Monday, February 22, 2010

Environmental Impact and Nostalgia

Chris Clayton passes on an academic argument that USDA should be doing an environmental impact statement for farm programs, with the implication that the green types may well sue based on the argument.  I'm no expert in such issues, but I remember back when the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, which requires the impact statements, was passed, and ASCS scrambled to figure out how to comply with it.  As I remember the lawyers of the day decided an impact statement was needed for the Agricultural Conservation Program (the cost-sharing for conservation practices program which has evolved and evolved since then). I guess they said there wasn't enough direct impact of the production adjustment programs on the environment.  As I remember the Directives Branch in which I worked got stuck with the assembly and typing job, since we had by then bought some IBM Magnetic Tape Selectric Typewriters.

MT/ST's were an early and primitive form of word processor.  Few people much younger than I will appreciate the advances technology has made in that area.  Why back in the day we not only walked in the snow uphill both ways to school 5 miles, but we were able to type copy very fast and with no errors, ever. Standards have purely gone to hell since then, and it's all the fault of computers.

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