Thomas F. Williams*

     It is"% pleasure to be here this evening and to hawes&tois  opportunity
to share a few thoughts with you at the Soil Conservation Society of
America's symposium on land application of waste materials.
     Last December, your Executive Vtce President, Wayne Pritchard,  sent
me a copy of the materials sent to the technical speakers outlining  the.
chapters of what will become a book at the conclusion of'your'three-
day meeting.  Mr. Pritchard very considerately suggested that I not  be
frightened by it--that the program committee would like my presentation
to be in a much lighter vein, giving some of the experiences  I  have  had.
     Well, I looked boldly through the outline of what will  become a
20-chapter volume covering—comprehensively', it seems to me—every con-
ceivable facet of the land application of waste materials, and  had the
sinking feeling that there-is nothing I could say to you that you do not
already know all about.  Then my attention turned eagerly to  the
suggestion that I talk in a lighter vein.  This offered no relief.  As
a civil servant in the Federal government who has worked for  many years
in the vineyards and wastelands of the environmental protection area,  I
could be fairly certain that my lighter vein, along with several  others,
had already been cut and drained several  times—bureaucratically speaking,
of course.
*D1rector, Technical  Information Staff, Office of Solid Waste Management
Programs, U.S. Environmental  Protection Agency.  Presented at the National
Conference, "Land Application of Waste Materials," sponsored  by the  Soil
Conservation Society of America in Des Moines, Iowa,  March 17, 1976.

     WefT then, I  thought, how about  concentrating  on Mr.  Pritchard's
suggestion that I  talk about some of  the  experiences  I  have  had.  That
would be all right, provided I could  have an  absolute guarantee of
successful plastic surgery, a new identity, and  safe, surreptitious flight
to a faraway foreign land.  So, you did not frighten me, Mr.  Pritchard--you
scared me half to  death.
     A number of important events had to  occur  before you  could convene
this symposium on  the land application of waste  materials.   Among others,   .
it required 500 million years of vertebrate history;  the evolution  of  the
hominid brain to its present size, which  was  completed  within the last
one million years; the Industrial Revolution, which began  roughly three
hundred years ago, the creation of this country, which, as we all know,
is celebrating its 200th birthday; and, finally, the  occurrence and cele-
bration of Earth Day, just six years  ago. All  of these events, except the
last, had to occur before we could create the immense land disposal
and related environmental problems which  confront us  today.   The  last--
Earth Day--had to  occur before any appreciable  number of us  became  aware
of the fact that,  in the process, we  had  created a complex fabric of
interwoven by-product problems capable of smothering all  of  our accom-
     A year or two ago, I read a series  of essays by Richard N. Goodwin
entitled  "Reflections on the-Ameri^an-'Condition,"  I  was particularly
struck by two statements which illustrate two strongly-held  and long-
prevailing views in American thought which are at the root of our current

environmental  concerns.   At one point Mr.  Goodwin  wrote,  "  the  19th
Century, many  believed that the whole of existence could, be  compacted
within the framework of scientific reason."   At.another,  he  wrote,
"Technology, moreover, provided the belief in the  compelling miracles of
scientific-reason.  It pumped riches from the earth,  illuminated the ni.ght,
carried men into the skies.  It worked.   This dazzling  success was the
key to power.   The,metamorphoses were ready:   first,  it works; then, if
it works, it must be true; and, finally, if  it is  true, then it  alone
must be true."
     Until the beginning of this decade we were terribly certain that
through the random1 use of science and technology—through automation,
through nuclear power, and through chemisty--we were  moving  toward a
better life for everyone.  Look up, America!   See  what  you've  got.   In
April, 1970, for the first time,..we asked ourselves:   Is it  the  real thing?
     That occasion marked the beginning of what I  believe can  accurately
be called a worldwide environmental revolution.  I do not use  the word
"revolution" lightly--! use-it, because the environmental movement so
seriously challenges so many powerful traditional  cultural  values that
have come to us from the original industrial  revolution.   Moreover,  they
challenge just as certainly every society on this  globe, regardless  of
the form of government that society might have.  So,  Earth  Day 1970  has
implications far profounder than its overt manifestations—the rallies,
the teach-ins, the hundreds of articles and broadcasts  it spawned.
     The wave of environmental awareness which crested  in 1970 certainly


