Huber, Peter W. Hard Green
New York: 1999. ISBN 0465031129
Pages 144-6 and 184-5
“Efficiency” planners have been around a lot longer than Soft Greens. Socialism, recall, was “Scientific.” It wasn’t just going to make cars or refrigerators efficient, it was going to make whole economies efficient. It was going to wring the waste out of capitalism itself. Yet centrally planned industrialism, for all its desperate pursuit of efficient production, produced far fewer amps and ingots than the honestly efficient capitalists. Everywhere they came to power, central planners laid waste.
Economic waste, and environmental waste, too. They despoiled the environment with gross, arrogant, blundering, callous, stupid savagery almost unimaginable to us capitalists. Murray Feshbach and Alfred Friendly, Jr., set out some of the appalling details in a 1992 book, Ecocide in the USSR. For seventy-five years, the Commies systematically poisoned the air, soil, and water of one-sixth of the Earth’s land mass, stretching from Poland to the Pacific. Draining the Aral Sea in Central Asia to irrigate cotton fields, they precipitated the “greatest single, man-made ecological catastrophe in history.” In Western Siberia they poisoned the Tom River and the Angara River, and hence Lake Baikal, the Enisel, and the waters northward to the Artic Ocean. In European Russia they poisoned the Volga, Dnieper, and Don. In the steel city of Magnitogorsk their open hearth furnaces dumped 870,000 tons of atmospheric pollutants per year into the air. “No other great industrial civilization so systematically and so long poisoned its land, air, water and people.”