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Earth Day's 40th anniversary

April 22 marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, the launching point for America's modern environmental movement. To what extent has the U.S. delivered on the vision of Earth Day's founders, and where has the modern environmental movement gone wrong?

Posted by Washington Post Editor on April 19, 2010 8:47 AM

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pgr88 Author Profile Page :

Most environmentalists are busy-bodies who are all for others sacrificing, but for themselves its just token gestures.

markfilby Author Profile Page :

Defending the INDEFENSIBLE.
By Mark S Filby.
Global Issues: Facts and Statistics.
Almost half the world — over 3 billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day.
At least 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day.

The poorest 40% of the world’s population accounts for 5% of global income.
The richest 20% accounts for three-quarters of world income.

According to UNICEF, 26,500-30,000 children die each day due to poverty.
That’s one dead kid every 3 seconds. And we need to debate this?

Less than 1% of what the world spends every year on weapons is all that’s needed to
put every child into school, yet it has never happened. WHY not?
In 2005, the wealthiest 20% of the world accounted for 76.6% of total private consumption.
The poorest fifth just 1.5%. This makes us all social psychopaths if you lack empathy.

Global military expenditure and arms trade form the largest spending in the world at over one trillion dollars, $1,464,000,000,000,000,000.00. p.a., and has been rising in recent years.(2008). Who finances wars? International Bankers. (Elitists.).
Europe and the United States spend on pet food each year: $17 billion.
Cost to achieve basic health and nutrition for the entire world: $13 billion
Amount spent on perfumes each year: $12 billion. But the stench remains.
Clean water for all the world: $9 billion Let’s poison them with fluoride too.
Amount spent on cosmetics in the US: $8 billion. Ugliness goes to the bone!
Basic education for the world’s children: $6 billion. Keep them dumb and poor.
Total amount the US spends on Christmas each year: $450 billion. This equates to
16 years worth of food, water, and education for the world, on a pagan festival.
Initial cost of the US Government bailout of failing Banks: $700 billion
(or 25 years worth of food, water, and education for the world). If YOU are not totally ashamed by this report, then YOU are insane, amoral or dead. This is the current global banking disgrace. One Global Non-Profit Bank and it all ENDS.
So WHY am I refusing to join YOUR society? Read this again please.

Basically, all that is necessary to revoke all the constitutional rights of any citizen is to accuse him of being mentally-ill." Psychiatry is a subjective pseudo-science.
"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society...”.
Most of the information here is from

Stop participating in wars. Stop making weapons. Disarm and prove to the world that the USA is indeed made of champions. Close Wall Street and ALL Stock Exchanges and replace them with a global non-profit bank: totally regaining accountability for every citizen of Earth. If the USA fails we all follow. This is NOW a matter beyond your myopic minds and I ask you on behalf of civilisation to change and mend the financial world forever.

politicallyincorrect Author Profile Page :

"To only a few chemicals does man owe as great a debt as to DDT... In little more than two decades, DDT has prevented 500 million human deaths, due to malaria, that otherwise would have been inevitable."

[National Academy of Sciences, Committee on Research in the Life Sciences of the Committee on Science and Public Policy. 1970. The Life Sciences; Recent Progress and Application to Human Affairs; The World of Biological Research; Requirements for the Future.]

Many experiments on caged-birds demonstrate that DDT and its metabolites (DDD and DDE) do not cause serious egg shell thinning, even at levels many hundreds of times greater than wild birds would ever accumulate.

[Cecil, HC et al. 1971. Poultry Science 50: 656-659 (No effects of DDT or DDE, if adequate calcium is in diet); Chang, ES & ELR Stokstad. 1975. Poultry Science 54: 3-10 1975. (No effects of DDT on shells); Edwards, JG. 1971. Chem Eng News p. 6 & 59 (August 16, 1971) (Summary of egg shell- thinning and refutations presented revealing all data); Hazeltine, WE. 1974. Statement and affidavit, EPA Hearings on Tussock Moth Control, Portland Oregon, p. 9 (January 14, 1974); Jeffries, DJ. 1969. J Wildlife Management 32: 441-456 (Shells 7 percent thicker after two years on DDT diet); Robson, WA et al. 1976. Poultry Science 55:2222- 2227; Scott, ML et al. 1975. Poultry Science 54: 350-368 (Egg production, hatchability and shell quality depend on calcium, and are not effected by DDT and its metabolites); Spears, G & P. Waibel. 1972. Minn. Science 28(3):4-5; Tucker, RK & HA Haegele. 1970. Bull Environ Contam. Toxicol 5:191-194 (Neither egg weight nor shell thickness affected by 300 parts per million DDT in daily diet);Edwards, JG. 1973. Statement and affidavit, U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, 24 pages, October 24, 1973; Poult Sci 1979 Nov;58(6):1432-49 ("There was no correlation between concentrations of pesticides and egg shell thinning] .")

Experiments associating DDT with egg shell thinning involve doses much higher than would ever be encountered in the wild.