 did  not come out of nowhere.  More things than I could possible recount

 contributed significantly.  Certainly'of great and immediate importance

 were the  two major streams of growing concern about air pollution and

 water pollution.  These  had clearly distinct and separate origins.  The

 conservation movement, as you know, had its genesis in'concern for

 forests,  plains, and wildlife, and, hence, was focussed primarily on

 water problems, since water is so essential to what naturalists regard

 as  the natural world.  The traditional conservation community was some-

 what late in joining the movement to control air pollution, because air

 pollution was  regarded fundamentally as- a health problem, most directly

 affecting urban areas.   As long as those important streams of concern

 and  interest were separate, there was little chance for broad public

 understanding  of the root issues of the environmental dilemma.

      Throughout the 1960's, there was growing public indignation about the

 problems  of air and water pollution, and, though many at that time may

 have thought that the total solution to the problems was simply to place

 stoppers, so to speak, on the main stacks and outfalls of industries and

.municipalities, this illusion faded as interest  in air and water nollu-

 tion finally merged.  Only then did we open our  eyes to the fact that

 urban and rural environmental problems cannot be separated, that these

 problems  stem  from  the uses and misuses of  science and technology  in this

 century,  from  the way cities are built, from the way our transportation

 needs are met  or not met, from the way we extract resources, manufacture

 and distribute goods, dispose of wastes, from the way we think or  fail


to think, and finally—and most important—from the way we feel about

ourselves and the rest of mankind.

     By 1970, we were finally ready to  understand that society has to

make difficult choices that require careful measurement of public bene-

fit against public risk—that raise difficult  questions about conflict-

ing private and public rights--and  it became clear that we have to make

such decisions every day and every  year in  the social and economic

spheres on the basis of scientific  data which, at worst, is nonexistent,

and at best, by the very nature of  s^ ience, is often  incomplete.  Earth

Day marked the beginning of the end of  Science, spelled with a capital


     It is not surprising then, that Science's stepchild, Technology, is.

no longer automatically worshipped  by everyone at that famous American
                      /         •      '          *          ••

shrine where progress and prosperity were always linked to growth.  In the

past six years, western man has begun to accept a fact so fundamental that

it is perceived intuitively by primitive people—that is, that we live in

a closed life-support system, in which  all  life elements, including that
   -*                                                  ' ' '

fallen god, Man, himself, are interdependent.  With this realization,

people have begun to recognize that scientists, businessmen, govern-

ment officials, and all other "experts" are subject to human erroi—that

their interpretations of scientific and social data can be greatly

influenced by uncharted—including  largely  unconscious—factors

of a personal and cultural nature.   In  contrast, most people, at  the

beginning of this century, bel.ieved that nothing would distort our


progress toward a technological  heaven on earth, provided  we  stuck  to

the scientific method and were "rational" and "objective."

     Well, the people no longer believe this.  With the awakening came

widespread public concern and protest about environmental  degradation,

which in this decade has produced truly meaningful  changes in our atti-

tudes, habits, and institutions.   Growing concern about the pollution of

air and water in the last decade led, at the dawn of this  one, to a much
                          i                 . •                   .
broader environmental awareness, which both produced, and  is  symbolized

by, the National Environmental Policy Act.  This/unique law,  which  marked

the beginning of the end of 194 years of frontier philosophy, set forth

the remarkable notion that man and nature must exist in productive  har-

mony.  It was a point of view that Thomas Jefferson knew very well, but

in 1970 it struck us with all the impact of a profound idea that no one

had ever thought of before.

