This post was written by one our production interns, Adam Miller.
In the late 1960s, Angela Pieroni was fed up with slow government action on air pollution. She became a Democratic precinct captain, made countless calls to city officials, and went door-to-door to rally support in her Southwest side community. What she found was apathy from her government and a problem that was not soon to go away. Studs Terkel welcomed Pieroni on his show in 1970 along with Dr. Bertram Carnow to discuss these issues.
Dr. Carnow spent over 30 years studying the effects air pollution has on the body. He brings this insight to the conversation as Pieroni, a passionate activist, tells her story of attempting change from the ground up.
Forty-seven years later, their concerns sound familiar. President Trump has begun the process of rolling back environmental regulations including those concerning clean air and water. As Carnow describes, “A lot of people in politics now have gotten on this thing. Some of them I think are sincere in what they’re trying to do. Others I think are just muddying the waters.”
This political battle has slowed federal change in environmental regulations as Republicans and Democrats in government pass the baton to erase their predecessors’ efforts. But strides to combat climate threats persist. “I think if we start now we have a chance,” says Carnow. “I think if we don’t start now we have no chance.”