13 Reasons the ’70s Weren’t that Great

BY ON February 15, 2017

Our colleagues at Defend Our Future created this incredible photo post highlighting why we need the EPA. The post originally published on Buzzfeed

America in the ’70s wasn’t just lame: It was also disgusting. Luckily, the EPA helped clean it up. Now, Trump’s EPA nominee, Scott Pruitt, is putting our clean air and water at risk again. Call your reps and tell them to oppose Pruitt and to protect the EPA.

1. Tang was a fun thing to drink. Ya know what was way less fun to drink? Water that was pitch black from pollution.

Woman holding jar of filthy water

Luckily, the modern EPA protects clean water.

2. The Bug was kind of a cool car, but it was way less cool when it was rotting in the bay.

Rotting Volkwagon Beetle car in waterway

Thanks to the EPA’s ocean dumping rules, we now have limits on what people can toss into the sea.

3. Lava lamps were kinda lame. That said, at least if they broke and spilled out, it wasn’t as bad as 4,800 Louisville residents being evacuated due to the threat of a liquid chlorine spill.

Louisville residents being evacuated due to the threat of a liquid chlorine spill

In order to prevent events like the Louisville Chlorine Spill Threat, the EPA works with partners to protect against hazardous chemical spills.

4. Wearing platform shoes was whatever, but it was downright terrible when you walked by a factory that was literally burning car batteries.

Factory emitting clouds of pollution

To prevent clearly bad ideas like burning car batteries, the EPA now has common-sense pollution limits.

5. The vibe of your Hawaiian surfing trip was completely harshed by raw sewage being dumped near Waikiki Beach.

Boy next to car with surfboard on top

Area where sewage was dumped near Waikiki beach

Good thing an EPA loan helped build a treatment plant near Waikiki.

6. Wearing earth tones was the worst when it meant that you (and the entire city skyline) blended into the intense smog all around you.

City almost invisible due to heavy smog

Now, you can see both city skylines and your earth-tone clothes because the EPA protects air quality by enforcing the Clean Air Act.

7. Jefferson Airplane concerts got loud, but they weren’t as bad as a deafening airplane barreling over your house.

Airplane flying closely over house

Woman in earphones holding newspaper article about reducing harmful noise pollution

Luckily, the EPA stepped in to save people’s ears by reducing high noise exposure from airplanes.

8. Your ringer T-shirt always got so dirty when you drove by a gypsum plant raining white dust on your car.

Road sign covered in white gypsum dust

Now our air is cleaner, and some dude doesn’t need to write in marker that you have clean air coming in two miles.

9. It was hard to “take it easy” while runnin’ down the road when you knew your gasoline was full of lead.

Car with fight smog ride a horse bumper sticker

The prospect of getting lead poisoning is no fun. Thankfully, the EPA phased out leaded gasoline.

10. That ’70s muscle car looked way less cool when it was parked in the shadow of a power plant.

Houses right in front of nuclear power plant

Today, the EPA limits pollution from fossil fuel power plants and limits radiation from nuclear plants to protect you and your sweet ride.

11. The only thing funkier than funk music was the smell coming from this orange, polluted river.

Orange, polluted river

The EPA used the Clean Water Act to clean up gross rivers just like this one.

12. Remember that kids toy, Barrel of Monkeys? How about this mountain of damaged oil barrels? Remember that?

Huge pile of damaged oil barrels

The EPA now tries to prevent these barrel dumps with hazardous waste permits.

13. Hey, remember disco? Who cares?! In the ’70s, this duck died in a pond full of acid water and sludge.

Dead duck in a pond full of acid water and sludge.

Today, the EPA protects humans and ducks alike by defending clean water and issuing drinking-water health advisories.

For more than 40 years, the EPA has kept Americans safe and our environment clean. Trump’s nominee to lead the EPA, Scott Pruitt, endangers the great work the agency has accomplished. If his record is any indication, we could be headed back to the disgusting ’70s. Don’t want that? Use the call tool below to be put in contact with someone from your senator’s office. Let them know you oppose Pruitt as head of the EPA.

Photos credits:
The US National Archives / Via Flickr flickr.com/photos/usnationalarchives/
Jürgen Hönscheid (CC BY-SA 3.0) / Via commons.wikimedia.org
John Messina / Via commons.wikimedia.org
Bruce McAllister / Via commons.wikimedia.org

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TOPICS: Clean Air Rules and Regulations, Environment, EPA