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Wed Apr 22, 2020, 09:23 AM

NYT: How Earth Day started, its profound radical message

SEATTLE One day in the fall of 1969, Denis Hayes, a graduate student at Harvard, snagged a 10-minute meeting with Gaylord Nelson, a United States senator from Wisconsin who had been talking up his idea for a national teach-in about environmentalism.

The visit stretched into a two-hour conversation, and at the end of it Mr. Hayes had a job. He ended up organizing the original Earth Day on April 22, 1970.


The power of activism to spark political change was at the core of the first Earth Day. In 1970 some 20 million people across the United States, from thousands of schools, colleges, universities and communities, took part in demonstrations, marches, environmental cleanups and even a mock trial of automobiles that ended in smashing a car with sledgehammers. New York City closed down parts of Fifth Avenue and 14th Street for its celebration.
The enormous turnout one tenth of the population of the United States at the time and the enthusiasm for change led to unprecedented action from the federal government. Congress passed the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act, and President Richard M. Nixon, a Republican, created the Environmental Protection Agency.


A legacy of the much-maligned Boomer generation. There is an excellent book detailing the story of the many young activists who made this happen, "The Genius of Earth Day" : https://us.macmillan.com/books/9780865477742

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Reply NYT: How Earth Day started, its profound radical message (Original post)
DBoon Apr 2020 OP
bucolic_frolic Apr 2020 #1
NNadir Apr 2020 #2
DBoon Apr 2020 #3
NNadir Apr 2020 #4

Response to DBoon (Original post)

Wed Apr 22, 2020, 01:41 PM

1. The First Earth Day, 1970

On the first Earth Day, 1970, I was handed a seedling at school. That seedling spent 3 years in a coffee can, was planted, and moved to another house. Today it's about 75 feet tall, a Norway Spruce, laden with cones most years, and still growing:

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Response to DBoon (Original post)

Wed Apr 22, 2020, 03:05 PM

2. The NY Times features some of the worst environmental reporting in the world.

Consistently. They're, um, clueless.

Since 1986, over two hundred million people died from dangerous fossil fuel and biomass combustion wastes, aka "air pollution."

About what does NYTimes "environmental" reporting talk?

They still love to talk about how terrible Chernobyl was, including a very stupid article in their Magazine section a few weeks ago about Chernobyl tourism.

If we baby boomers were so great, how do we account for the fact that in our lifetimes, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere rose from an annual mean of 315.97 in 1959 to 411.44 in 2019? This week we're scraping around 416 ppm.

If we have any praise for ourselves, it's purely Trumpian, pure Dunning-Kruger.

We thought the world would be saved by electric cars, wind turbines, and solar cells. We squandered trillions of dollars on this belief. Guess what? All the wind turbines, solar cells, geothermal plants and tidal plants didn't save the world. They aren't saving the world. They won't save the world. They were useless.

If we cared 1/20th as much about the planet as we did about our cars and trucks, we'd have something about which we could talk.

We're great at meaningless day long gestures, Earth Day once a year, and big giant Rock concerts dedicated to climate change, consuming millions of Watts of power, but not very good at doing anything that matters.

History will not forgive us, nor should it.

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Response to NNadir (Reply #2)

Wed Apr 22, 2020, 03:15 PM

3. You are absolutely detestable

You take the anniversary of a major event in the environmental movement, the starting of a great political movement with great accomplishments to its credit, and you turn it into generational warfare.

You are beyond disgusting.

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Response to DBoon (Reply #3)

Wed Apr 22, 2020, 03:21 PM

4. Thank you. I'm very proud of looking at data and not marketing.

I am especially happy if people find that "detestable" find it "detestable."

I stand by what I see. My generation consumed all the world's best resources and converted them to waste in a giant party devoted to ignorance.

We apparently have a very different view of what "detestable" is.

The data is clear. I don't get my information from the New York Times. I get it from, um, the primary scientific literature, where I've been reading consistently for 30 years on topics about energy and the environment.

If you find that "detestable," well that speaks for both of us, doesn't it?

Have a nice Earth Day.

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