make it may well have come too late. The author is
500 pounds for every pound of organic sub­ more and more intensive and to use every conscious of this; thus, he quotes Dr David
stance grown, and rice, grown in the heat of mechanical and artificial ploy to increase pro­ Price of the US Public Health Service who,
the tropics, requires as much as 2,200 pounds ductivity. Farming has become agribusiness, as long ago as 1959, warned: "We all live
of water per pound of crop. Borgstrom and the small farmer who relies on labour under the haunting fear that something may
reckons that the average American eats daily rather than machinery and artificial aids is corrupt the environment to the point where
food that has consumed 3,500 gallons of being squeezed out. The dangers of this new man joins the dinosaurs as an obsolete form
water in its production. I f everyone in the kind of baronial structure are very real for of l i f e . . .And what makes these thoughts all
world ate like the average American there the structure of the countryside including the more disturbing is the knowledge that
wouldn't be a drop of water left on the land. rural social life and the arts and crafts that our fate could perhaps be sealed twenty or
So much for everyone in the world attaining went with it is being eroded. more years before the development of symp­
the American standard. Professor Borgstrom points out that the toms."
There are also many disastrous things go­ labour intensive farm because it is based on The only thing wrong here is that it is
ing on throughout the world as a result of sound principles such as energy derived from not a corrupting something, but a multitude
man's well-intentioned pursuit of greater and the sun rather than from fossil fuels, the re­ of things—and that indeed is what The
greater productivity from the soil. Professor cycling of waste and increased nitrogen and Doomsday Book is all about, a kind of super­
Borgstrom lists many of them: the insidious humus content of the soil through the use of market of calamities: move along the shelves
and ultimately lethal build-up of salts and nitrogen-fixing legumes, is more likely to be with your wire trolley and take your pick.
the formation of a hard-pan layer as a result productive in the long run. By the same There is choice and variety aplenty, so in­
of excessive irrigation in hot climates; the token he does not see a scientific or tech­ genious (while at the same time bumbling) is
wearing out of soils through double-cropping nological breakthrough in food production as man at devising the wares of self-annihila­
and the lack of fertilizers whether natural solving the present desperate food shortage tion. They are wares familiar to anyone who
or artificial to replace what has been mined in many parts of the world. Important of in recent years has taken seriously the Barry
out from the soil; the constant battle that course and terribly neglected are the prob­ Commoners and La Mont Coles of this world.
has to be fought against pests particularly lems of food storage and distribution. The Doomsday Book is not an exercise in
when the same crop has been grown year "But," he says, " i f we are to feed ade­ originality and introspection but a journalistic
after year, and the spread of weeds that quately the 3,500 million now living let alone compilation of the forecasts of others. For
defy attempts to eradicate them. any future additions to our population, it is the first time, they are all packaged together,
But it would be unfair to suggest that all imperative that we abandon our present haz­ professionally, clearly, readably.
Professor Borgstrom has sought to do is to ardous ventures in favour of realistic and Though they are not so segregated, the hor­
present a grim and disheartening picture. He workable programmes that take account of rors fall into two categories: those disastrous
has also looked at the good things going on the obvious limitations that prevail for man's within geographical limits, and those disas­
in the world—where soil fertility, and not existence." trous on a planetary scale. Of the first sort
maximum short-term production, are still the Peter Bunyard we have, say, the ever-lengthening roll call
ultimate aims. of the world's lakes already polluted beyond
The proper use of sewage and of animal Calamity supermarket recall. Europeans tend to be especially smug
manure are of prime importance in trying to about this particular villainy, for they have
re-establish some kind of equilibrium. They THE DOOMSDAY BOOK by Gordon always the Great Lakes of America to accuse,
must not be dumped wastefully and irre­ Rattray Taylor, Thames and Hudson, 42s. the largest body of (supposedly) fresh water
sponsibly into fresh water and into the sea in the world, an area larger than the whole
This autumn was a sad, bad season for those land surface of the United Kingdom, much
where they cause eutrophication and upset
concerned with the real future of Britain. of it, by humankind's abuses, now devoid of
the established ecology. The lesson could
Not the future of pay packets, consumer all life. But Rattray Taylor exposes this smug­
hardly be brought better home than by the
goods, economic indices, but the future of ness with a depressingly long list of Europe's
recent municipal workers' strike.
overpopulation {more overpopulation), van­ lakes already gone, or fast going, the same
One suggestion he has is to pursue fish
ishing countryside, simple survival. The pov­ way: Zurich, the Tegernsee, Orta, Schliersee,
farming on a bigger scale than is at present
erty lobby mounted its biggest campaign so Balaton. Or we have the supremely confident
being carried out. As long as a proper bal­
far to press the Government for family allow­ (ecologically supremely ignorant) "planetary
ance is maintained and eutrophication
ances for the first child (as well as increases engineers" with their schemes for damming
avoided fish farming can be highly success­
for nos. 2, 3, and on and on), which would the Amazon to create an inland sea a third
ful. Indeed it has a long history; and the
have the effect of encouraging young couples the size of France, for originating a new sea-
Chinese have been expert in the art of raising
to breed more, more quickly. The Times re­ level Panama Canal by a fantastic sequence
carp and such fish since long before Christ.
ported renewed pressure by the Ministry of of nuclear blasts, for blowing apart a stretch
Too often he says, well tried methods are Defence (already ruining about 200 miles of
being chucked out for novelties which in the of northern Australia's coastline to make an
coastline and estuary) to seize the wilderness enormous iron ore port. (This latter proposal
long run cannot possibly have any future. of Pembrey Sands and turn it into a target
One good example is the extensive use of would have reached the explosion-point this
range. At the British Association a professor year but for the customers of the iron ore,
nitrogen fertilizers. These are manufactured of forestry urged us to fill up our wood­
chemically—and the basis for the fixation is the Japanese, rejecting the ore on grounds
lands with race tracks, discotheques and of its price—a rare example of tough-minded
the burning of fossil fuels, but we know the dance halls. I n the magazine Futures, a pro­
fossil fuels are not going to last more than economic considerations, rather than hasten­
fessor of building science suggested that cheap ing environmental deterioration forestalling
about half a century. nuclear power could turn the outdoor en­ it.)
Nature has an alternative which is totally vironments of Wigan and Bootle into the
dependent on the sun for its energy: the equivalent of the Bahamas or Barbados—no But not forestalled, as Rattray Taylor re­
nitrifying bacteria which live in the nodules matter the ecological effects, so long as there minds us, are many already completed pro­
of leguminous planets. These not only fix might be winter sun tans for humans. jects whose ostensible benefits may well prove
nitrogen in situ and avoid all the heavy Yes, a bad autumn indeed—but for the to be obliterated by long-term hazards un-

