The US used to be a much worse place to live...

Now that the Mueller findings is old news, the news-cycle is already changing and going back to the old standby that world is going to die from a environmental disaster in a decade or two.

People who believe this crap need to take some refresher courses in history.

Things used to be much much worse. We produced released more CO2 into the air a century ago than now. By WE, I am referring the United States. We do not talk about it because it does not fit the current political narrative and we simply did not have a way to even track it.

Go look at the living conditions in any US city at the turn of the 20th century. Air quality was horrible due to using things like coal for heating and cooking. Disease was common due to the lack of clean water and sanitation services like sewage and regular trash pickup. Tenement housing was common.

Now go to the industrial areas. Companies simply did what they wanted. There was no consequences for unsafe conditions or environmental harm. Places like mines did so much harm that they destroyed entire water tables and ecosystems. Look at Lake Tahoe's history on that. This kind of thing was common. Yet somehow we have to go to history books or museums to learn about this? Where did all of these damaged sites go to? Places like New York City and St. Louis should have layers of soot baked onto their buildings if all of this was true and old building soot dust in the sub floors and walls.

If you lived in the Midwest the odds are that you did not see any trees that were close to any town. Trees were such a big deal that if one survived in town, a park usually developed around it. Look at pictures from any town in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, and you will not see trees in the pictures. Entire forests were leveled in places like central Missouri to build the big cities. Almost all of the modern forests in the Midwest are new growth forests. The only old growth forests in the US are in extremely rural parts of the Northwest, Alaska, and protected lands.

If this was true, why are forests and trees common almost everywhere in the Midwest?

What has changed? Technology and public policy.

Technologies like electricity created the possibility for natural gas and water to be delivered to homes and businesses, negating the need for coal to be used in the cities. This led to a massive shift in public policy to electrify and install water and sewage to everyone. We all benefited from this and the diseases that were common in the 19th and early 20th century are now in history books or something you find in third world nations.

Next, oil products like kerosene and fuel oil, eliminated the need for rural and urban homes to use coal, wood, and whale oil to heat and light their homes. Once electric and natural gas/propane became common even K1 ( kerosene) and fuel oil has been mostly phased out.

We used to put lead in gasoline as a requirement for engines of that era. That caused its own issues. Engines were improved to not need it. It is impossible to find leaded fuel in the US.

Smog used to be a major problem in the US. Now it is not that common in most cities because public policy shifted to place an economic cost on existing technologies. This drove for increases in public transportation and more importantly improvements to engines became affordable to where even the most affordable entry level vehicle produces far less pollution than even a generation ago. Today, smog is only common on extreme days in most US cities.

Overall the US is actually one of the cleanest first world nations. We tend to change things by creating affordable improvements in technology that is sometimes driven by public policy.

Look at hybrids and electric cars. Electric cars pre-date gas powered cars. They never got popular as a common vehicle because they have major limitations and are expensive.

Hybrids were developed to address the limited range problem and initially were quite expensive, demand drove research and the technology has improved to the point that hybrid models cost the same as a gas car with significant less long term operation costs. Now they are a very practical vehicle for things like commuting and some kinds of long distance travel.

Electric cars are growing in popularity and is driving research. Right now the problem is the same problem electric cars have always had, cost, range, and charging infrastructure. This is starting to change. Once a model that can carry a family, 500 miles on a single charge for under $30,000 and that family can drive across the US in the same amount of time as a gas car, you will see the era of gas powered cars end. They will be used only for extremely rural areas and expensive to operate.

People do not study history, thus they have forgotten their past. If people did remember their past, they would automatically reject ideas that the US is destroying the world though its technological advances. Of course we can improve things, but under a capitalistic system, viable affordable improvements are the solution. Banning and taxation will only harm the economy and force people to revert to older technologies to survive.