Thursday, April 22, 2010

The LuLac Edition #1159, Apr. 22nd, 2010



I was in high school during the first Earth Day. It was an exciting time to be a young observer of all things political and cultural in this nation. As a kid I used to bring home those Arbor Day plants that grew into a virtual forest in our backyard. With Vietnam raging and the protests against it constantly on our radar, Earth Day was something tangible and hopeful we could celebrate, aspire to. 4 decades have passed and even though more work needs to be done and there are an abundance of littering slobs living in LuLac land, there is awareness and action regarding our environment. 4 decades after the first Earth Day, we still have a long way to go, but can look to the fact that thank goodness we haven't regressed. Let's continue.
Here's a brief history of the first Earth Day, 1970: Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin announced his idea for a nationwide teach-in day on the environment in a speech to a fledgling conservation group in Seattle on 20 September 1969, and then again six days later in Atlantic City to a meeting of the United Auto Workers. Senator Nelson hoped that a grassroots outcry about environmental issues might prove to Washington, D.C. just how distressed Americans were in every constituency. Senator Nelson invited Republican Representative Paul N “Pete” McCloskey to serve as his co-chair and they incorporated a new non-profit organization, environmental Teach-In, Inc., to stimulate participation across the country. Both continued to give speeches plugging the event.On September 29, 1969, in a front-page New York Times article, Gladwin Hill wrote: "Rising concern about the "environmental crisis" is sweeping the nation's campuses with an intensity that may be on its way to eclipsing student discontent over the war in Vietnam...a national day of observance of environmental problems, analogous to the mass demonstrations on Vietnam, is being planned for next spring, when a nationwide environmental 'teach-in'...coordinated from the office of Senator Gaylord Nelson is planned". It turned out that Nelson's suggestion was difficult to implement, as the Earth Day movement proved to be autonomous with no central governing body. As Senator Nelson said, it simply grew on its own: "Earth Day worked because of the spontaneous response at the grassroots level. We had neither the time nor resources to organize 20 million demonstrators and the thousands of schools and local communities that participated. That was the remarkable thing about Earth Day. It organized itself."
CBS News Special Report with Walter Cronkite reported on Earth Day 1970. On April 22 1970, Earth Day marked the beginning of the modern environmental movement. Approximately 20 million Americans participated. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, Freeway and expressway revolts, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values. Media coverage of the first Earth Day included a One-hour special from CBS News, "Earth Day: A Question of Survival," with correspondents reporting from a dozen major cities across the country, and narrated by Walter Cronkite. Here's part of that broadcast:

And then of course there was Joni Mitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi" popular at the time and used as a clarion call for such activities as "Earth Day".


At 1:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

and the signs said long haired freaky people need not apply....

At 1:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thoughts on Earth Day

by Lou Barletta
Posted on April 22nd, 2010 9:45 am

Thursday marks the 40th anniversary of the first Earth Day, which is traditionally recognized as the start of the modern environmental movement. It also ushered in a new era of conservation and protection of our natural resources.
The environmental movement has largely been successful in increasing our awareness of man's impact on the planet.
And, for the most part, there have been beneficial changes. Our air is cleaner. Our water is cleaner. Americans are recycling household goods and conserving energy.
Companies have followed new regulations to produce goods that are more environmentally friendly. For example, a car manufactured today produces 20 times fewer emissions than a car made in 1970. Industries use recycled materials in the items they produce.
As a nation, we are more in tune with the environment than ever before. We have protected and continue to protect endangered species. We have taken steps to ban harmful chemicals to protect our land, our air, and our water.
Those are important things, to be sure, but we must be vigilant so that environmental advocacy does not infringe on personal freedom and American traditions.
An oceans and Great Lakes management policy proposed by the Obama administration, for instance, that could ban Americans from fishing in the Great Lakes, on our coasts, and even in some inland waters. The proposed cap and trade bill could place punishing taxes on American businesses, stifling the economic recovery and jeopardizing millions of jobs.
Environmental responsibility must be balanced with the realities of personal freedom and the American economy.
Burdensome overregulation of both businesses and individual citizens is not the best way to protect our resources.
Instead, we need commonsense approaches to environmental policy, our eye constantly focused on the freedoms and liberties granted to us by the Constitution and our American heritage.

