So spoke the US Environmental Protection Agency administrator Carol Browner after the Cuyahoga River went up in flames on 22 June 1969. The fire, which reached the height of a five-storey building, was only the latest – and most widely publicised – of a series of fires resulting from the debris, oil and other pollution on the river. It led Randy Newman to pen his song ‘Burn on, big river’ and prompted legislation to deal with the scandal of pollution in US waterways.
‘The Cuyahoga will live in infamy as the only river that was ever declared a fire hazard.’
Congressman Louis Stokes
‘It was strictly a run of the mill fire.’
William E Barry, chief of Cleveland Fire Department
#229 No Return to ‘Normal’ ● Sir David King blasts the government ● State power, policing and civil rights under Covid-19 ● Hope and determination in grassroots resistance ● Black liberation and Palestine ● The future of ‘live’ ● Pubs, patriotism and precarity ● Latest book reviews ● And much more!
And you choose how much to pay for your subscription...
Alethea Warrington describes how the fossil fuels industry hopes to change its image but not its practice
Ndella Diouf Paye writes about her experiences working as a carer for a private company
Politicians, the state, and the market have failed to come to terms with Covid-19. Can 'people power' navigate a way out of the crisis? K Biswas introduces the TNI Covid Capitalism Report
Oli Carter-Esdale explores the weaponisation of the pint and asks: where next for the hospitality sector?
Materially, the UK is not a nation – with fewer common experiences than ever before, from schools and policing to borders and governance – argue Medb MacDaibheid and Brian Christopher
While economic activity slowed down during the Covid-19 crisis, accumulation of wealth continues for capitalists at the cost of key workers’ health and wellbeing, writes Notes From Below