Date: Mon, 30 Jun 1997 22:16:05 -0400
From: TERRY IRONS t.irons[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]MOREHEAD-ST.EDU
Subject: Ozark Folk, the Clean Air Act, and Pollution Credits
There is a dialect vocabulary question here, but some people might
properly intrepret this post as an excuse for some kind of
greenpeace political diatribe. But it is nicely framed in a narrative
context, which I hope you will enjoy, and I would also really like an
answer to the dialect question at the end of the post. Of course, I would
also like all of you to think about the environmental issue, even though it
is not really what ADS-L is about.
Earlier today, a colleague and friend of mine was talking to me about his
backyard, from which he has removed the suburban pool concept of the
former residents and which has turned into a mudhole, because we have had a
really wet spring here in Kentucky, which continues into summer (this
fact has played havoc with our tobacco growers, but that is another issue
the nation seems to be dealing with in a rather inept fashion). He has
decided to keep the mudhole as a pond concept, because it is fed by a
The pond is becoming the home to tadpoles and various insect larva, some
of which are extremely rare in occurrence (you might say they should be
on the endangered species list, but we dont worry too much about bugs).
He has tested the water, which includes run-off in addition to the spring
water and has determined that it is pure, entirely free from pollutants.
This accounts for the presence of these insect larva, which will not
survive in water containing any pollutants. (I said they were rare.)
This fact is not surprising in our region, even though the same could not
be said for many other areas of the US. Further, the area in which we
live, eastern Kentucky, already meets the current clean air act standards
regarding ozone and particulate matter. In addition, this region already
exceeds the recently announced controversial more stringent standards.
Unfortunately, this means that companies that pollute can relocate to our
region, because the pollution they emit does not increase the level of
pollution in our region above the threshholds of the current and probably
even the new national standards.
We have seen such an incident, in which a Guardian Motor Plant, which
produces plastic car parts, located in our region. The plant, which will
be completed sometime in 1998, will pump several tons of heavy metal into
the atmosphere as a polluting by-product of their operation. They could not
locate this plant in any other region region of the US without more
stringent pollution controls. But they could locate here
because our air is clear. Because the shit they spew into the air we
breath wont raise this area above the clean air threshholds.
Of course, if they did, they could always buy pollution credits from some
other area, as the White House and EPA officials recently informed us,
concerning the implementation of these new standards.
Before I get back to the dialect question, allow me to finish my greenpeace
The implementation of the clean air act is essentially flawed because it
defines clean air in terms of a regional aggregate and not in terms of
individual action. If we are concerned as a people about clean air, we
should place limits upon what the individual (corporation) may do,
rather than allowing some business to pollute to its hearts delight
because it neighbors are "clean." The revised regulations are flawed
because they place the burden upon governing bodies in various regions
to bring the region into compliance rather than targeting the offending
polluters directly. End of diatribe.
So anyway, my friend observed that this water he tested was pure but it
also had traces of petroleum. So we started singing the theme song to
The Beverly Hillbillys. "Here's a story about a man named Jed, poor
mountaineer barely kept his family fed. One day he was shooting at
some food and up through the ground came a bubbling crude,..."
Wondering whether my friend was going to get rich and move to Beverlee, and
having nothing else to do, I wondered whether it was really appropriate
to call the Clampett's "hillbillys." We got to jawin about "hillbilly"
being a word to refer to people from the Appalachian area. My friend
Robert said that the culture portrayed in the TV show was truly the
culture of the Appalachian folk, but he went on to point out that the
Clampett's were from Arkansas, the home of our. . . .
So we got to thinking there is a word to refer to rural folk from the
Ozarks, in contrast with rural folk from where we live. We concluded
that the term wasnt "Okie" because that referred to people from Oklahoma.
Something in our experience made us think there was a term to refer to
people from the Ozarks, but we couldn't remember what it was. I told him
I couldnt solve our clean air problem, but that some folks I know could
probably tell us what the word we were thinking of is.
So here's the promised dialect question.
What is the (regional) term to refer to someone from the Ozarks?
Ideas on the other problem are welcomed.