42
expected or unheeded at the time, the cau­ their view of themselves and their world. So pleasure palaces. "The grossness and vul­
tions and admonitions of soft-boiled con­ they are judged: so will we be judged. garity of life under a succession of debauched
servationists smothered by the hard-boiled This is inevitable, because buildings tend emperors was distinctly mirrored in the
economists, engineers, politicos. Consider the to last longer than other artefacts and town coarse facadism of the public buildings of the
great Nasser dam, with its biological backlash: plans are not easily obliterated even though time, glorying in richness, voluptuousness,
it has all but destroyed the Mediterranean the towns themselves may have crumbled. It and enormity." By the reign of Trajan (AD
sardine-fishing industry and has alarmingly is also proper and a valid standard by which 98-117) the ordinary Roman lived in an apart­
spread schistosomiasis because the new irriga­ to judge peoples. Civilisations are based on ment and the maximum height of tenements
tion ditches provide the perfeot habitat for towns which provide art, science, religion, was reduced from 70 to 60 feet to reduce the
the snails that are the host of the disease- philosophy and government and which exert danger of fire and collapse. Thus the growth
spreading blood-fluke. Added to this, it is their influence over the surrounding country­ of magnificent public building was accom­
reckoned that seepage losses from Lake Nas­ side. It is in their towns and cities that civilisa­ panied by declining standards of housing for
ser are so great that the whole of the Nile tions express themselves. the people.
discharge may be lost during the first twenty It should be possible, therefore, to trace the After the fall of Rome urban civilisation
years of the dam's life, and there may be less history of a civilisation through the design did not die out entirely, although the in­
water for Egypt than there was before the and construction of its cities. This is what vaders of Britain were more anti-urban than
dam and vast lake were made by man. James Stevens Curl has done and in Euro­ those which occupied southern Europe.
Of the possible—probable?—disasters on pean Cities and Society he derives standards Medieval cities were dominated by secular
a global scale, the author catalogues both from the past which he applies to contem­ buildings, castles, town halls and market
what might be termed the accidental or nega­ porary urban development. The conclusion he places as well as by churches, and the sym­
tive, and the intentional or positive. Com­ reaches will come as no surprise to those who bolism, particularly of the churches, was rich.
placency, ignorance, faith in yet more tech­ find life in suburbia stifling, but it may and Mr Curl traces the decline of the Medieval
nology to solve the crises created by present should shock profoundly those who elevate city and the rise of the new, unwalled towns.
technology—all these can contribute to the modern technological attitudes to the status During the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries
first sort of catastrophe: the destruction of of a philosophy and who believe that our designs began to appear for ideal cities. Gen­
mankind by poisoned air and water, or by his motor cars, television sets and washing erally they were based on a mandala plan
own overblown ego (the failure to appreciate machines set in tower blocks of flats sur­ and some of them were actually built. It is
that he is "but one of three million species, rounded by wide expanses of grass represent interesting to note that Wren's London was
each one of which is dependent on many the highest achievement of the most advanced not dominated by a palace, but by the Stock
others for its existence"), or by simply over­ civilisation the world has ever seen. Exchange.
producing his own kind until the inevitable Mr Curl is an architect and he cares The story continues to the nineteenth cen­
population crash. deeply about the townscape and the almost tury. Much of what was built then is now
Such a future will result from heedlessness, indefinable qualities which make a town being demolished in favour of new develop­
lack of control, and sins of omission, greed, pleasing to look at. No doubt he is biased ments. "Officially recognised slums corre­
selfishness. But there are yet greater sins, ones and his aesthetic standard subjective, but he spond in number with the amount of housing
of intentional meddling with the biosphere in advances forceful arguments and provides a Government intends to demolish in a period
the name of Progress when, in fact, the con­ telling examples. of time plus an amount it has decided to clear
sequences could mean the end not only of His main theme is that the urban environ­ later." Of modern housing schemes Mr Curl
Progress but of Man himself. Melting the ment is controlled by the dominant sector of says: "The wastefulness of the windswept
polar ice caps and swamping the world's society. It is the baron who builds the castle 'open spaces' at the bases of tower blocks;
coastal cities, raising (or lowering) the temper­ and everyone else must learn to live with it. If the filth and impersonalisation of communal
ature of the planet until life is impossible— anyone should doubt that "public opinion is spaces; the useless balconies; and the hearty
Rattray Taylor exposes these and numerous the negligible factor in government" let him dislike with which the tenants view the robust
other lunacies of Man the Meddler. In The think for a moment of a modern housing concrete finishes of their environment gave
Doomsday Book, he has assembled in one estate. Who designs it and by whom is the birth to outbreaks of violence against the
place, in layman's language, everything we design accepted? Certainly the prospective buildings." The alternative may be suburbia
know so far about the real future that awaits inhabitants are not consulted. Cities then, can which "evolved its own styles, founded on
us unless we swiftly change our ways, atti­ tell us much about the dominant forces in the debasement and misunderstanding of
tudes, ambitions. Rattray Taylor is under­ society and their view of the world and of every known form carried to unrecognisable
standably unhopeful of our doing this, and themselves. lengths. Its cosiness, its denial of both the
in the end the 300-plus pages of The Dooms­ Cities contain—or used to contain—sym­ scale and essence of town and country have
day Book serve to support and expand a bols. In the past many were built to a man- made it a symbol of our society in our
warning issued early on in the book: "The dala pattern. Basically circular, this is an t i m e . . . "
one solid fact which emerges . . . is that man archetypal image representing the awakening What has gone wrong? The dominant
is now so numerous and so technologically and preserving of life according to Jungian power groups today are the business cor­
powerful that he is affecting the entire en­ psychology. This idea persisted right into the porations and central government and their
vironment. What those effects will add up to, Utopian designs of certain nineteenth century fear of personalities of stature has led them
we simply do not know, but we do know that visionaries, but as the importance of symbol­ to favour mediocrity, which has a destructive
they are so large that, in one way if not ism declined after the Renaissance a division power of its own. Specialised disciplines have
another, they could be catastrophic. They appeared and the union of image and object created islands in our culture and we have
could even put an end to life as we know it." was lost. lost a sense of unity, of "wholeness" and, with
John Barr In all the earlier civilisations religion was it, the feeling has gone from much of our
an essential part of life. It was Apollo him­ environment.
Buildings that shape us self who ordained the site of Delphi. The There is a parallel with the latter days of
Romans, however, had no religion which was the Roman Empire. Though there is hope,
EUROPEAN CITIES A N D SOCIETY by truly their own and absorbed ideas from all the message is apocalyptic. Our society is
James Stevens Curl, Leonard Hill Books, 75s. parts of the Empire until they became "con­ fragmented and spiritually exhausted. Like
noisseurs rather than creatures". They were Rome, we create massive civic buildings and
Our knowledge of past civilisations is based, superb engineers but their improvements on live in squalor.
to a large extent, on the buildings which have what they inherited were purely technologi­ The rather high price of the book is justi­
been left for us to examine. Literature, if it cal. The Empire was spiritually empty and fied by the 131 half tone illustrations and a
survives, can tell us much, but it is the settle­ eventually a malaise set in. Monuments be­ large number of line drawings and diagrams.
ments, the villages, towns and cities which came more grandiose, the proletariat was Mr Curl's assessment of the state of our en­
provide an insight into the daily life of the kept amused by vast, bloody and degrading vironment bears out views arrived at inde­
people, their achievements and their dreams, spectacles, and the Baths were monumental pendently by a number of eminent ecologists

