Cracker Barrel on Regulating Responsibility

Business and the Environment

Crisis Fortune Telling

As far back as 1977, The Atlantic Monthly offers a review of contemporary crises:

Like asbestos, mercury, and DDT, the newly emerging crises are not to be dismissed lightly; but is the threat they pose diluted in the public’s mind by a kind of crisis overkill? Possibly, says Dr. Selikoff, observing that when he walks through the halls of Mount Sinai, he is occasionally asked, “Well, what’s the carcinogen of the week, doc?” Or is the awareness that so many things in our environments cause cancer just too horrible to contemplate? Maybe, Dr. Selikoff says, but he believes that crisis headlines underscore a hopeful new trend:

“We’re in a new phase of research in which for first time we’re beginning to identify the causes of cancer. Whereas at one time cancer was though to be an inevitable accompaniment of old age, we realize that each cancer has a cause, environmental or otherwise. Any new cause of cancer may seem like bad news to some people, but it’s the kind of a news we have to have in order to get the good news.”


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