A lot of people were buying suburban property in the 70s. And over the last 40 years, normal, modern homeowners have saturated "their" soil with lawn insecticides and other chemicals, making their land toxic and only able to grow a few species of grass with massive doses of chemical fertilizers. Their land "belongs to them" so they can destroy it if they want to - and even if they don't want to, they are free to experiment with their property until they destroy it by accident. Which is what suburban property-owners have done.
2010 was a banner year for oil spill catastrophes. While BP was destroying the Gulf of Mexico on commercial television, Exxon-Mobile was quietly doing even more destruction in Nigeria, which isn't near the US coast. The rest of the earth being a flyover place for commercial media, the Nigerian catastrophe is unknown to most of the people who consume Nigerian oil.
Since oil companies own the oceans and Africa, most American consumers took this in stride, going about their daily lives, feeding chemicals to their patch of grass and trying to collect more status symbols than their neighbors - boats parked in front of massive lawns fronting oversized cartoon-version of plantation houses and Italian villas. Mass media owns our opinions, so we don't have much say in what happens to our environments or what kinds of lives we lead.
The earth is increasingly seen as belonging to large corporations and the tycoons who control them. And if the trend continues, we - the human race including tycoons - will go extinct. Which is a shame, but there's nothing we can or ought to do about it because the rich own the non-rich as well. The 1% won all their class wars.
We belong to them.
our houses are too large - there's lots of space for elephants in every room