The general argument shown in this image is that breathing the outside air has become more toxic to human lungs that inhaling tobacco smoke. More specifically, this image has an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) representative displaying the ‘hazardous’ effects of breathing normally in an everyday surrounding. In conclusion, the artist’s view is that the Environmental Protection Agency is promoting the idea that the typical air we breathe is far worse for us than the smoke we would inhale from tobacco (cigarette) usage.
The argument presented by this image is that the Environmental Protection Agency is severely doubting the health standards of the regular air that humans breathe, and that they suggest tobacco use may be a healthy alternative to breathing cleaner air. The artist makes this argument by having the EPA representative in a Hazmat suit pointing to the dead person with black-filled lungs breathing in flowers (a representation of outdoor air). Meanwhile, the person smoking a cigarette has far less haze in their lungs indicating safer breathing.
The artist addresses the issue of modern hegemonic/neoliberalistic ideas that we have discussed in lecture. These ideas of neoliberalism are expressed by the author knowing the power of the Environmental Protection Agency since it is a governmental organization. This image ties to the neoliberalistic idea of reducing governmental influence and promoting more of an individualistic approach. With influences by big businesses, such as the tobacco industry; it is quite possible that the artist is showing the impact of privatized business on governmental agencies.
In this image, my view is that the Environmental Protection Agency is making the general public more aware of the atmospheric hazards that exist in the outside air. More specifically, I believe that the EPA is foreshadowing what could happen to our biotic features of the environment if we continue to pollute the air and exploit our natural resources. Although one might object that the image is promoting healthy tobacco use, I maintain true to the idea that this image is just an implication to the potential threats that we have on key environmental health issues. Do you agree that governmental agencies, like the EPA, are predicting the potential threats that we have on the environment and ourselves?