By Paul R. Josephson
From dust motorcycles and jet skis to weed wackers and snowblowers, machines powered by way of small fuel engines became an everlasting -- and loud -- fixture in American tradition. yet fifty years of high-speed enjoyable and pristine lawns haven't come with no cost.In the 1st entire background of the small-bore engine and the expertise it powers, Paul R. Josephson explores the political, environmental, and public well-being concerns surrounding considered one of America's most deadly pursuits. each one bankruptcy tells the tale of an atmosphere in the usa and the units that wreak havoc on it -- own watercraft (PWCs) on inland lakes and rivers; all-terrain autos (ATVs) in deserts and forests; garden mowers and leaf blowers in suburbia. as well as environmental affects, Josephson discusses the improvement and advertising of those applied sciences, the felony and regulatory efforts made to enhance their protection and environmental soundness, and the function of householders' golf equipment in encouraging accountable operation.Synthesizing info from clinical journals, fresh environmental study, nongovernmental corporations, and brands, Josephson's compelling background results in one irrefutable end: those machines can't be operated with out dying and lack of habitat. (April 2008)
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Additional info for Motorized Obsessions: Life, Liberty, and the Small-Bore Engine
Approximately two-fifths of the reported deaths result from collisions with trees, wires, bridges, and other vehicles. Some deaths occur when the snowmobile rolls to the side in a ditch or stream and pins the operator under the vehicle. 3 As for environmental issues, state and federal officials have been slow to respond. Snowmobiles appeared in small numbers out of small fabrication facilities in the 1950s (although their predecessors date to the 1920s). By the end of the 1960s they were being produced in sufficient numbers to raise concern about their environmental costs in wilderness lost, magnificent megafauna disturbed, and forest rangers exposed to noxious emissions.
Manufacturers have tried to tone them down, with some success. New-model machines mostly reach laboratory standards of 96 dB—loud enough to produce loss of hearing and to suggest that ear protection always be employed. ” Fordism in Outdoor Recreation 13 Federal, state, and local public health authorities have long recognized the dangers and costs of exposure to excessive noise. But governmental activity in the area of noise abatement prior to the 1970s was almost nonexistent, and in any case was short lived.
Like the automobile, ATVs are familiar, their use is voluntary, and they symbolize freedom. On top of that, they were already well embedded in our social, political, and cultural institutions by the time state and federal agencies had analyzed anecdotal evidence and gathered sufficient data to reveal the significant risk of operating them, especially three-wheeled models. Fordism in Nature The spread of recreational vehicles throughout the nation’s lands with what many individuals argue is insufficient oversight has created one last situation that calls for circumspection.