Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter 8 Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend (8 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Stats   No comments

OpEdNews Op Eds

We Once Gathered 20 Million Strong To Care For The Planet

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 1   Well Said 1   Valuable 1  
View Ratings | Rate It Headlined to H3 4/2/12

Become a Fan
  (11 fans)
- Advertisement -

"Every person has the inalienable right to a decent environment."

-- Gaylord Nelson, founder of Earth Day

I vividly remember the first Earth Day in 1970. As a junior in high school, I watched with great pride as the nation took action to clean up our polluted air and waterways because of one man -- my Senator, Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin.  American Heritage Magazine called the first Earth Day, which drew 20 million U.S. participants "one of the most remarkable happenings in the history of democracy."  We gathered 20 million strong in an era without cell phones, social media or the Internet.  That's how strongly we felt about protecting the environment.

Wisconsin is poised to make its mark again for one of the most remarkable happenings in the history of democracy with the recall of current governor Scott Walker.  But it's April, and a time to reflect on Nelson, Earth Day, the environment, climate change, and why we have so forgotten the words of that remarkable man from Clear Lake, Wisconsin, who had such an impact on how we viewed our planet and our roles as stewards of the earth.

Protecting Our Environment Remains A Focus For Many by Joanne Boyer
Have you never heard of Gaylord Nelson?  Or do you need a refresher on just what a debt of gratitude we owe him?  We invite you to peruse the Gaylord Nelson and Earth Day web site as well as The Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies.  He is also one of 23 individuals featured in my book Wisdom of Progressive Voices.

One of my favorite quotes from him:

- Advertisement -

"The wealth of the nation is its air, water, soil, forests, minerals, rivers, lakes, oceans, scenic beauty, wildlife habitats and biodiversity" that's all there is. That's the whole economy. That's where all the economic activity and jobs come from. These biological systems are the sustaining wealth of the world."

Just how far have we wandered from our environmental commitments?  Forget for a moment the headline grabbers such as the Keystone Pipeline or the Fukushima nuclear reactor disaster, or the conservative argument that climate change doesn't exist. On a "smaller scale," here's a sampling of what we found in just a quick review of news sites last week:

It may seem the lessons of Earth Day and the wisdom to understand the importance of protecting our environment have faded. But, we at Wisdom Voices will spend the month of April reflecting on those who are still valiantly fighting to keep the ideals of a clean environment and stewardship of our plant at the forefront of our conversation in a time when rhetoric, greed and disinformation seem to dominate.

Thomas Linzey, Executive Director and co-founder of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, is our April Progressive Profile. The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, founded in 1995, provides free legal services to community-based environmental organizations, helping to change the paradigm by giving local communities a say in what happens in their own backyard. The CELDF is a principal adviser to residents, citizens groups, and municipal governments struggling to transition from merely regulating corporate harms to stopping those harms by asserting local, democratic control directly over corporations.

We also are planning to talk to the Aldo Leopold Foundation, who continues the great work and heritage of one of our country's greatest environmentalists.  And we hope to talk more with the team from OnTheCommons about the work they are doing to rekindle the fact that air and water are part of the commons and not some profit system for corporations.

We need to promote and (financially) support those who still practice and keep alive the great words of Gaylord Nelson:  "The ultimate test of man's conscience may be his willingness to sacrifice something today for future generations whose words of thanks will not be heard."

- Advertisement -

Joanne Boyer is founder and editor of Wisdom Voices Press and Her first book is "Wisdom of Progressive Voices." Joanne has worked in professional communications for more than 30 years. Her career includes being the first (more...)

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

Go To Commenting

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles
Google Content Matches:
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Can Occupy Wall Street Push Us To Single Payer?

Doing The Work For The Real Health Care Victory: Single Payer

The Breadth and Depth of Voter Suppression Should Scare Us All

The Fraud of 'Voter Fraud'

Too Early To Chill The Champagne? Action Heats Up On Overturning Citizens United

On, Wisconsin: The Legacy of "Fighting Bob" LaFollette


The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
No comments