Unquestionably, controversies about the substance and timing of the new round of preventive growth-and-expansion-limiting environmental reforms will cut deeper than have previous debates about cleanup and corrective proposals. They should. Implicit in suggestions that environmental stability and purity take precedence over profits and production is the demand that we drastically alter our fundamental economic theories and practices and the lifestyle predicated on them.
Emmett McLoughlin, who works for a shopping center and home builder and is a member of the city council in Tucson, has been waging a public campaign against no-growth policies, which he feels affluent, intellectual environmentalists are attempting to force on the city. "The working people in this community have been backed into a comer by the non-productive elements in Tucson who want to stop the growth of the city," says McLoughlin. He also says, "The private automobile and the single-family house are the embodiment of America's quest for maximum personal freedom."
Environmentalists have been the most effective reformists of the past 25 years. If the reforms they are now proposing are accepted, they could well be remembered as the most successful American revolutionaries since 1776.