43
and must add greatly to the weight of argu­ usually cheaper than natural products, bring­ either as an introduction to the really meaty
ment in favour of radical changes in our ing the artefacts of affluence to the great stuff that the specialist hungers for, or as a
attitude to ourselves and to the world around mass of the people. Most successful are those reference library for general readers.
us which must take place if we are to sur­ chapters devoted to noise on the ground and Kenneth Mellanby discusses the problems
vive. in the air, where he manages to simplify, of pollution and pesticides in a calm, sober,
Mike Allaby with no more distortion than is inevitable in reassuring way. Far from alarming every­
a serious journalistic treatment, a very com­ one with cries of anguish about the way we
Environmental squalor plicated subject. The clattery future of this upset the delicate workings of Nature, he
nation, which he christens Great Thunder- quietly pin-points his punches with the autho­
THE ASSAULTS ON OUR SENSES by land is summed up with a call for action: rity of a pacifist in a boxing ring. But in
John Barr, Methuen, 50s. "Short of variable ear flaps we can seal our­ doing so, he leaves himself wide open to
selves up in double-glazed, air-conditioned, the shouts and accusations of those already
"In Britain today our senses are being pecu­ plastic-wool-lined rooms and go about with
liarly and extravagantly abused. In town and alarmed and, like the pacifist, he cannot
earplugs in or earmuffs on. But this would retaliate. I hope he is right for if he is there
in country an ever-spreading ugliness assaults require tolerance of technology's assumptions
our eyes, ever-increasing noise assails our may be still time to undo some of the dam­
about our tolerance of all things noisy. And age; if not we are in for a pretty miserable
ears. New and hazardous pollution of air and on the issue of noise, it is time—past time—
water offends our noses and threatens our time.
for intolerance."
very bodily wellbeing. At the same time taste The beautiful and enchanting world of the
and touch are more and more unsatisfied by The conclusions of this useful handbook sea and the seashore is opened up to us in
the drab and uniform products of this tech­ of environmental squalor are far from com­ staggering detail by C. M . Yonge and Sir
nological age. We seem no longer to trust the placent, though the author's proposed solu­ Alister Hardy, the latter's book being merely
messages of our senses, nor heed their warn­ tions suffer sometimes from vagueness and volume one, dealing only with plankton and
ings." rather too much confidence in the good sense the like. Volume two will deal with fish and
Thus, in his latest attack on environmental of industry and government to put things fisheries, but we shall have to wait until
squalor in modern Britain—this time, squalor right before Britain becomes a place hardly 1971 for the complete picture, as the book
in the widest sense of the word—John Barr worth living in. In his closing pages, John is not yet finished. Both authors show us how
sets out his theme. Barr struggles for optimism, but practically little we know about marine-life, and for the
His book is an assembly of evidence which everything which has gone before belies that layman The Sea Shore probably has the edge
points inexorably to the conclusion that life optimism. And even his pessimism may well over The Open Sea—Its Natural History for
in Britain in the 70s and beyond will become be attacked by some, particularly the young, not only is it easier to see for yourself the
ever more intolerable unless the controllers of who may accuse him of interpreting the as­ things to be found there, but it starts more
power—and all of us—fully awaken to the saults on our senses from a too middle-brow, from the premise that you would want to do
threats and, once awakened, bring the legis­ middle-class, middle-aged viewpoint. Such so. While Sir Alister Hardy's book is for
lation and controls, money and common- critics may be the inhabitants of a possible marine biologists, C. M . Yonge's is for sea­
sense required for the enormous task of sav­ "pop" tomorrow, of which Professor Colin side enthusiasts and curiosity-filled beach-
ing what is still worth saving, repairing what Buchanan has written: "There could be a real walkers.
is still reparable, preventing what is still change of values. People could begin to say, The World Of The Soil shows us how little
preventable. 'Well, we rather like an element of danger in we know about inhabitants of the soil other
Two-thirds of his tract is devoted to an the streets; we like traffic noise, it is somehow than worms and how they are invariably
examination of the assaults and outrages of involved with the excitement of city life; we "farmers' friends". These minute organisms
a technology-directed-dominated society do not all object to the squalor and the untidi­ are almost infinite in number and variety
upon, in turn, our senses of sight, hearing, ness.' " I f this comes, asks John Barr, "might yet we gaily kill them off, simply by being
smell, taste, and touch. people in fact find poetry in junkyards and ignorant of their presence. Along with the
The chapters devoted to sight deal neces­ spoil heaps instead of brooks and stones, be work of the Soil Association, this book could
sarily with a highly subjective area of human inspired by supermarkets and neon signs, not go a long way towards making people think
experience. To some extent, no doubt, beauty by trees and clouds? Might they eat any­ twice before filling the ground with killer
is in the eye of the beholder, and not every­ thing so long as it is cheap, available and chemicals.
one may agree with John Barr's strictures looks the right colour? Live anywhere so For an account of the way in which Britain
against pylons in the countryside, high-rise long as it is centrally heated and easy to became the Britain of today, L. Dudley
office blocks in old towns, motor cars littered reach by car? Or may there be a kind of Stamp's Britain's Structure And Scenery
about Georgian squares. To some, these are technological blacklash? Are tomorrow's excels. It shows the splitting, folding, tearing,
the inevitable and acceptable concomitants people quite so clearly ready to embrace a grinding processes by which many features of
of the Good Life; and surprising as it may technological world?" our landscape (and thereby our culture and
seem, pylons, skyscrapers and motor cars all We can only pray that the backlash is economy) have developed over the centuries.
have their advocates on purely aesthetic coming and that tomorrow's people will not We can plainly see for ourselves though what
grounds too. so readily let technology manipulate their a small period of time it takes to ruin them;
The section on smell—which he expands environment, their lives. I f not, tomorrow's and it is a pity that the book was not written
beyond simply disagreeable odours to the Britain will be as grim as this book suggests. with this in mind. Climate And The British
positive threats to human health—is less con­ Laurence Hazard Scene, probably the most enjoyable of the
troversial. Pollution has many purveyors but books, is regrettably, even more remote. Only
few proponents, and the author compiles a Ecology in paperbacks the last chapter (Climate and Man) explains
persuasive dossier which shows that those two the ways in which we alter our climate, our
PESTICIDES A N D POLLUTION, by Ken­
most vital elements, air and water, are fast landscape and thereby our resources. Apart
neth Mellanby, 8s. THE SEA SHORE, by
deteriorating to danger point. With taste— from this Gordon Manley touches upon few
C. M . Yonge, 12s. THE OPEN SEA—ITS
foods dosed with pesticides, antibiotics, arti­ subject-matters relevant to our concept of
NATURAL HISTORY, by Sir Alister Hardy,
ficial flavours and colours—it is more often ecology and it is only as a sort of by-product
15s. THE WORLD OF THE SOIL, by Sir
a matter of blandness, uniformity, though that we can see the effects of radioactive fall­
E. John Russell, 10s. BRITAIN'S STRUC­
the author does not ignore the perils to the out upon the land.
TURE A N D SCENERY, by L. Dudley
human body of the food processors' man­ So, for a huge, clear, incredible picture of
Stamp, 10s. CLIMATE AND THE BRITISH
handling of our diet, often with chemicals in­ the world as it mercifully still is (one won­
SCENE, by Gordon Manley, 12s. Fontana
adequately tested for long-term effects. In ders, however, how many of Sir Alister
(New Naturalist).
discussing touch, John Barr is again on dis­ Hardy's fish will be extinct before he finishes
putable ground: the veneers and plastics and This selection of paperbacks forms part his second volume) this selection of paper­
synthetic fibres which so displease him have of a series which deals with discrete topics backs is very good value.
their defenders, if only because they are within the scope of ecology generally and N. Rawls
44
to use
Letters
.. A ' , '