     For awhile everything went onward and upward swimmingly, and environ-

mental progress was almost as wonderful as even the more youthful  Earth

Day celebrants could have hoped for.  Then suddenly and unexpectedly,  the

advocates of the greening of America ran into some Arabs with a lot of

brown oil".

     The gasoline shortage which, in the fall of 1973, hit the average

motorist harder than a six-inch snowfall, was also quite a significant

"event.  It occurred less than four years after Earth Day.   So we had 194
years of a general public intent to develop the biggest and the fastest

and the first and the best of all the great technological  machines.  Then

we had less than four years to restructure some of our attitudes  and
institutions after our belated realization that the by-product problems
of random technological development also needed attention, when suddenly
everyone's attention was focussed on the energy shortage.
     As soon as they were able to get their bearings, the  view that
most environmentalists took of the energy crisis was expressed in*a state-
ment that Russell Train, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection
Apency, made not so very long ago.  Mr. Train said, "The good news in the
energy crisis is that it confirms what environmentalists have been saying
all along:  that if we continue to indulge in a 'no deposit, no return'
attitude toward our earth and its resources, we will both  run out of
energy and irretrievably ruin our environment."  Without question^ Mr.
Train was right.
     But right does not make might—at least, not in the short run.  The
energy shortage was seized upon by those who were never very happy with
what Earth Day symbolized in the first place, as a rallying cry for what
has become, in effect, a counter-revolution to the Earth Day revolution.
The counter-revolutionists imply that, in the name of acquiring energy,
we must turn back the clock, give up the environmental gains we have
achieved, and stop asking for more of them.   They are appealing to the
hearts and minds of millions upon millions of people who certainly must
be confused at times by the strident, conflicting, and often absurd
arguments of those who take their stand on the polar extremes of the
environmental issue.  The counter-revolutionists are now getting their

 kicks  by striking  back at  the  barefoot ecologists who, since 1970, have
 been advocating  that we  throw  out  the baby with the wash.  They urge that
 we turn our backs  on the fantastic benefits, as well,as on the problems,
 we have derived  from the use of  science  and technology and give it all
 back to Mother Nature who, I presume, would turn the earth into a
 wilderness.  Yet the counter-revolutionists are no more sensible than
 those  they criticize.  They talk as if Mother  Nature were the enemy and,
 clinging to the  social and environmental  views which were" in vogue in  1928,
 they urge us to  give the earth over to "-.he blind, multi-national bulldozer
 until, I presume,  the whole planet would be paved over with asphalt and
      It is instructive to  note that, despite their apparently conflicting
 positions, these two extreme groups resemble each other in their funda-
 mental disregard for the rights  of a public accustomed to democracy.
 The blind bulldozer patrists ride  roughshod over public opinion and
.preach a gospel  of aggressive  exploitation, deriding anyone who suggests
 we ought to look before  we leap.
     The barefoot  motherrknows-best ecologists, in their  zeal to protect
 what they regard as the  natural  world, also display  an aggressive  dis-
 regard of the real dilemmas posed  to the public at large  by environmental
 issues.  Their motherly  concern  for the  world  does not always include  a
 respect for the opinions and problems  of the children of  this planet,  and
 their  approach all too often,  when the chips are down, turns out to be as
 tyrannical, angry, and dictatorial as  those of their prime enemy—the

blind bulldozer patrists.
     Now, in 1976, the latter are getting  back  afthe  former;  they finally
have their hands on the microphone again,  and they  are suggesting in,
every way possible that we need fuel  and we had better get  it;, no matter
what the environmental, occupational, or public health costs.   They  suggest
in a variety of ways—some obvious and some not—that  we  can forget  all
this nonsense about using  land properly, about  controlling  residuals,  about
controlling air pollution, about making the water really  cLean.  They
suggest we are over-concerned about vinyl  chlorides, oxides of nitrogen,
arsenic, mercury, and scores of other chemical  compounds  which have  thrown
a shadow over the shining  dream.  They say to hell  with all this silly talk
about saving the chimpanzee and the whale  and the State of  Montana.   In
short, like'some of the environmentalists'who made  them so  angry in  1970,
they offer a simple answer to a host of complex problems.
     They are feeling very strong right now. Recently Russell Train
received a letter from an  industrialist who complained that one of  EPA's
public information brochures, which includes a  rather  pretty picture of
cans littering a beach, should not be distributed,  because it  is unfair
to the cans.         -
     Can the counter-revolutionists turn back  the clock and bring back
those wonderful times of yesteryear?  We do not have  to go  very far  back
in time to remember how great it was for the original  Pepsi generation.
It wasn't so long ago that I was admonished by  the  principal physician
of^.the Federal air pollution program who said,'"If you are  going to

