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48 J. Urb. L. 631 (1970-1971)
Public Policy for Controlling the Environment

handle is hein.journals/udetmr48 and id is 641 raw text is: Public Policy For Controlling The
No single issue has so captivated public attention in recent months
as concern over deterioration of the environment. Problems of
environmental pollution, land use planning, population control, and
resource sufficiency have come to dominate the public forums of the
nation. Awareness of these problems has created increased demands for
the development of public policies for controlling the environment.
The issue of public control over the environment is a very ancient
concern. Man has always sought to control not only his environment but
all of nature. Man's relationship to the natural environment, and
nature's influence upon the course and quality of human life, are among
the oldest topics of speculation. Myth, folktale, and fable; custom,
institution, and law; philosophy, science, and technology - all, as far
back as records extend, attest to an abiding interest in these concerns.'
In many ways, however, the concern over environmental
deterioration is strikingly new and revolutionary, appearing almost to
have emerged full blown onto the national stage. The emergence of this
concern among Americans can be traced to a combination of
developments. First, the population explosion following World War II
coupled with the migration from rural to urban areas increased the size
of our cities, and the rise in the concentration of population compounded
the problems of waste disposal, traffic congestion, and urban blight.
Second, the rapid advance of industrial technology brought on new
and very complex problems by creating a host of new processes and
products with greatly increased potential for harming the environment.
Not only did technology give us the indestructible beer can, but it also
created pesticides and insecticides with long lasting toxic residues,
detergents that don't dissolve, food additives that individually and
collectively threaten public health, supersonic planes with their sonic
booms, and the modern automobile with its increased potential for
polluting the environment.
Finally, even with the rise in population, advancing technology was
able to generate even larger increases in national income. As per capita
* Lecturer in Economics, The University of Texas at Austin.

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