Water Resources People and Issues
In the case of nuclear war there is some sense of efficacy. Some believe that
they could stop the bomb. They could freeze its production. That's probably
why the nuclear freeze has been appealing. From a political standpoint, it's
a simplified, unrealistic kind of action in the opinion of many policy experts.
To ordinary people it seems a practicable kind of action.
I would argue that with respect to the environmental movement, one reason
people became devotees of certain kinds of environmental action in the late
sixties and early seventies was that they had a sense of efficacy about it.
They could stop Echo Park Dam from being built. And they did, at the time.
They could stop a dam in Grand Canyon. And some people feel this about
the nuclear weapons today. Others don't, and they find it very difficult to
even think about. According to some studies, youngsters find it easier to
think about it and are more ready to articulate their anxiety than are adults.
A number of school systems have special counseling programs for youngsters
who are worrying about nuclear war.
Q: Let's turn to a happier subject.
A: I thought that might be an appropriate way to conclude; starting out talking
about little things like floods and ending up with nuclear war.
Q: Well, I want to conclude with just a couple of questions, We haven't talked
much about your wife, and we haven't talked much about your family in
general. Why don't you fill me in on your children, your wife and what she
does, and SO forth.
A: I met my wife in Washington in the home of Colonel Clark, deputy
administrator of the Public Works Administration, where we'd both been
invited for dinner. She graduated from Vassar and later went into the
National Labor Relations Board as a field investigator. Earlier she was a part
of the survey opinion work that was first undertaken in the United States. As
you may know, it was organized under M.L. Wilson's aegis in the
Department of Agriculture, with a top-notch group of social psychologists,
Jerry Bruner, Rensis Likert, and others who later formed the Institute for
Social Studies at the University of Michigan. They did the first surveys of
people's opinions about what was going on in the country. They began asking
why farmers do not take advice. Then came the war and they were asked to
find out why people bought bonds. That stimulated her interest in survey