Smoke and Mirrors: The Politics and Culture of Air Pollution

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NYU Press, Jul 1, 2004 - Law - 360 pages
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Who gets to breathe clean air? Who benefits from the cheaper products produced with dirty air? The answers, as the contributors to Smoke and Mirrors tell us, are sometimes as gray as the air itself.

From the coal factory chimneys in Manchester in the late nineteenth century to the smog hanging over Los Angeles in the late twentieth century, air pollution has long been one of the greatest threats to our environment. In this important collection of original essays, the leading environmental scientists and social scientists examine the politics of air pollution policies and help us to understand the ways these policies have led to, idiosyncratic, effective, ineffective, and even disastrous choices about what we choose to put into and take out of the air. Offering historical, contemporary and cross-national perspectives, this volume provides a refreshing new approach to understanding how air pollution policies have evolved over time.


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Page xxxii - And she may still exist in undiminished vigour when some traveller from New Zealand shall, in the midst of a vast solitude, take his stand on a broken arch of London Bridge to sketch the ruins of St. Paul's.
Page xl - I may be allowed the expression : for in this case, not only does the cure of the visible not effect the cure of the invisible evil, but every effort to effect the cure of the one only Increases the noxiousness of the other. Perfect freedom from smoke would, if accomplished, only increase the evil arising from the purely gaseous results of combination.

About the author (2004)

E. Melanie DuPuis is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Santa Cruz and author of Nature's Perfect Food: How Milk Became America's Drink.

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