Reader Opinion: Earth Day
Sunday April 22, is the 48th anniversary of the original Earth Day, founded by Sen. Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, and which attracted over 20 million participants demonstrating on high school and college campuses across the nation. Prior to 1970, warnings of what was happening to the environment were being delivered by visionaries such as authors Rachel Carson "Silent Spring" and Dr. Paul Ehrlich "The Population Bomb" but no actions were underway. In 1969, California experienced Union Oil's catastrophic Santa Barbara oil well blowout and Cleveland suffered an infamous fire when the Cuyahoga River ignited, shocking the nation.
The massive demonstrations precipitated bipartisan legislation to establish the Environmental Protection Agency, The Clean Water Act, The Clean Air Act, and The Endangered Species Act all by the end of the year. I was a freshman at UMD, and was regrettably oblivious to the inception of the movement. Since then, I've benefited from the legislative foresight that caused the removal of lead from paint and fuel, reduced the dumping of raw sewage and chemical pollutants into our waterways, and vastly improved in the quality of the air we breathe.
Now mindless little hands being directed by shrouded benefactors are aggressively rolling back the hard-fought gains we had seen over the past half-century for the profit of the very few and to the detriment of all, especially to our future generations.
Once again time has come to raise our voices, to call for rejoining the rest of the world in the Paris Agreement, to reestablish regulations being degraded by a corrupt and thoughtless administration, and to protect the welfare of ourselves, our children, and future generations. Please join a local demonstration such as the one in Brainerd at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 21, in Gregory Park and make your voice heard.