Thursday, April 22, 2010

E-Day/Earth Day turns 40

We mark 40 years of the international holiday dedicated to environmentalism. As noted in a recent post, Earth Day was the brainchild of distinguished Wisconsin Senator and environmentalist pioneer Gaylord Nelson (1916-2005), and I recall the celebration and events in school. Already on that first occasion, some 20 million people around the world took part.

Among the numerous actions this year:

Environment America created a "Declaration of Energy Independence" bemoaning the fact that, 40 years of progress notwithstanding,
America has had a failing energy policy that continues to reward polluters, undermines the health of the American people, threatens our national and economic security, and keeps us dependent on energy sources from overseas. We call on Congress to finally push aside the obstruction of the polluter lobby and stand with America's Clean Energy Patriots. We call for America's elected leaders to join us as Clean Energy Patriots and deliver on the promise of a clean energy revolution and climate action now.
By contrast, Repower America took the opposite tack, arguing that we are closer than ever to our goal (thus: the revolution of rising expectations rather than declining status). The goal is the same, though: call your senators and urge them to support the forthcoming bill for clean energy and action against climate change.

The National Council for Science and the Environment—which also celebrates its 40th anniversary this year—noting that only 2 percent of Americans buy clean energy when offered the choice, launched a Buy Clean Energy Campaign.

Jewish Funds for Justice asked members to support congressional action in favor of Green Jobs.

Repower America both addressed green jobs and sought to cash in on the shared birthday of hip hop and Earth Day by offering a Biz Markie remix.

The music and text in the first half remain good, though there's not much that one can do to save the maudlin and banal second part (still, not as disturbing as the picture of Al Gore on the top page of the site).

Environment Massachusetts sought to cash in, period: asked for 40 bucks in honor of 40 years. Simple and straightforward, at least.

As for Stephen Colbert, on tonight's Report, he declared: "I celebrate Earth Day because this is America's planet."

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