Earth Day and Pogo

Today we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day. Being in the midst of a global pandemic just reinforces that we are all in this together on one small blue ball. Don’t let down your guard. Environmental rules are being rolled back not only in the U.S. but in many other places. It harks back to the hubris of the 19th century industrialists. Do not ever forget their reign of waste and destruction in the name of greed and personal fortune. It is still happening today.

Myricopia

By Eilene Lyon

Today we celebrate Earth Day, an international event that takes place in nearly 200 countries around the globe, involving roughly a billion participants.

Throughout the 1960s, environmental legislation was going nowhere, as Americans roiled about our participation in the Vietnam War. Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson, an environmental champion, decided to create a national teach-in event, modeled after the anti-war protests.

Given how much cleaner our air and water are today, we sometimes get complacent about how bad it used to be – and could be again in the future. Denis Hayes, then a 25-year-old Harvard Law student, was the organizer of the first Earth Day in 1970. He reminded us in 2010 what it was like back then,

“In Los Angeles, for simply breathing, it was the equivalent of smoking two packs of cigarettes a day. We had rivers that were catching on fire, lakes that were…

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6 thoughts on “Earth Day and Pogo

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  1. I think, if anything, now is the time to be pushing forward in the effort to do better. We see the effects of this quarantine in the clear canals of Venice and the peaks of the Himalayas being visible for the first time in ages.

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    1. Unfortunately, with the current administration, we are only moving backwards, and will continue to do so until we get a new administration. Pushing right now (aside from in the courts with organizations like NRDC), is just an exercise in futility.

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  2. I think what made the biggest impression on me as a kid growing up during that time is reading an article in the Weekly Reader at school that Lake Erie was dead–and the descriptions of what this looked like.

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