This is a response to this week’s Ask-A-ScienceBlogger question.
I must say, it took a while to come up with a reasonable
answer. I finally settled on environmental policy.
The Environmental Protection Agency was
established in 1970, mostly in response to popular concern
about the damage that was accumulating in the environment as a result
of industrial activity. See the EPA page, Why EPA
Was Established, for details.
There are two reasons for choosing this.
For one, I have no
doubt that the USA would be much worse off if we had not taken
aggressive action to protect the environment. Certainly, the
EPA has saved more lives that all the billions we’ve spent
Secondly, the EPA is appreciated by few people. Advocates for
protection of the environment complain that is has done too little.
They argue that it has been hijacked by the current
Administration. Likewise, pro-industry folks feel that the
EPA has stifled economic growth.
Personally, I tend to side more with the environmental advocates.
The EPA can and should do more to protect us from
irresponsible industrial promoters. However, I still would
say it has been a success, because we would be far worse off without it.