Abstract

The many problems related to industrial environmental pollution are identified and discussed. People, technology, earnings, capital requirements, legislation, politics, and planning are complicating elements of the total problem.

I wondered and pondered a long time, trying to come up with a good way to begin a discussion of this type.

Then I remembered from my school days that fables are an effective way to make a point and, through the moral, to emblazon it point and, through the moral, to emblazon it on the hearer's mind.

So let me start out with a fable. Let's see how well I can compete with Aesop. I'll call it a Fable for Our Time.

Once upon a time — all fables begin that way, don't they? — there was a small city in a remote area. It had no traffic problems because it had no traffic to speak of. The city was very isolated — from the world, even from the twentieth century.

When the automobile finally was introduced there, it presented no problems at first. Few people had a car, and those who had one didn't drive very much. Traffic laws, then, were unneeded and non-existent.

But over the years the city grew and grew, and the number of automobile owners grew and grew. And they drove more and more.

And what havoc that growth did reap!

The rush hour became utter chaos. Collisions were many and often. People were killed and maimed. Irritation and frustration abounded, to the tune of great cacophonies of honking horns and bending fenders. Something clearly had to be done.

The situation, of course, was very emotional. Politicians propounded and expounded, in search of a headline. Students demonstrated. Mothers marched. Militants bombed. Letters to the editor were many and bitter. Gloom descended. An untimely end for the human species was regularly predicted.

The government reacted.

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