At 1:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Statement by President Obama on the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day

In 1970, a Senator from Wisconsin named Gaylord Nelson raised his voice and called on every American to take action on behalf of the environment. In the four decades since, millions of Americans have heeded that call and joined together to protect the planet we share.Since that first Earth Day 40 years ago, we have made immense progress – from the landmark legislation of the 1970s, the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, to the conservation of America’s precious landscapes. And since taking office, my Administration has worked to build on this progress. We have made a historic investment in clean energy that will not only create the jobs of tomorrow, but will also lay the foundation for long-term economic growth. And we have also renewed our commitment to passing comprehensive energy and climate legislation that will safeguard our planet, spur innovation and allow us to compete and win in the 21st century economy. Earth Day has always been about people from different backgrounds and different walks of life coming together on behalf of a cause bigger than ourselves. And with that spirit of community, we must continue the hard work to make the dream of a clean energy economy a reality, and pass this world on to our children cleaner and safer than we found it.

At 1:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Pennsylvania is blessed to have some of the best natural resources in the world. Our green places, landscapes, farmlands, forests, and water are a true strength in this great Commonwealth. Pennsylvania's next Governor has a responsibility to protect those resources. Throughout my career, I have established an unmatched track record of protecting the environment. As a Democratic candidate for Governor and an avid fisherman, on this day when we celebrate Mother Earth, I want to share my record with you and my commitment to protect our environment.
As a State Senator, I voted for just about every conservation and environmental protection law currently on the books. I am particularly proud of my support for landmark legislation such as Growing Greener, the Conservation and Preservation Easements Act, the creation of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the reauthorization of the Pennsylvania Conservation Corps, the development of the state’s first water use management plan in 25 years, and the creation of both the Water Supply and Wastewater Infrastructure Program and the State Board for Certification of Water and Wastewater Systems Operators, as well as the Land Recycling and Environmental Remediation Standards Act, the Waste Tire Recycling Act, the Forest Lands Beautification Act, the Storage Tank and Spill Prevention Act, and the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act.
When I was President of Pittsburgh City Council, we placed a priority on cleaning up brownfields, old mill sites, and industrial areas for reuse relating to modern technology. As a board member of the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority (ALCOSAN), I was a strong advocate of the expansion and improvement of wastewater treatment within Allegheny County, which involved a major expansion of the capacity of the ALCOSAN plant. Those improvements have resulted in significant water quality enhancements in the Pittsburgh river system. As a matter of interest and achievement, the Bassmasters Tour was held in Pittsburgh several years ago.
More recently, in my current position as Auditor General, I have audited state agencies to ensure that they are enforcing the laws. For example, our first-ever special performance audit of the Department of Environmental Protection found that its oversight of dam and levee safety inspections was lax. Crumbling infrastructure is particularly important given the demands that will be placed on our environment by the development of the new Marcellus Shale energy resources. As a safety engineer by training, I am very sensitive to this issue.
We must protect our environment first with all forms of energy, including the new Marcellus Shale. I will make sure that the industry understands that the new Marcellus Shale resources belong to all Pennsylvanians, that we – not outsiders – intend to reap the benefits, and that we will not tolerate any harm to our precious environment. I oppose drilling on state park lands.
I will also insist that the costs of the increased government oversight necessary to build and monitor this new industry be borne by the industry itself.

At 2:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cool.Look at LuLac. Earth Day has become just another opportunity for politicians to court voters by giving lip service to a cause.
Earth Day my ass!

At 4:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I celebrated earth day by letting my car idle all day!


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