It has always been thus.
The so-called Dark Ages saw a time when filth and stench were part of daily life in Europe, whether in town or country. Lack of effective sanitation or plumbing, coupled with rising urban populations, inadequate nutrition resulting from insufficient food supplies, and low morale brought about by a corrupt feudal system, eventually led to conditions within which the Black Plague could flourish. By the Middle Ages, outbreaks were common, including the one in 1348 which decimated a large portion of the population of Europe. Neither cleanliness nor perfumes entered the daily regime of the typical citizen—oddly enough, it was thought that bathing would actually increase one's risk of disease, by opening the pores and letting in poisoned air! We do know, however, that those who worked in perfume factories and apothecaries which dispensed fragrant materials were rarely struck with plague. The volatile essential oils present in many perfumes offered one of the best forms of disinfection—the "plague doctors" of the time wore hoods fitted with large "beaks" which were filled with various herbs, spices and oils. Though dubious methods were often employed to "cure" plague, the crude understanding that "poisoned vapors" were a partial cause led to the use of fragrant materials to cleanse the air and eliminate what was thought to be "the stench of pestilence" (from Annick Le Guerer's Scent).
As was benevolence disguising greed.
Last week, when a thick gray haze blanketed Beijing and several other Chinese cities, sending kids to the hospital, grounding planes and causing the government to order cars off the road, Chen Guangbiao took to the streets in Beijing to hand out yellow and green cans of smog-free, non-carcinogenic air."Free fresh air. Open it and drink it and breathe it!" the Guardian quoted the multimillionaire and national celeb as saying. "It keeps you fresh the whole day!"Ego aside (the bright cans feature an image of Chen's face and the words "Chen Guangbio is a good man" on them), the clever, political stunt is just the sort of thing that China needs these days. Such creative and public protests should help push forward much-needed national reforms to combat air pollution in the country.
Official Enemy Sources
The answer has always been before us;
The spread of major epidemic diseases such as cholera and typhoid has been associated with drinking water since the mid-nineteenth century. Prior to this many people wondered what could be causing these diseases and there were two main factions; the contagionists, who believed that small animalcules spread illness and the miasmists, who believed that diseases arose spontaneously from accumulations of noxious material. Although the contagionists eventually won the argument, the miasmist theory held sway for many years and led to the removal and cleaning up of a great many nuisances and disgusting watercourses. Florence Nightingale was a noted miasmist as was Edwin Chadwick, the father of environmental health .
We just never fucking learn;
Science has made us gods even before we are worthy of being men"
* these two words should have avid readers and UN arms inspectors (sales division) in a frenzy. A No-Fly-Zone must be omposed to save the oppressed people of South South England. They have biological weapons and have used them!
(ii) I just haven't specified when.