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The problem of getting our minorities, not only minorities, but poor people, to a better place in society, I would place first, but I think that the roots that we can do that with are better educational opportunities at all levels and better employment opportunities, broadening our concept of employment possibly. We can't get either of those, by the way, if we give up our strength of industry or anything else. We have got to keep them strong, because they are the ones, our industry and our academic institutions, colleges and all, that are involved in treating these problems, who are going to have to solve these two things, and we have to get to keep them strong.
The second priority that I would suggest has to do with our environment. The reason I say that is that we may be at the time in society in which we have so much more power to change environment adversely and sometimes almost unwittingly--it sneaks up on us-but I think that this is something we must address very rapidly. They are not only the short-range problems, but they are the longrange problems, and I really believe we have got to get science thinking on these much more effectively and coming up with some answers as to what are the long-range effects of some of the things we have been doing
You know, all through history as society has used science, it has run into the problem of what is the risk of using it, and you go right back to the early days of this country when steam engines and steamships were coming along. Well, should we allow these to enter as important elements of our society? They are pretty dangerous, because the boilers blow up quite often and kill people. But we had to figure out what were the risks there, and we had to work our technology to a point where we got acceptable risks of things happening.
Today we have an exact counterpart in the aeronautical business, our airplanes. We have to keep worrying. We want better transportation by air, and we have to keep worrying what are the risks we are willing to take. We want to get rid of mosquitoes and the bugs which bother us. What are the risks we are willing to take? Because each thing we do, involves some risk to society as a whole, and we are plunging along so rapidly in technology that sometimes we haven't thought enough.
So I think this is my second highest priority.
Then I would turn to other problems such as transportation and the greater convenience of living, to improve these areas. These matters are obviously all related, but those would be the priorities I would suggest for society.
Mr. DADDARIO. Mr. Pettis.
Mr. PETTIS. I would like to ask Dr. Stever a question, because I have the same concern he does. I think my priorities are pretty much along the line of his.
I have been working on a task force on earth resources and population. We have had some people testify before our group. You mentioned this as your first priority—the problem of the minorities and giving them opportunity for employment and education and all the rest, but you take a very basic scientific fact, for example, of a man and' his wife with an IQ of 75, and they have 14 children. You have got a built in
Dr. STEVER. Problem.
Mr. PETTIS. Because the chances are there aren't going to be many progeny that will have an intelligence that will take advantage of the education of the kind that you and I are talking about. Education for crafts and trades and skills, maybe, yes, but when we get into sophisticated areas of solving our problems, no.
Dr. STEVER. Mr. Pettis, the reason I said, in my statement, I would like to possibly come to a new concept of both education and employment, is to take account of that. We sometimes think of education only as going right to the highest, and it is true that a physicist who is going to work on the accelerator or the aeronautical engineer who is going to build a supersonic transport or any other specialist has got to have a high degree of education of the kind we have in our most edvanced colleges and universities. On the other hand, education is also concerned with the early years of young people and with bringing to an optimum everybody no matter what their environment is to begin with. So I say, if we adopt a broader concept of what education is and a broader concept of what employment is, we may be able to get at some of these problems. It is going to be tough, because it isn't just educating scientists for doctorate degrees; it is educating all kinds of people.
Mr. PETTIS. If you gentlemen could yield for a moment, I talked yesterday with a group of carpenters. Now, they want to help get us out of this hard-core unemployed problem. Yet, they say they cannot yield on this point of a high school education, for example, because if you are going to be a good carpenter, you have got to have at least an eighth grade and hopefully a little more than that in the way of an education, in order to be a good carpenter, to get these 2 by 4’s together or to take measurements and to do all the rest.
So what I am really saying, is that it looks, to me, as though some of the things I read in the headlines, some of the problems we face socially, have at their roots some situations which are going to be most difficult for us as a society to solve.
