Commoner Says Ecological Crisis Results From Misuse of Technology
"I am not an eco-freak...If it came down to a fish or me the fish would lose out," Barry Commoner told an audience of 350 last in Burden Hall.
Commoner warned, however, that a nation whose "fastest growing item of production is the no-return pop bottle" is committing ecological suicide.
Commoner, director of the Center for the Biology of Natural Systems at Washington University in St. Louis, is the author of Science and Survival, and The Closing Circle. His lecture, on "What Will It Take to Solve the Environmental Crisis?" was the first of three public forums on Air Pollution Control to be presented in the Boston Area this March.
Commoner spent most of the lecture defining the environmental crisis, citing four "cocktail party laws for survival." These laws are "Everything is connected to everything else." "Everything has to go somewhere." "Nature Knows Best," and, "There is no such thing as a free lunch, he said.
He illustrated the present disregard for these laws with a number of slides showing present tendencies to displace old methods of production for more economically efficient ones which are ecologically hazardous.
Commoner said that the public is now more aware of the crisis, but that it must now consider the problem in terms of the "total social context" in order to effectively combat it.
"The way to cope with environmental pollution is to take our jobs as citizens seriously, and govern our country ourselves," he said.