If we are to prevent a worldwide holocaust,
economic and environmental necessity dictate



Today the world suffers from the limited ability of the earth to absorb the wastes from our high populations and from our ever-advancing technologies. As the world's population approaches "zero population growth," the major waste problems involve the nuclear, chemical and biological technologies. In each of these categories, toxic substances with concentrations of one part per billion or less will kill exposed humans. Yet industries producing and marketing these toxic substances have habitually, and often illegally, dumped their uncontrolled wastes into the air, water or soil for convenience. As a consequence, the remotest parts of the earth and its living inhabitants have become contaminated with radioactivity, mercury, DDT, PCB's, Dioxin, and a host of other new toxics.

Whole populations of birds, seals, and other animals at the tops of their food chains are beginning to disappear from the regions of greatest concentration of these deadly industrial wastes. Since human beings are at the tops of all of the food chains on Earth, it is past time for us to revolutionize our thinking and toxic waste practices. If we do not start containing our toxic wastes and keeping them separated from the biosphere for the duration of their toxicity, we too will begin to disappear from the regions of greatest concentration of toxic wastes.

Due to its highly advanced technologies, and a "look the other way" Environmental Protection Agency, the United States is one of the major contributors to the world's uncontrolled toxic wastes burden. Other major contributors are industries in Japan, Europe, the USSR and developing China, India and the Middle East. All of these developed and developing countries are prime customers for toxic waste control products.

The magnitude of such industries can be anticipated by realizing that toxic waste controls are needed on all cars, ships, aircraft, fireplaces, gas furnaces, stoves, dryers, refrigerators, washing machines, sewage systems, power plants (nuclear, coal, oil and gas), mineral refinement plants, steel mills, the petrochemical industries, the electronics industries, all weapons industries (soon to be sharply curtailed), the agricultrual industries and farms, the livestock industries and stockyards, the biocides industries, the aerosol industries ... the list is virtually endless.

What is clear is that a clean, healthy Earth would require a large, vigorous, growing, and continuing industrial program. So there is a large, clear, and continuing market. That is the necessary and sufficient condition for an industry to thrive. But it doesn't exist. So what is the problem?

In capitalistic societies, it is the consequence of "cost/benefit analyses," where the associated human and wildlife costs are not paid by the producers of toxic wastes. Thus, since the burden of proof is usually on critics of toxic waste prodcers, the toxic waste producers virtually never pay the biological costs of their toxic releases into the biosphere. Cost/benefit analyses, indeed!

The only relief from such a condition is environmental protection laws, which exist on the U.S. and state books. But those laws are seldom enforced with any vigor due to the all-pervasive influence of selfish economic interests to the exclusion of all other interests throughout governments.

You might think that things would be different in socialistic societies. Well, it is in a few, but those are not the larger industrial socialistic countries. The larger industrial socialisms are in direct competition economically and/or militarily with capitalistic societies, and they compete in the world market as capitalisms. Thus, a socialism's primary tendency to take care of its citizens first is swept away in good old "cost/benefit analyses" that make their industries competitive in the world market.

This was demonstrated recently when the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown highlighted the disregard for public safety exhibited by the USSR in its lack of nuclear reactor safety features and in its tardy and inadequate evacuation programs. Most socialist industries appear to be the same as or worse than capitalist industries in terms of their toxic waste control programs.

The problem of how to remove the blocks between current industrial practices and the practices required to clean up and maintain a healthy environment has two distinct dimensions, socio-political and technological. The socio-political problem involves establishing adequate environmental laws and enforcing them vigorously. Such programs are much more likely to succeed in a democracy where the people (who pay all of the costs) have a voice in their government.

The technological problems involve a gamut of solutions ranging from a need to develop unprecedented scientific concepts (nuclear and neo-biological waste disposal systems) to simple utilization of well-established knowledge (chemical and traditional biological waste disposal systems).

Thus, we have a foundation for a new industrial commitment that the U.S. can make now to clean up and maintain a healthy Earth environment. No less important to the U.S. is the promise that such a large high-tech industry would have for the U.S. economy as weapons programs are phased out by the end of this century.

So we find that our urge to prevent a worldwide nuclear holocaust has led us to a natural solution that is the only way to solve our growing, long-term environmental problems.


Charles Hyder, Ph.D.
A Watcher at the White House Gate
PO Box 272l7, Washington, DC 20038