Name the culprits sabotaged Wales' effort to obtain devolution. Anything doesn't go
Sir, The Liberal Party put up a candidate in every
Sir,
The prime need in a campaign of any sort Welsh constituency, knowing perfectly well
For the economists, and therefore for the
is impact on the partly interested. To this end that not one of them had a chance of getting
government, "productivity" has become a
I noted particularly the article in which elected, but also knowing that by so doing religion. Freud's term for religion was "the
Richard Thomas & Baldwins were named as they would effectively split the Welsh great illusion".
polluting the River Ebbw. But why was it so nationalist vote. The only people who would Every society has its "ethos" and "eidos"—
mild? And why, when mentioning the Derby­ ever vote Liberal in Wales (or elsewhere) i.e. a code of morals, and a myth which sup­
shire bleaching firm in your August Com­ would be the people who would be in favour ports the code. Even the myth of "produc­
ments column do you lightly let them off the of units of government of a more humane tivity", the moral code must be "anything
hook with the introduction "The case is size, and these would be the people who, in goes so long as more is produced".
interesting"? Interesting? It sounds diabolical the absence of a Liberal candidate, would Many of us are seeking a return to nature.
to me. have voted Plaid Cymru. Wouldn't the most "Nature" is the psychological mother-figure,
Would it not be more effective, rather than truly liberal policy for the Liberal Party, in and a return to the mother-figure always
dealing with pollution in this manner, to the next election, be to stand down in Welsh causes conflict.
concentrate on one named company—in the constituencies, and advise its members to vote For some of us, including myself, The
case of the Derbyshire firm name the magis­ for the Plaid? I f Mr Evans examines, with Ecologist offers new hope of a satisfactory
trates as well!—allocate a couple of pages an open mind, the published policy of Plaid outcome to the conflict in a new "ethos" and
to it (plus pictures), interview local health Cymru, he will find that there is very little "eidos". This we believe must take the form
and welfare workers, doctors and residents, difference (if any in fact) between it and the of a reconciliation between Nature and
then paint a clear picture of the inconsidera- policy of his own great party. How absurd it Authority—i.e. a resolution of the psycho­
tion and even callousness to local inhabitants is for the liberal-minded minority in Wales logical Oedipus complex.
which, for the sake of corporate profit, con­ to waste its energies on fighting within itself. Is this impossible? Let us hope not.
tinued pollution means. Local public opinion
To the argument that Plaid doesn't have a Yours sincerely,
might be aroused sufficiently to produce
results, and national publicity may also hope anyway I would point out that Plaid M. J. Woodhead, M.A.
follow. nearly trebled its vote in the country during Flat 1, 23 College Road, Norwich Nor. 52F.
the last election, and that the majority of the
Yours sincerely, young people voted Plaid. I have children Protection of hedgerows
D. H. Partridge. in three Welsh schools, and I can assert that Sir,
118 Henley Road, Ilford, Essex. all three of these schools are almost solidly Readers may wonder how farmers have
Plaid Cymru. When the present generation of been able to destroy many of the old green
Should Britain be a federation? school children goes to the polls there will roads (often not their property) with resul­
Sir, be a very good chance indeed of Wales tant loss of wild life habitats.
Centralisation and vast enterprises will be getting her freedom. Let the Liberals con­ The change of character into an uninterest­
for ever the enemy of a proper relationship serve their resources for fighting in England. ing arable desert is enough to deter would-be
between Man and the rest of creation, and Yours sincerely, explorers, and so more lanes become com­
devolution and units of government and pletely disused. This leads sometimes to the
organisation of a humane size its friends. John Seymour. farmer taking out a S.109 Highways Act 1959
The illusion "Huger equals Better" is respon­ Fachongle Isaf, Newport, Pembrokeshire. application to the County Council who let it
sible for most of our present ills. 2
proceed to the Magistrates Court under S.108.
Mr Evans' plan for dividing England into SO or fluorides The closure, if a complete one, may cost the
12 regions is excellent. I f it were imple­ Sir, farmer £40, but often the acreage of the lane
mented it would certainly save English re­ In the matter of air pollution by SO I 2
can be as much as 5 acres. This, at £300 an
gional culture (which is still miraculously understand that this substance is, in fact, acre, is good business considering that the
surviving) from certain extinction, and thus being made the scapegoat to some extent for lane was illegally ploughed out in the first
save England herself from being swallowed the damage being done to the environment place.
