VANISHING AIR: The Ralph Nader Study Group Report on Air Pollution by John C. Esposito

VANISHING AIR: The Ralph Nader Study Group Report on Air Pollution

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Ralph Nader's Vanishing Air Task Force went after the National Air Pollution Control Administration (NAPCA) with Don Quixote fervor, but these crusaders are quite a bit better armed than that benighted knight. In fact, the NAPCA bureaucrats never had a chance. The report piles on incriminating facts, figures, and failures and devastating dismissals of NAPCA (""a disorganized band of government officials acting out a pollution control charade"") and its Commissioner, Dr. John T. Middleton (""Middleton generally manages to glide through hearings on a cloud of platitudes, never disclosing that his agency is in trouble, and that the federal 'effort' in air pollution control has by and large had almost no impact on the problem""). Another top target is Senator Edmund Muskie, whose activities as Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Air and Water Pollution have won him the title of ""Mr. Pollution Control"" but don't impress the Task Force: ""there evidently are matters which exclude air pollution from the Senator's calendar except when it becomes a hot political issue."" And of course the prime villains are the large corporations which ""continue their biological trespass on citizens by fighting government, co-opting administrators, and refusing to let people know the facts."" Which here include much pointed, pertinent information on the most potent pollutants and their deleterious effects, the oligarchic automobile industry and its pitched resistance to the development of alternatives to the internal combustion engine, the major manufacturing sources of air pollution, ""the energy establishment"" which controls the decisions concerning costs, uses, and supplies of fuels, and the sorry record of regulation on the local, state, and national levels. Unrelenting investigative zeal, all for a good cause.

Pub Date: July 20th, 1970
Publisher: Grossman