Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day Education In The Balance

Happy 40th Birthday, Earth Day!
Some history from Independent Women's Forum:

Earth Day's founder, Senator Gaylord Nelson, saw the success of anti-war activists in holding "teach-ins" and demonstrations on campus, that he wanted to enlist the same spirit for environmental causes. Forty years later, schools across the country-and even around the world-participate in Earth Day events.
This sounds like a smashing success. And not just for Senator Nelson and environmentalists, but for all of us who benefit from a healthy, clean environment. But unfortunately, Earth Day organizers too often go beyond promoting the simple message that we all agree upon-the need of protecting our natural habitat and the desire of wanting our children to respect and appreciate the environment-and instead use this occasion to advance political ideology.

Balanced Education for Everyone promotes encouraging educators to teach all aspects of environmental protection on Earth Day in schools.

From a website on the history of the day:
Earth Day 1970 achieved a rare political alignment, enlisting support from Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, city slickers and farmers, tycoons and labor leaders. The first Earth Day led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species acts.

Sen. Nelson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom -- the highest honor given to civilians in the United States -- for his role as Earth Day founder.

The president in office in 1970, putting the EPA in place as well as the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species acts? Republican Richard M. Nixon. Despite what the current generation of Democratic leadership insists, the GOP has been front and center from the beginning of the earth friendly movement.

For instance, the poster boy for failed use of scientific data in speeches is Al Gore. Not only does he invest in companies to make big bucks off the green movement, he is a hypocrite. Do as he says, not as he does.
Too often students have watched the politically correct Gore version of the effects of weather and climate changes on earth. He has been proven wrong many times and contrary to his insistence, the science is not decided. The questioning continues and that is a good thing. More problem-solving is good, not to be discouraged by trying to shut off honest debate. Intellectuals can disagree and continue studying problems.

In Great Britain, Gore's award winning movie - a glorified power point presentation - has been denied permission to be shown in most schools. The government found several falsehoods and decided to stop the classroom presentations.

Good stewardship of our earth is a noble aspiration. I remember the very first Earth Day. Back in the day, it was feared that a new Ice Age was approaching. Times change. The same is true of the natural cycles on earth. I enjoy recycling whenever possible and am proud of my work to increase home pickup of materials for recycling in our former town - a parish (county) wide effort. I recycle naturally as I find it is also kind to the family budget. Turning off lights in rooms not being used saves on the electric bill. Same with energy efficient appliances and weather proofing a house. I save on the water bill by only doing full loads in the washer and dishwasher. All of this is just common sense stuff, isn't it?

It's good to have all opinions and data as we make decisions as important as our lives on earth. It is wrong for those in power to profit financially and at the ballot box, pitting one group against another. No one prefers dirty air or water.

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