Happy Earth Day!

On Saturday, April 22, the world will mark the 36th annual Earth Day celebration. Sadly, it will be the first time Earthy Day founder Sen. Gaylord Nelson (D-WI) will not be around to see it. (Nelson passed away last year.) Since Nelson's grassroots effort to recognize the importance of environmental protection "took off like gangbusters" more than three decades ago, significant progress has been made.

"Thanks to strong safeguards, which were generally won after tooth-and-nail battles, we've made some real strides on basic clean air and clean water," said Jon Coifman of the Natural Resources Defense Council. "Rivers aren't catching fire anymore, and you can see the sky in Los Angeles." And the environment has become a real concern of the American public.

A 2005 Harris polls found that seventy-five percent of the American people agree with the statement, "Protecting the environment is so important that requirements and standards cannot be too high, and continuing environmental improvements must be made regardless of cost." Yet, on issues such as climate change, clean air, and clean water, America can do more. When President Bill Clinton gave Nelson the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1995, Clinton expressed the importance of heeding Nelson's legacy.

"Today, as much as at any time in modern American history," Clinton said, "we need to remember what we share on this precious planet and in this beloved country. And I hope that Gaylord Nelson’s shining example will illuminate all the debates in this city for years to come."

Excellent link: American Progress Action.

No comments: