I hope ya’ll had a chance to focus on Earth Day in some fashion on Earth Day. Actually, our planet and our environment aren’t in trouble, we are, and all those other living beings now dependent our stewardship. Even if we succeed in poisoning and depleting all of our natural resources, there will be a planet Earth and an environment. They just won’t be inhabitable.
If you didn’t get a chance to hear the Earth Day chat with Linda Isaacson Fedele (chair of the Rochester, Sierra Club) and me, we talked about many of the environmental issues of our region on WXXI Radio: 1370 Connection mentioning many of the factors that give us cause for hope and despair. We thank all those that got back to us about how they liked the show. (I know, I could have had a little less coffee.)
On Thursday, you might have attended the Rochester Sierra Club’s annual environmental forum. If not here’s the skinny on that:
Rochester Sierra Club sustainability conference - Henrietta, NY - Henrietta Post “The Rochester Sierra Club hosted a sustainability conference at the First Unitarian Church of Rochester on Thursday, April 21, 2011. The event featured local businesses, organizations and guest speakers. Homepage - Henrietta, NY - Henrietta Post
If you missed our local Rochester Earth Day events altogether, surf over listen to some great discussions on the state of our environment in many parts of the world.
Democracy Now!: Earth Day Special: Vandana Shiva and Maude Barlow on the Rights of Mother Earth; "Hold Both Parties to High Standards": Van Jones, Obama’s Ex-Green Jobs Czar: and "Now Is Our Time to Take a Stand": Tim DeChristopher’s Message to Youth Climate Activists at Power Shift 2011.
My most immediate environmental concern is that not only will Climate Change make our weather whacky, our whacky politics might render our environment null and void. Those against a rational world view have been trying to gut the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and succeeded in cutting 1.6 billion from the EPA’s budget.
EPA Budget Cut Will Restrict Enforcement of Clean-Air Rules, Activists Say U.S. Environmental Protection Agency efforts to protect public health by enforcing clean air and water rules will be undermined by a planned 16 percent budget reduction, environmental groups said. The agency will lose $1.6 billion as part of a deal between President Barack Obama and congressional leaders to produce $38 billion in spending cuts for the rest of the 2011 fiscal year, according to legislation made public today. A plan detailing where the cuts will be made is due in 30 days. (April 12, 2011) http://www.bloomberg.com/
This kind of nonsense, where some are trying to chuck all our environmental programs and laws, should be a wake-up call to the American people. We are at the brink of putting a whole lot of whacky people in charge of our government who don’t understand or care about science. You absolutely don’t want your president, your governor, senator, or any one in charge of public policy not preparing and not doing all they can to halt Climate Change. The American people have got to stop thinking about their short-term interests and begin situating our government to handle what’s coming down the pipe—a hundred years of Climate Change even if we stopped putting one more carbon dioxide molecule into our atmosphere right now.
It may sound great to have lower taxes, lower gas prices, and wildly exuberant stocks making zillions of dollars because corporations are getting away without paying their fair share of their taxes, but believe me that ‘trickle down’ effect, where those making billions of dollars will allegedly create jobs for the rest of us, doesn’t work. Our long history of environmental abuse from corporations who have sucked the life blood out of our planet (Brownfields and pollution) will continue to happen if we don’t tighten up environmental controls and monitor our environment continually. Sure, those whacky politicians who want government out of your pocketbook make great sound bites on those loony political commercials, but in the real world we need a large governmental presence to make sure environmental laws are enforced and our environment protected. Happy talk by the people who caused our budgetary problems and are now profiting from them, just won’t do the trick.
I hope we can note some progress on providing our next generation with a sustainable environment on next year’s Earth Day.