OUR DIRTY LAND by Sarah M. Elliott


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As in Our Dirty Air (1971) and . . . Water (1973), Elliott offers a nonspecific but tough overview of pollution problems--among them stripmining and clearcutting, pesticides and overgrazing, subdivisions and highways. Beacon legislation is noted--Oregon's bottle law, California's protection of farm workers, Pennsylvania's anti-erosion campaign, Hawaii's land-use plan--as are a number of land-destructive federal policies: Paper companies ""get tax money back"" if they cut down brand new trees, sheep ranchers get refunds if they claim their dead stock was killed by predators, public land can be commercially mined at one hundredth to one thousandth the cost of similar private land, and lumber companies can buy mining rights in national forests to cut down the trees. Elliott begins with a silly moral tale and ends by advising kids to ask politicians for ""facts, not just general answers""--though she dispenses her share of generalities. However, her own refusal to settle for officials' p.r. statements makes this a worthwhile addition.

Pub Date: April 26th, 1976
Page count: 64pp
Publisher: Messner