Rose coloured glasses are dangerous things and tend to give you tunnel visionJandra wrote:Some good and relevant points were made in the past posts, but...
Rivers, which now harbour fish again, were absolutely foul 40 years ago. There was sulfur in petrol causing acid rain, there was lead in petrol; very healty as well. And though there were less cars, each car in itsself was much more polluting than current cars (less efficient in use and in production, not recyclable, no bioplastics used) and much less safe.
There were phosphates in detergents. There was landfill (in the Netherlands we burn all garbage now), much less control over chemical waste. Smog was much more common in big cities. The milkman's electric float was powered by electricity generated by dirty coal energy plants. DDT was still allowed and causing havoc in the food chain... and so on and forth.
All in all I think the environment is now much less polluted in the west than it was 40 years ago.
When I was growing up we had meat once a week (Sunday joint) which sure enough came wrapped in paper, but ....
chicken were only eaten for Christmas dinner as they were way too expensive and turkey was unheard of.
Chicken were so valuable they were donated as raffle prizes, and bowling for a pig was the main attraction at the village fete.
We kept about 100 chicken and sold the eggs for 2/6d a dozen, which was the going price, when the average wage was about £10 per week.
Vegetables were only available "in season" apart from dried pulses, no frozen food. No exotic veg like peppers, aubergines, garlic, squash and courgettes were destined to be marrows when they grew up.
Regarding the cars though, they certainly were more polluting but virtually nobody had one, so not sure if that's entirely relevant.
Every town had it's own gas plant, no natural gas then ... gas was made by heating coal and then stored in gasometers (remember them ?) and you could smell the sulphur dioxide for miles downwind.
On the plus side though, rivers were allowed to flood every winter, nobody in their right mind would even think of building a house on a flood plain. There were far more ponds about, ponds that I used to collect duck eggs from and went fishing in as a kid are no longer there as the water table has lowered so much they are now just depressions in the ground.
Also on the plus side, although I didn't know it at the time, the swinging 60's were just around the corner and I was just about the right age to enjoy the whole decade to it's fullest extent
Sorry about that ... I wandered off topic a bit (in nostalgia mode).