up by some horrible mish-mash of a "West­ by airborne fluorides. Dr Mellanby of Monks Much was done in the war years under the
ern World", losing her identity and all her Wood is, I believe, of this opinion, and is also Agricultural Executive Committees who did
real value to the world. Mr Evans very pro­ opposed to fluoridation. American farmers not worry about old Enclosure Awards or
perly excludes Scotland and Wales from his suffer millions of dollars worth of damage to about reinstatement later. I n recent years,
scheme, for these are quite different countries, both crops and cattle from airborne fluorides farmers saw new ploughing application
with their own language and cultures, and from various industries. laws being drafted in the Countryside Act
are lucky in being of a reasonable size al­ 1968, so much ploughing occurred in 1967.
Yours sincerely,
ready. Obviously, if "Northumbria" is to get A halt is now called for by many Authori­
a political identity, Wales should too. And L . M. Dungworth. ties, but the ploughing out still goes on, as
yet, in the last election, the party to which Mr Hookgate Cottage, South Brewham, taking the farmer to court seems to be more
Evans belongs (the Liberal Party) effectively Bruton, Somerset. than they care to do. The loss of lanes and
45
character and hedgerows will be preserved.
MARIGOLD FOODS LTD Highway Committees must now realize that MARIGOLD FOODS LTD
29 B e l l S t r e e t , L o n d o n , N.W.I. ploughing out must stop, and penalties should Vegetarian Cheddar and Cheshire
be imposed on any who defy them. With c h e e s e (with non-animal rennet)
P r o d u c t s free from artificial a d d i t i v e s a n d Mediterranean S e a Salt.
organically grown wherever possible.
increased population to use the ways, once C h u f a N u t s — e a r t h a l m o n d s or T i g e r N u t s .
they are cleared, maybe with voluntary A p p l e and R o s e Petal Jelly, with Harry
Obtainable from Health Food S h o p s . helpers, old vehicular roads could retain their Wheatcroft unsprayed rose petals.
hedges and wide greenswards, for all types
of user. Horseriders and ramblers should not
have to trespass to go through overgrown
of the duty to maintain them if the farmer lanes. which I think is the purpose of the magazine.
eventually makes a closure application, are Yours sincerely, Let us hope that any efforts made by young
agreeable to most Councils, ostensibly on the people (or older) to cure or to find an answer
score of saving ratepayers' money. N. C. Smith. to the problems set out in your pages, are not
One main reason for this ploughing out is 65 Leggatt Drive, Bramford, Ipswich. met with the reactionary opposition from the
that the very Amenity Societies themselves security, money-bent majority, which usually
caused the trouble in their desire to prevent greets their attempts to improve everybody's
vehicular use of Green Lanes. They swayed Young awareness world.
Parish Councils with the view that as Foot­ Sir,
path or Bridleway use was all that was proven Yours sincerely,
As a schoolboy, I am constantly struggling
under the requirements of the 1949 National to avoid being dragged into the ever-increas­ G. Douglas Gray.
Parks and Access to Countryside Act survey, ing armies of scholars and teachers whose 41 Thurston Road, Glasgow, SW2.
then the way could be ploughed. This was attitudes on life are based on the philosophy
sidestepping the S.32/4 section of that Act —"Technology and Progress is the Ultimate
about greater rights being reserved. Obvious­ in Human Existence". Geography teachers Conservation Society
ly many of the so-called bridleways were and textbooks have taken many years to Sir,
"Roads used as Public Paths" (Rupps). These accept the fact that the world which they Just in case no one else writes to you in
had right of vehicles for many years before study is shrivelling and accelerating towards answer to Mr Gait's letter in the October
the Act, and the Act did not remove them. extinction and it will be many more before issue, on a Conservation Party and the need
The Countryside Act of 1968 recognized the they teach with a view to their pupils taking for the alternative for the time being of a
unfairness and provided for a Special Review part in slowing down and stablising this Conservation Society. I trust you will point
of all RUPPS so that proven vehicular ways imminent crisis. Teachers, textbooks etc. of out that this already exists.
should be byways for all traffic. other subjects seem to be utterly blind! This Society introduced me to The
Now at last many members of the Ram­ I was very interested and enlightened by Ecologist for which I shall be eternally grate­
blers Association, and the Pony Club, are the articles in the first two issues of The ful and will no doubt be responsible for in­
getting together with the motor-cyclists to Ecologist and they have provoked further troducing very many more. Perhaps you can
save the RUPPs as byways so that their discussion among my colleagues and friends at least do the same for them.