persist in talking about the effects  of air pollution on the respiratory
system, be surd to cite the advantages which occur when heavy pollution
obscures the sun and thereby cuts down on skin cancer rates."  Never mind
that everyone has to breathe but does not have to go naked in the sun.
Never mind that skin cancer as a public health issue is minor compared  to
lung cancer and emphysema.
     A little farther back, when particulate pollution in Pittsburgh was
so heavy that you could li-terally walk into a buildingyon many winter days,
some members of the chamber of commerce, attempting to -attract tourists to
the city, explained that the sulfur, in Pittsburgh's air should be an added
attraction, since, as everybody knew<,/s'ulfur and molas/ses had been used
for a long time as a springtime remedy for whatever,ailed you.  Thev did
not say where tourists were to get the molasses, but there was plenty of
sulfur in the air.
     Those were the days when, if anyone suggested that.,air pollution
smelled bad and ought to be curtailed, somebody would always say, "That's
a good smell--that's the smell of money."
     It wasn't so long ago,-when the promoters 'of. nonreturnable beverage
cans were first acquainting the public with the advantages of that product.
One of their advertisements .-showed a contented fisherman on a stream who
had just finished his beer and .had got rid of the empty can by throwing
it into,the water.  Out of sight, out of mind was good, advertising policy
HI the good old days.
     The good old days were not so long ago,'when we created the coal

mine waste piles of Appalachia, the uranium waste  piles  of Colorado,
the dumps of all varieties in every region  of the  country, generally
polluting the air and surface waters and continuously  leaching a witch's
brew of acids, organics, heavy metals,  and  other assorted contaminants
into the groundwaters.
     In between the strip-mine and the  dump, we carried  out  the Nation's
business as if the supply of energy and materials  were limitless.   In
our design of almost anything you can name—from the buildings in which
we live and work to the vehicles in which we transport ourselves to the
hospitals in which we are born and the  vaults into which we  are put to
final rest—we always gave far too little consideration  to the conserva-
tion of materials and energy.  The good old days when  we conducted  our
personal, our governmental, and our industrial affairs as if energy and
materials were meant to be squandered,  as if the land, air,  and water—
the earth itself—were merely another disposable commodity.
     The counter-revolutionists seem to be  longing for a world that used
to be or, better, a world that never was, and their longings do not square
with reality.  The realization that we  had  been fooling  ourselves by
seeking a fool's paradise, which surfaced at the beginning of this
decade was, on the other hand, a movement toward reality—a  return  to
common sense.  Common sense, which was  held in such high esteem by  the
founding fathers of our Nation, is the  most important  fuel upon which
an open society runs.   To quote Hannah Arendt, from her book The Human

