My family used to sometimes make expeditions to New York; we’d take the train up on a summer morning from Baltimore station, stepping out into the magic wonder-land of the city at 34th Street Station.
The smell of roasting chestnuts used to be the smell of The City, to me. I’m going to make a day-trip this spring, to go museuming, and I bet the smell will be gone; this is not a complaint: I never liked the chestnuts. Only the smell. Now there are new smells: felafel and pretzels and pizza and who knows what else.
I also remember the smell of the open-air garbage-pit that was the New Jersey shore. There are old victorian gas-plants and other buildings still standing like empty shells – or there were, now it’s Newark that’s “revitalizing.” The train tracks went through the middle of it and it really did look just like this:
There were usually bulldozers pushing the garbage around, and smouldering fires of burnable stuff being put into the air upwind of the city. The marshes along the New Jersey side are somewhat clean, now, having had the majority of the garbage pulled out of them.
This is what the Trumpists long to return to. The regulations of the 70s that made people pick up their trash and dispose of it more safely – those regulations are stifling America!
Here’s a series of pictures that will give you a flavor of what deregulated pre-environmentalism looked like. Link is on [fortune] When you go back and look at the beautiful photos of the US 2nd industrial age,[stderr] the piles of garbage are not shown; they’re what was spewing out the back.
I remember the oil slick outside of New York. My family used to go on “adventure days” and we’d take a ferry or the Long Island Regional railroad and just go … somewhere. From the Staten Island Ferry (which still runs: take it if you can!) you could see the water was shiny and covered in little rainbows.
Burning. Discarded. Batteries.
My generation was the last that grew up breathing the exhaust from leaded gasoline. Perhaps a stupid, slightly brain-damaged population will be biddable again.
When I bought my farm in 2002, there was a pond back in the woods, that had been a dumping-ground for batteries, an old Ford pickup truck, used motor oil, other things. It was about 2 years’ off and on work to haul all that stuff out and fill it with clean dirt.
It is harder to clean up a mess than it is to not cause the mess in the first place.
[Clip deleted; youtube blocked it. I don’t care if it turns off monetizing but … I think a 60 second clip was probably fair use for non-commercial purposes. I’m not going to argue with a robot, though, it’s a waste of time.] War Photographer is worth watching in its entirety, though it’s very depressing. This is what is exported to the rest of the world; these are the jobs that are created by late-stage capitalism. Toward the end, he goes to photograph in a sulphur mine. Look at the safety gear the mine workers have: “cost control.” Here’s some screenshots of industrial production without that pesky regulation.