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The London 0
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46
Marxism and ecology
JUST PUBLISHED—Land and Leisure, by Sir,
J. Allan Patmore, 84s. Studies the growth of
outdoor recreation, and the nature of present
demands and resources of land and water
It's a pity that Bruce Chatwin mars his
informative article on the Nemadi by so
absurd a suggestion as that Marxists believe
WILDLIFE
available in town and country for recrea­
tional use. David & Charles, Newton Abbot,
in "an end to history in a mechanized Val­
halla of abundance for all".
CRISIS
Devon.
In fact the whole structure of Marxist
thought is built on the basis of a global study
of nature.
HRH the
Perhaps instead of the New Party suggested
"In nature nothing takes place in isolation.
Everything affects every other thing and vice
Duke OS
in the television programme "The World We
Want" September 30th, the present Conser­
vative Government may be induced to jump
versa, and it is mostly because this all-sided
motion and interaction is forgotten that our
natural scientists are prevented from clearly
Edinburgh
on the Conservation bandwagon and become
the much needed Conservation Party.
seeing the simplest things." Engels wrote
these words in 1876 in his essay on "The Part
& James
Yours sincerely,
A. Lewis-Evans.
played by Labour in the transition from Ape
to Man", and later in the same work, making
the point that man is himself part of nature,
Fisher
Stoney Down Pottery, Lytchett Matravers, "all our mastery of it (nature) consists in the
Dorset. fact that we have the advantage over all other
creatures of being able to know and correctly