     "It is by virtue of common  sense  that  the other sense perceptions
     are known to disclose reality,  and are not merely felt as irrita-
     tions of our nerves, or resistance sensations  of our bodies.  A
     noticeable decrease in common  sense  in any given community, and a
     noticeable increase in superstition  and gullibility are, therefore,
     almost infallible signs of  alienation  from the world."
     Alienation from the world,  from common sense,  from reality, results,
at best, in gross absurdity; at  worst, in disaster,  A serious look at
our traditional practices in virtually any  aspect of waste management
makes it quite clear that our traditional environmental behavior has been
replete with absurdities—and marked by more than a few disasters.  The
more obvious disasters, of course,  continue to occur with the surprising
sudden impact of domestic time bombs,  which no one  intended to create  in
the first place.  Recent incidents  near Washington, D.C., involving
Kepone at one industrial facility and  arsenic at  another, are typical
examples.  Others are no doubt silently waiting to  explode  in virtually
every region of the country.
     Earlier I remarked that right  does  not make  might in the short run.
But in the long run right prevails  or, at least in  an environmental sense,
our irrational actions eventually bear their bitter fruit,  and what we
did not do right, we pay for.  This point is certainly illustrated, in
the areas of municipal sludges,  hazardous industrial wastes,  and municipal
solid waste, on which EPA's Office  of  Solid Waste Management  Programs  is
currently placing its major resources  and emphasis. As  a more concrete

 example, let me recount briefly some of the dynamics, contradictions,  and,
 yes, absurdities inherent in the relatively discrete area of municipal
 solid waste management, which is familiar to everyone./
      The collection and disposal of residential  and commercial  solid
 wastes is currently carried out at a total, annual  cost of about $3.5
 billion.  It costs an average of $26 to collect, process, and landfill  a
 ton of municipal solid waste.  It is expected that this cost will  rise to
 $50 a ton by 1985.
      Most of this municipal waste ends up on the land.  There are some
 18,500 known land disposal sites in the United States.  Some masquerade
. as sanitary landfills, but fewer_than. 6,000 of them meet State regula-
 tions.  And there are unknown numbers of illegal open dumps.
      Moreover, recent investigation gives us good reason to question
 whether the sanitary landfill which does comply with current standards
 of good practice, is really good enough to protect groundwater s'upplies
 from leachate damage.
      Almost half of our cities estimate .tbat^they will run out of known
 and available municipal waste disposal sites within a few years.  Our
 48 largest cities now spend nearly half of their environmental budgets
 on solid waste collection and disposal.
      Moreover, there is little  incentive to curb municipal waste growth.
 The various costs of disposal are borne by taxpayers and are not included
 in the costs of the products that make up the waste stream.  Those who

produce and those who consume products,  therefore, do not receive  the
cost signals that would serve as incentives  to curtail  unnecessary
contributions to the waste stream.
     Projections to 1985 indicate that wastes disposed  of will  amount  to
some 30 million tons above the 1973 figure of 135 million even  if  the_
tonnages of waste recovered for recycling or use as fuel  are increased
almost fourfold over 1975 levels.  There is  no easy way out of  the
disposal problem alone.
     How about the resource conservation side of municipal  solid waste
     Ironically, in spite of greatly increased environmental concern,  we
are currently recycling a lower percentage of our resources than ever
before in history.  The United States annually consumes over 200 million
tons of major metals, paper, glass, rubber,  and textiles.  It has  been
estimated that about three-fourths of the total comes from virgin
res.ources; the remaining quarter is obtained from resource recovery
operations.  Virtually all of the recovered materials are derived  from
discards of industrial processing and manufacturing, rather than from
post-consumer waste discarded into the municipal solid waste stream.
     The mixed municipal wastes from our larger urban areas now pose an
environmental problem, but they could be made to generate 830 trillion
BTU's of energy—the equivalent of 400 thousand barrels of oil  per day,
which is nearly a third of the Alaskan pipeline's projected flow.   Seven
percent of our iron, 8 percent of the aluminum, 5 percent of the copper,

