By Andrew Szasz
“Not some time past, humans didn't fear concerning the foodstuff they ate. they didn't fear concerning the water they drank or the air they breathed. It by no means happened to them that consuming, ingesting water, gratifying simple, mundane physically wishes can be a perilous factor to do. mom and dad inspiration it was once strong for his or her children to move open air, get a few sun.
“That’s all replaced now.” —from the Introduction
Many american citizens this present day rightly worry that they're continuously uncovered to risky pollutants of their speedy setting: faucet water is infected with chemical substances; meals include pesticide residues, hormones, and antibiotics; even the air we breathe, open air and interior, incorporates invisible poisons. but we've got replied now not by means of pushing for governmental rules, yet in its place by means of purchasing. What bills for this rapid and dramatic response? And what are its unintentional consequences?
Andrew Szasz examines this phenomenon in procuring Our solution to defense. inside of a few a long time, he finds, bottled water and water filters, natural foodstuff, “green” loved ones cleaners and private hygiene items, and “natural” bedding and garments have long gone from being marginal, area of interest commodities to turning into mass buyer goods. Szasz sees those fatalistic, person responses to collective environmental threats as an inverted kind of quarantine, aiming to close the fit person in and the threatening global out.
Sharply critiquing those items’ effectiveness in addition to the unexpected political effects of hoping on them to maintain us secure from damage, Szasz argues that once shoppers think that they're certainly deciding to buy a security from environmental dangers, they suppose much less urgency to truly do whatever to mend them. to accomplish genuine security, genuine protection, he concludes, we needs to hand over the semblance of person recommendations and jointly search substantive reform.
Andrew Szasz is professor and chair of the dept of sociology on the college of California at Santa Cruz and writer of the award-winning EcoPopulism (Minnesota, 1994).
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Extra info for Shopping Our Way to Safety: How We Changed from Protecting the Environment to Protecting Ourselves
Those inputs are present in sufﬁcient quantities only if the petrochemical industry is producing and only if all the waterworks—dams, irrigation channels, pumps—are all intact and functioning. The petrochemical industry and waterworks, in turn, require a working energy system. Once crops are grown—if they can be grown—it takes an immense transportation network of railroads and trucks to move crops from farm to consumer. That infrastructure, too, has to be intact — workers at their jobs, fuel to run engines, and so forth.
S. ”72 Curiously, the subcommittee did not hear much about the nation’s industrial sector. For that we turn to Herman Kahn’s book On Thermonuclear War and Mitchell’s war college textbook on civil defense. The subcommittee’s scenario had bombs destroying seventy-one large cities. 73 Energy is the key to any economic system. Concerning the American economy’s two major sources of power, Mitchell wrote, “electric power . . is apt to suffer severely. . ”74 The subcommittee did hear quite a lot about agriculture and the food supply, primarily from R.
S. foreign policy rested, ultimately, on “ﬁ rm public morale,”40 on “free men who are not afraid,” on conﬁdence that we can “take it if we have to,” some other approach would have to be tried. Ofﬁcials thought the answer was to offer citizens a civil defense system they could believe in. They would stop trying to convince them that an atomic war was going to be no different that a World 24 The Fallout Shelter Panic of 1961 War II–era air raid. ”42 Do emotion management right, you solve “the problem of national will”: a robust and prudent fear would serve as a useful inducement in motivating the public to .