|Forests, buildings, and lakes can be severely damaged by rain that is acidified by |
pollutants from hundreds of miles away. Image: BBC
Today's installment of BBC Witness History is the story of the Swedish scientists who identified the acid-rain problem. Their story is emblematic of many such discoveries. Denial was strongest among those most responsible for the problem. When proven wrong, the deniers switched from "it's not happening" to "it is not worth solving."
This story included a special gem for me: the graduate student being sent by his professor to share findings at a hostile conference. Reminds me of the (rhetorical) rotten tomatoes thrown at the stage when I spoke at a conference of lake managers.
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