3 percent of the lead, 19 percent of the tin, and 14 percent of the paper
consumed each year could be supplied from what is now waste.  And these
are simply the obvious potentials, based on the recovery of mixed resi-
dential and commercial wastes.
     EPA has identified over 60 .major metropolitan areas where mechanical
energy/materials recovery seems feasible.  These areas account for about
180,000 tons of solid waste a day, 66 million tons annually, or more than
half of the municipal waste stream.
     Probably less that 2 percent of the energy and materials available
from1 the municipal waste stream is being recovered 'toxte$-.  Dry fuel pro-
duction and steam recovery incinerators have been demonstrated and are
actually being employed-in a few cities.  Energy recovery by dry or wet,
shredded fuel production as steam and as pyrolytic gas and oil should
become viable, demonstrated technical alternatives by 1980.  Mechanical
materials recovery systems are somewhere between the demonstration and the
operational phases.
     There  is growing evidence that utilities and private fuel users are
beginning to view solid waste as an attractive fuel.  High materials
and energy  prices, along with demands for, environmentally sound disposal
practices,  will no doubt force municipalities to place more attention on
resource recovery as  it becomes more economically competitive with dis-
     Moreover, bills  introduced in the past few years leave little doubt
that Congress is  seeking.ways of  increasing the  incentives for munici-
palities and industries to engage  in widespread  post-consumer resource
recovery "operations.


     Nevertheless, resource recovery must grow in a national  soil  and

climate which, historically, has favored in  countless  ways  the  careless

use of virgin materials and the random and heedless production  and

disposal of wastes.   Oblique attention is just beginning to be  slightly
focussed on the inhibitions to resource recovery which are  inherent in

our tax structure, depletion allowances, transportation rates,  and tradi-

tional attitudes.

     Since even a  doubling of current projections of resource recovery

plant installations by 1985 would still leave over 70  percent of the

municipal solid waste stream unrecovered--or 14.5 million tons destined

for disposal—it is clear that waste reduction alternatives must be

given serious consideration.  Local'public agencies, whose  solixd waste

management expenditures dwarf those of the State and Federal  levels, have

virtually no influence over the types and quantities of wastes  produced.

Yet we continue to close our eyes to the fact that the producer of what

ultimately becomes waste bases his decisions on the cos'ts that  he

directly experiences, not on the costs incurred by those who must dis-

pose of the wastes.

     Waste reduction touches most directly at the heart of  the  environ-
mental issue.  The furor it has caused has been focussed primarily on

packaging, but this may be deceptive, for the issue raises  a central

question which has very disturbing implications for those who hold the

view that high energy/materials use and high consumption are necessarily

the hallmark of a  technologically advanced society.  Behind the excess

packaging and the returnable versus the nonreturnable beverage  container
arguments lie more serious issues concerning,  for example,  long-lived
tires, more durable appliances, smaller cars,  more renovation in  general
and less demolition, and could involve the redesign of many thousands  of
products to make them require less energy, use less material., and last
     Packaging activity in the United States has grown at a very  rapid
rate over recent decades.--Shipments of containers^and packaging  were
valued at $19.7 billion in 1971, an increase of 5 percent since 1970,  and
an increase of 82 percent since 1960.
     The growth of packaging consumption has led to increased consump-
tion of raw materials and energy, and an increased rate of generation
of solid waste.  In 1971, packaging accounted  for approximately 47 percent
of all paper production, 14 percent of aluminum production, 75 percent
of glass production, more than 8 percent of steel production, and
approximately 29 percent of plastic production.  At that time, energy
used for production of packaging materials represented an estimated 5
percent of total U.S. industrial energy consumption.
     Post-consumer solid waste resulting from the discard of packaging
material was estimated at between 40 and 50 million tons in 1971.
Packaging was thus estimated to be between 30 and 40 percent of municipal
solid waste, based on the EPA estimate of 125 million tons of municipal
solid waste in 1971.
     The leading edge of the packaging controversy has to do with the


returnable versus the nonreturnable beverage  container.   For many years,

those who advocated use of the returnable  beverage  container based  their

case primarily on the litter problem,  and  those  who felt  differently

countered by offering litter-control  programs of one kind or another  and

by 'pointing out that littering in general  was a  personal  problem that

could be overcome only through public  education.   But in  recent years,

as the Environmental Protection Agency finished  the resource recovery
reports that were called for in the 1970 Resource Recovery Act and  the

energy shortage hit home, the battleground has shifted.   When energy  and

materials consumption and attendant environmental  damage  are taken

into account, the defense of the nonreturnable beverage  container

becomes difficult indeed.  Difficult,  perhaps, but  it is  defended with

great amounts of vigor,  determination, and money.

