In January 1972, the Environmental Protection Agency asked nearly 100 freelance photographers to roam the country in the pursuit of a single goal: documenting “the environmental happenings and non-happenings” of the decade. By 1977, the photographers had submitted more than 80,000 images for the project, known as Documerica. About one-quarter of the photographs were shown in public exhibitions but then filed away and largely forgotten.
But not any longer. Here’s a world where the Environmental Protection Act was just kicking in. Prior to this, it was time where companies could get away with hugely disastrous acts of pollution, which not only destroyed nature, but harmed a lot of people too (and, if it didn’t harm people straight away, it could eventually – just Google ‘Mining’ and ‘Mesothelioma’).
How easily the benefits of regulation are forgotten.