Sir,
apply its laws." Two men vitally
The organization that S. I . Gait suggests
Contrast this with the Keynesian (capita­
list) theory that more hands, and mouths,
concerned with
in his letter (Vol. 1. No. 4) does in fact exist
in the Conservation Society. This society,
means more prosperity, still followed by our one of the most
present politicians, and we can see that
whose greatest concern is the need for
Marxism has something quite vital to say
crucial problems
control, was only founded four years ago
and is as yet little known as both S. I . Gait's
to those who seriously want to help solve facing mankind
the environmental crisis.
and David Whitmarsh's letters show. The
Society is hoping to correct this by appealing Yours sincerely,
have written a
to its 2,000 members to publicise its existence
Richard Hayter.
book of enormous
whenever possible. Money is being raised
from members' donations to advertise in
East Ford, Tedburn St. Mary, Exeter, importance.
the national press.
EX6 6ET.
Wildlife Crisis
Yours sincerely, describes in detail
Dr Stephanie J. Tyler. Acid rain all threatened and
Field Cottage, Lanhill, Chippenham,
Wiltshire. extinct species,
In response to readers' requests for information we have
and is lavishly
begun to compile a list of the principal organizations con­
cerned with the environment. See Ecology Action, page 36.
illustrated in
Ed. colour and black
and white [all
Ecology action the photographs
Sir,
To help realise your ideas how about a illustrating
series of articles on how ordinary people can
fight pollution and preserve our environment,
Prince Philip's
i.e. what to buy and what not to buy (paint, section are taken
toilet cleaners, soap powders, petrol, etc.).
How to have a natural garden; how in our
by the author].
everyday living we can work with nature 'Deeply rewarding
and not against it; who's who in the pollution
game; an expose of the super polluters of our
Sir,
The Swedes will not have much of a case
...profound
day.
1
against Britain for turning their rain acid historical
In the summer issue of What !, the maga­ (cf. The Ailing Air', The Ecologist, Septem­ 9
zine of the National Suggestions Centre, 18 ber 1970) while their Norwegian neighbours
analysis.
Victoria Park Square, London E2. a letter
from M r Roger Franklin suggested that all
pour a copious supply of brown fumes of Sunday Times
nitrogen dioxide into the air. The enclosed
products should have a Comparative Pollu­ postcard of Norsk Hydro, (near Porsgrunn) 84s.
tion Factor rating, CPF, so that the pur­ indicates that the Norwegians even think the
chaser can see the amount of pollution he is pollution is pretty; it was brought back by
causing. Perhaps your magazine could draw friends who assure me that the emission of
up a table of these ratings? the fumes was on a continuous, 24-hour basis.
Yours sincerely, Yours sincerely, Hamish
David Tonge.
Chapel Farm, Martin Dales, Woodhall
Roger Franklin.
Loom Cottage, 36 Loom Lane,
Hamilton
Spa, Lincoln. Radlett, Herts.
47
RECENT CAMBRIDGE scholar and gradu­
ate seeks employment in conservation. Inter­
Coming events: Dec. Coming events: 1971 esting work more important than interesting
salary. Replies to Box 101, The Ecologist.
YOUNG M A N , 25, with flair for organiza­
1-14 December—Exhibition of photographs February—Second International Congress
tion, seeks opportunities in ecological co­
illustrating the Conservation of Scotland's of Pesticide Chemistry in Tel Aviv, Israel.
ordination and action in London area.
Countryside at the Glasgow College of Print­ Information from the Organizing Committee,
Replies to Box 102, The Ecologist.
ing. Information from the Countryside Com­ ICPC, P.O. Box 16271, Tel Aviv, Israel.
mission for Scotland, Branklyn House, 114 YOUNG AMERICAN, graduate political
Dundee Road, Perth. March—Environmental Pollution Control scientist, journalist and photographer, Earth
Exhibition at Earls Court, London. Informa­ Day organizing experience, seeks post in
tion from, Mr R. Cunningham, Exhibition Britain in the environmental field. Replies to
2-15 December—Kodak photographic exhibi­ Director, Brintex Exhibitions Ltd., 3-4 Cle­ Box 103, The Ecologist.
tion—"Man and Nature"—at Norwich. In­ ments Inn, London, WC2A 2DB.
JUST PUBLISHED—Land and Leisure by J.
formation from the Countryside Commis­ Allan Patmore, 84s. Studies the growth of
sion, 1 Cambridge Gate, Regent's Park, March—Effluent and Water Treatment Ex­ outdoor recreation, and the nature of present
London, NW1. hibition and Convention at Earls Court, demands and resources of land and water
London. Information from Mr R. Cunning­ available in town and country for recreational
ham, address as above. use. David & Charles, Newton Abbot,
7 December—Meeting of the Operational Devon.
Research Society—"Multiple Criteria"—a WEST HIGHLAND COTTAGES to let on
lecture by M . Bernard Roy. Information private nature reserve. Newly converted, low
from O.R.S. Ltd., 62 Cannon Street, London, Winter rates. Donkeys, ponies and home
EC4.
Classified Adverts farm. Box 104.
M A N , 41. Research technician but square
peg, seeks post London area concerned with
10 December—Final judging of the Shell/ GRADUATE ECOLOGIST, 22, seeks inter­ any practical aspect of Ecology—perhaps
Nature Conservancy Competition. Informa­ esting responsible post in scientific press or publishing. Interests Yoga, nature cure, food
tion from the Nature Conservancy, 19 Bel­ administration. Replies to Box 100, The reform—usefulness of the work is of first
grave Square, London, SW1. Ecologist. importance. Box 105.