     I think these brief facts make it clear  enough that, no matter how

hard he tries, the local public works  director cannot be  expected to

cope in a really rational and environmentally sound way  with the  "simple"

problem of municipal solid waste management.   There are  too many  contra-

dictions in the system—or non-system, and too many issues with  broad

national and even international implications  clearly beyond his  reach.

Many extend far back in time.

     Historically throughout the economy,  the environmental,  public health,

and direct dollar costs of the disposal of waste have affected only slightly,

if at all, the extraction, manufacturing,  and distribution decisions  of

those sectors of the economy which produce the products  which  account for

the size and nature of various waste streams.

     Ironically, the progress we are making in air and water pollution
control efforts is one of the important reasons why the undesirable con-
         •>                       •
sequences of mismanagement of solid wastes are beginning to be-noticed.
We are finding that more and more of the discards that we once dumped
freely into the air or water are now being placed on the land in ways
which too often allow them to find their way again into surface or ground
waters, or into the air.
     We may be on the threshold of accepting the fact that how a society
treats its land and manages its solid waste is- a fundamental environmental
problem, just as air and water pollution control are, with far-reaching
public health, economic, and social implications, and with an important
bearing on the essential integrity of ecological systems upon which'.we
depend'for life itself.  We may now be ready to admit that it is environ-
mental folly to continue to consign valuable resources to the trash
heap while the world's supplies of resources continue to dwindle.
     Those who would turn back the environmental clock and have us believe
that our environmental behavior patterns of the past should be continued
simply close their eyes to the inherent contradictions in their attitudes.
They know, however/ that in an open society, it is public opinion which
i                                      .
determines national directions and goals, so public concern about energy
needs  is exploited to the fullest. It is often implied that there is some-
thing  vaguely un-American in the view that we should conserve resources
and use science and technology selectively and with foresightful plan-=_
ning.  Considering some of the methods the counter-revolutionists use,

perhaps Congress ought to undertake a  study  to  determine  whether  the,
Environmental  Impact Statements,  known widely as  EIS's, now  required  of
federal agencies,, should be supplemented  by  BSIS's  to  be  prepared by
     The counter-revolutionists.know that, ever since  the beginning of
this decade, the interest and attention of the  public  are the  base on
which improved environmental  authorities, practices, and  attitudes have
been built. They are betting that ,the  people are no longer concerned  about
the forests, plains, and mountains  of  this planet;  about  the misuse of
natural resources; about noise and  pollution.  They are betting  that  the
public no longer cares to be involved  in the process of technology assess-
ment which is occurring in our country.  They are betting that the ordinary weary of participation in the tremendously  important  task  of
making or influencing decisions which  in prior  decades only  the  experts
were expected to make—the expert scientist, the expert  legislator,  the.H
expert lobbyist, the expert bureaucrat, the  expert politician.
     Will they win their bet?  Mindful of the Chinese  proverb, "To
prophesy is extremely difficult—especially  with respect  to  the  future,"
I will, in this Bicentennial and election year, adroitly  duck  my own
question and end my talk with another quotation from Ms.  Hannah  Arendt.
In,another of her books, On Revolution,, published in 1963, she said
the following, which in 1976 seems  quite germane to our  environmental

"...the revolutionary notions  of  public  happiness  and  political
freedom have never altogether0v'a'rVfshed frohPthe&Ariie-r'-itan  scene;
they have become part and  parcel  of  the  very  structure of the
political body of the republic.  -Whether this  structure has  a
granite groundwork,  capable  of withstanding the  futile antics of
a society intent upon affluence and  consumption, or  whether  it will
yield under the pressure of  wealth,  as the  European  communities
have yielded under the  pressure of wretchedness  and  misfortune,
only the future can  tell.  There  exist today  as  many signs to
justify hope as there are  to instill  fear."