Dr. STEVER. I agree. Mr. PETTIS. I haven't the answers, but I can tell you there are a lot of questions that I would like to have the answers to that are so basic. Maybe one of the problems we have is that we place too much emphasis upon a college degree and a Ph. D. in physics or space physics
Dr. STEVER. You are hitting very close to home.
Mr. PETTIS (continuing). Or aerobiology or space physics, and if you haven't got that today, you are nobody.
Dr. STEVER. Mr. Pettis, I don't want to downgrade those things, but I really do think you have got to upgrade the other things you are talking about; and when you talk about education or anybody in this Congress talks about education, you shouldn't bring in just the college or university president with a doctor's degree in physics, but you should bring in those who are concerned with the other problems as well, and that is exactly what I mean by broadening the concept of education and also broadening the concept of employment.
It may be that we are going to have to arrange a profit system for our industry which permits them to contribute more to the upgrading of people who are marginal and submarginal, people whom they wouldn't hire if all they had to do was to maximize their profit in a competitive business. This is also going to take a lot of doing, but I think that is exactly what we are talking about. I agree with you.
Mr. DADDARIO. You don't mean that you increase the opportunity to take care of these problems of our society at the lower level by depressing the opportunities at the higher level, do you? The more education and the more opportunity you have for more people, the more concern there is about this problem and more ability to handle results. It is because we have this concern that we appear to be in such violent conflict.
Dr. STEVER. Mr. Chairman, I would like to get in a plug for the young people of today. They are much maligned for a lot of things, but I have never seen any time in my life in which more of them are willing to go at these tougher jobs that you are talking about. This is an encouraging thing. A large number of our graduates want to get into the tougher problems of education and don't want just to go possibly to the top in sometimes easier things.
Mr. DADDARIO. What you are saying we should organize so that there will be an opportunity for them to participate in a meaningful way.
Ďr. STEVER. That is right. I agree. I absolutely agree. That is why I say broaden the concept of education. That is why I say in industry, broaden the concept of employment.
Mr. Pettis. We took a step in that direction the other day on the floor when we passed some legislation which would actually give some emphasis to the-what do we call them-gifted child. All right, so we do something for the gifted child, but what about the kid that isn't gifted ?
Dr. STEVER. That I think is a very large problem in our society. Mr. PETTIS. Also there was something the same day for them.
Mr. DADDARIO. You do seem to be going to each extreme. What about the ones in between?
Dr. STEVER. You mean like all of us?
Mr. DADDARIO. You have given us a few priorities. They relate themselves in a way. You can't really separate them. How would you structure them?
Dr. STEVER. Well, I think that with respect-let's take the first priority—to education, a very large number of the innovative things not only for the top level of this scale but the bottom level as well, come as a result of grants by people in industry and in foundations who are anxious to move things in that direction. I think you should begin to put pressure on the education agencies of this country to address those problems more than they have and to make the colleges and universities address them by educating people who are interested in helping the lower scale as well.
I think you should give aid to industry to broaden the concept of employment; that is, industry and craft unions and all the unions and all kinds of employers, 'not just industry, but all employers. That is going to take a lot of time.
On the second priority, with respect to the pollution and the environment, I really think here is where we need much stronger organization, not simply of basic science, but of the entire problem for application. Here I really think we can move it faster. We can use more money. We can use better organizations. We ought to tackle this in the same kind of emergency way we tackled space 10, 15 years ago.
The third area, which was transportation and improvement of the physical things that we want, I think here we can beef up current agencies to do a better job. These are all applications of science.
Going back to one other thing, I still point out that one gets the people interested in our society, in doing the things we have been talking about, and we get those people mainly from our colleges and universities. They are the ones who are going to lead, with certain exceptions. The people who are leading unions, for example, are not usually college people, but a large number of our leaders, leaders here in this Congress and so on, come from our colleges and universities. We have got to make sure that colleges and universities stay strong, especially in science; to have them stay strong will depend on government support. There is no question.