[J Toxicol Environ Health 1977 Nov;3(4):699-704 (50 ppm for 6 months); Arch Environ Contam Toxicol 1978;7(3):359-67 ("acute" doses); Acta Pharmacol Toxicol (Copenh) 1982 Feb;50(2):121-9 (40 mg/kg/day for 45 days); Fed Proc 1977 May;36(6):1888-93 ("In well-controlled experiments using white leghorn chickens and Japanese quail, dietary PCBs, DDT and related compounds produced no detrimental effects on eggshell quality. ... no detrimental effects on eggshell quality, egg production or hatchability were found with ... DDT up to 100 ppm

Laboratory egg shell thinning required massive doses of DDE far in excess of anything expected in nature, and massive laboratory doses produce much less thinning than is seen in many of the thin-shelled eggs collected in the wild.

[Hazeltine, WE. 1974. Statement and affidavit, EPA Hearings on Tussock Moth Control, Portland Oregon, p. 9 (January 14, 1974)

jdsmith1969 Author Profile Page :

It was very impressive to note that Earth Day was celabrated by more that 5 million people in 174 countries worldwide. What a turnout. After doing something for 40 years that is not much improvement. It is still mainly a DC dream. Give it up! This idea will not change the world!

nbahn Author Profile Page :

"[W]here has the modern environmental movement gone wrong?"

By being out-muscled and out-maneuvered by massive corporations.

blaeloch Author Profile Page :

Quite the opposite of what many others have said--I believe the movement went wrong when it stopped being a movement and became a profession/interest group. Environmental organizations have grown enormously in staff and infrastructure. They have also bought into the quest for political access at any cost,aligning themselves closely with Democrats and settling for whatever politicians deem "doable." We need more fighting spirit if we are going to really stand up for the planet.

jebrown8 Author Profile Page :

The City of Alexandria passed the Eco-City Charter and the Environmental Action Plan over the past few years and we are beginning to see the hard work and dedication from community members, City staff, experts, City Council, and the Mayor and Vice Mayor pay off. We are working towards creating more community gardens, seeing leadership come forth to initiate sustainable environmental outreach and educational programs in our schools, and working together to leverage new ideas and concepts that will lead to more sustainable society. This effort has required visionary leadership and commitment to the cause of being an “Eco-City.” No program or effort is ever perfect and there are many challenges and new barriers that lie ahead however, being a part of something that will enable future generations to enjoy this lively and diverse City as much as I have is what I feel Earth Day is all about.

bobbo2 Author Profile Page :

The modern environmental movement has turned many people against them by politicizing the subject and trying to lead us on a giant guilt trip. The American people are fed up with people who travel in private jets telling us that WE use too much fuel. That WE must travel in small cars while the spokespeople travel in limos. Yes to a cleaner environment. Yes to cleaner alternative fuels. But leave our standard of living to us. It is hard to convince me that the environment is in crisis on this beautiful spring day. I expect this kind of weather next year at this time also. And the year after that, and the year after that, and the year after that......

rhymz_worange Author Profile Page :

I think a focus on population is a good next step. That and increasing consumer awareness of what they buy and its socio-environmental impacts.

AGWsceptic99 Author Profile Page :

The modern environmental movement went wrong when the leadership began believe that their ends justify their means many years ago.

This mentality led to the current mania that CO2 based warming is going to end civilization as we know it.

The planet has warmed and cooled many times before now over a period of millions of years, and probably will continue to do so for millions of years into the future. None of the previous warming and cooling cycles were cause by humans burning fossil fuels, and the current mass mania will pass as have previous manias.

CO2 is a trace gas in the atmosphere. The computer models used to 'prove' that increases in the percentage of this trace gas in the atmosphere will cause the end of civilization as we know it today are not able to predict the past, let alone the future. Research using these models is a good idea. Reorganizing the entire world's industrial base based on these primitive, error prone models is utter nonsense.

If the consequences for people in third world countries from misguided application of these ridiculous models were not so unpleasant, this would all be funny to watch.

As the current warm spell brought about by the El Nino ends and temperatures start to come down, watch this space for more fantastic explanations that the cooling is just temporary. As if the warming wasn't just temporary.

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manfromthefuture Author Profile Page :

What good is preserving the planet when man; in it's foolish folly, is going to destroy it all, including themselves, anyway.

I feel very, very, sorry for everybody in the world under 40 but I'm goin' to cut a tree down right NOW!!! (lol)

manfromthefuture Author Profile Page :

What good is preserving the planet when man; in it's foolish folly, is going to destroy it all, including themselves, anyway.

I feel very, very, sorry for everybody in the world under 40 but I'm goin' to cut a tree down right NOW!!! (lol)

manfromthefuture Author Profile Page :

What good is preserving the planet when man; in it's foolish folly, is going to destroy it all, including themselves, anyway.

I feel very, very, sorry for everybody in the world under 40 but I'm goin' to cut a tree down right NOW!!! (lol)

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