You can help The Ecologist!


Producing this magazine is very expensive. a subject which concerns everyone, and will
We have obtained no grants of any kind do so more and more. You must have
and, as you may have noticed, precious little innumerable friends whom you can interest
support from advertisers. The substantial in this essential subject. Please get them
loss we are making every month is paid for round to your house for tea and sell them a
entirely by one or two individuals who subscription to The Ecologist. We will help
consider that The Ecologist fulfils an you by sending you leaflets, posters,
important social function. As a result we subscription forms etc. and we will also
are having to make economies. Regrettably, contribute to your costs by giving you 10/-
this means cutting down the size of on each subscription sold. This help would
The Ecologist from 48 to 32 pages as from be invaluable to us. I f each of our present
the January issue. I don't think this will subscribers could bring in ten new
be disastrous. There is probably too much ones we should be well on the way to
reading material in each issue and I am sure success. I t must be the best way of
that few people have the time to read it all. increasing our subscriptions which in turn
What is essential is to increase subscriptions, must be the best way of making this
and this is where you can help. Ecology is magazine viable. The Editor
48
jaroogsSo Is the
cheapest method
of sludge
disposal still
good enough?
Forward-looking authorities throughout the world
acknowledge the Zimpro Wet Air Oxidation process as the only
effective method of sludge disposal.
For advice and technical information about
sludge disposal contact:—

satec

A healthy mind in a dirty world.

Satec Limited, Public Health Engineering, Acrefair, Wrexham, Denbighshire. Tel: Ruabon 3333 Telex: 61141 Telegrams Voidance Ruabon.
Coombe House, Maiden Road, New Maiden, Surrey. Tel: 01-942 8713 Telex: 917243 Telegrams Lowtemp New Maiden.
An Air Products Company.
THE MAN WHO LOVED FLOWERS

We must stop pretending that pollution will go away if we talk about it enough. We need action. The
Conservation Society believes that the fundamental causes of the present environmental decay are the
pressures of population growth and economic greed, which between them are placing an intolerable burden
on the earth's limited resources.

We are pressuring the government to:


1. Develop and act upon a comprehensive population policy, designed to stabilise—if not reduce—our
numbers.

2. Realise that plans for the immediate growth of material prosperity must take second place to main­
taining the quality of life, and give the Department of the Environment corresponding powers.

The Society has presented detailed proposals for such action, but needs more members and money to
increase the pressure for reform.

Help us by becoming a member. Write today for details to: The Secretary, 21 Hanyards Lane, Cuffley,
Potters Bar, Herts.

The Conservation
President: The Rt. Hon. Sir David Renton, KBE, TD, QC, MP
Past Presidents: Dr. Edwin Brooks; The Rt. Hon. the Lord Ritchie-Calder, CBE, MA;
Yehudi Menuhin, Hon. KBE.
Fellows £5, Members £2, Students 10/-