Mr. DADDARIO. Dr. Stever, would you excuse me for one moment. The Chairman is cailing me on a long distance call.
Will you take care of it, George, for a moment?
Mr. Brown. Dr. Stever, let me bring up a subject or an aspect of this subject of the environment which may or may not be relevant here, but I was recently reading a paper by an eminent ecologist from my own State in which he pointed out that what you have in most forms of environmental pollution and you can look at it from many different ways—is that pollution, in effect, constitutes a social cost that somebody
If the automobile creates smog, why, the smog constitutes a cost and it is borne by someone. It adversely affects, say, the surrounding agriculture, the health of the people, and the farmers have to move or the people have additional medical costs. He suggests that one imperative in terms of doing something is to recognize that the costs of pollution have to be internalized in the institution which creates the pollution. It is not always easy to identify the specific institution, but let us use the automobile as an example, and I don't want to pick on them, but let's say they are responsible for the air pollution that exists in Los Angeles. Presently, the air pollution cost is being met by the citizens in terms of adverse effects on their health and other environment.
In some fashion or other, the automobile industry ought to internalize that cost, either by allocating funds to produce a nonpolluting engine, or something of that sort. Of course, this raises a number of questions.
At what point, for example, do you set a standard at which the social costs have to be seriously considered. A little pollution isn't really that bad, and most everybody can tolerate it, but at some point you have to set a limit and begin to require that the social costs be taken into consideration.
has to pay
Is this line of thinking one that you would feel is a practical way of approaching this? It applies to, say, industrial plants on a river. By throwing their waste into the river at a very low cost, to them, they are creating a very large cost to the other users of the river; and by making industry internalize that cost—and it could be a very serious cost-you are going to effect a lot of economic relationships between industries, between plants, between processors. It might, in effect, reorganize our whole economic or industrial system in some degree.
Can we do that? Is that a practical thing to do?
Dr. STEVER. Well, I worded a little differently what you call social costs or costs to society. I called it risks, and in the pollution area, we do incur these risks or costs; but I think there is one missing thing in your analysis.
The reason we have automobile pollution is not because the automobile companies make automobiles; it is because the people buy automobiles and use them. So, the cost will come to the user and not to the industry. We can't put the automobile makers out of business by making it so unprofitable that they have no investment, so they just go out of business. We are going to have to solve that by having society pay for the cost. In this particular case, if the automobile companies are forced by legislation to do better with respect to pollution or introduce entirely new kinds of engines, if they can do it, the people who buy those and use them will be the ones who pay, so the cost is not to the industry. We have really got to get this concept across. The same principle applies to airplane noise, for example, or airplane safety.
In the end, it is not our objective to put those companies out of business. It is our objective to get what they furnish society, which we all want, and to pay for it.
Now, you know, I was thinking about how the automobile companies could help on pollution, and let's take an extreme way. Suppose regulations were passed which limited the power of engines for a given size. Suppose we just cut the total horsepower in this country by 50 percent. All right, we would have a broad-ranging impact, because there would be less oil sold and the cars wouldn't be able to accelerate so fast. They might be less safe in certain situations, but we would reduce pollution.
So I think we have to work through this pretty carefully and, you know, it may be in the end we would have to do something extreme like that unless somehow our technology can come un with some answers where we can, in fact, have high power, burn as much petroleum as we do, and not give off the bad pollutants. Yes, this is obviously our big problem.
Mr. Brown. The way I phrase the point makes it appear as if I thought you could force the automobile companies to absorbs a total social cost of their product. Obviously, ultimately the consumer of the product always bears the full cost.
The question is one really of the process of allocating cost in a situation and determining when certain costs must be allocated in a different way.
To take again the smog example, at present we will say a large part of the cost in Los Angeles is borne by, say, the 10,000 old people and invalids whom the doctors say have to move out of Los Angeles because of the smog, and none of them own cars. We will assume that.