Death’s in the Air

  • Editorial cartoon from Jerry Doyle
    Jerry Doyle, Death's in the air, Jerry Doyle papers

Death’s in the Air

Air pollution has plagued human settlements for millennia. Citizens of Ancient Rome referred to the city’s smoke-filled skies as gravioris caeli (heavy heaven) and infamis aer (infamous air). Atmospheric pollution was amplified dramatically with the beginning of the Industrial Revolution and the combustion of coal as a primary energy source. While incidents like the Donora Smog in 1948 raised alarm for air quality and its impact on human health, it was not until the environmental movements of 1960s and 1970s that government and industry began to take action. These cartoons from syndicated political cartoonist, Jerry Doyle, captures the mood of those decades, when environmental urgency around air pollution would eventually lead to the first federal laws regulating emissions.

Jerry Doyle
Death is in the air, Civilization Marches On, The “Right to Life” Issue
Jerry Doyle papers
circa 1960-1975

CO2 PPM, 1960-1975: 316.1-329.6

Additional Information

The complete digital collection of editorial cartoons from Jerry Doyle can be viewed online at: