The Jan. 27, 1967, cover of TIME Cover Credit: LARRY LEE
Jan 23, 2017
Milestone moments do not a year make. Often, it’s the smaller news stories that add up, gradually, to big history. With that in mind, in 2017 TIME History will revisit the entire year of 1967, week by week, as it was reported in the pages of TIME, to see how it all comes together. Catch up on last week’s installment here.
Illustrated with several pages of color photos, this cover story traced the growing awareness that "belching smokestacks that long symbolized prosperity" were becoming a "source of irritation," or worse. Though air pollution wasn't a new phenomenon, it was getting worse as consumption of power increased in the U.S. and around the world, causing "$11 billion a year in property damage alone" and numerous health problems. It was also, the magazine noted, causing a "gradual warming trend" that could "melt the polar ice craps"—a warning that may sound like something meant for today's readers, not those of 50 years ago. (As the magazine noted, this disaster would at least solve one problem: "Since this would raise ocean levels more than 100 feet, it would effectively drown the smog problems of the world's coastal cities.")