Earth Day 2008: Birthday of the Greenness ~ World Amazing Information, Facts & News

Earth Day 2008: Birthday of the Greenness

Posted by Rahul Doshi | 4/21/2008 11:19:00 PM | | 0 comments »

earth day 2008An estimated 1 billion people are scheduled to take part in Earth Day festivities and events across the globe, including numerous and varied activities in the Seacoast region.

Though officially on Tuesday, Earth Day already was celebrated at Coastal Ridge Elementary School in York, Maine, where students created a compost for school lunch and learned valuable lessons about waste and waste disposal for the students and school administrators.

While major national rallies will take place in locations like the Mall in Washington, D.C., Portsmouth High School will hold a student-created Earth Day celebration designed to educate the community about the environment.

Since its start in 1970, Earth Day has also come to represent an unofficial day of environmental accounting — about how far we've come and how far we need to go. What makes Earth Day 2008 as intriguing as any preceding it is that it comes in a vital election year that coincides with greater environmental awareness and more calls for political action.

"The technology exists now to move us beyond oil and coal to a clean energy future driven by wind, solar and other renewable sources of power, along with cost-saving, energy-efficient buildings, cars and appliances," said Jerry Curran, chairman of the New Hampshire Chapter of the Sierra Club. "Americans know this, and candidates should recognize that the public demands leadership in energy policy."

A shrinking group of politicians and pundits continues to insist that Americans contradict themselves on the environment. While Americans talk nicely about the environment and express concern about climate change, the wise guys claim we are more focused on keeping our jobs, paying our mortgages, and cheap gas — in short, we aren't willing to make the changes and sacrifices necessary.

We agree that Americans are full of contradictions, but they don't lack vision and they certainly don't lack the capacity to change. To cite but one of many studies measuring the attitudes of Americans on climate change and alternative energy development, a 2007 survey by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research reported that "Americans believe alternative energy sources, such as solar and wind energy, are a central part of our nation's economic future. As our traditional manufacturing jobs evaporate, they want America to lead in building a robust, alternative energy economy."

The importance of the study is that Americans realize the connections between today's skyrocketing rising energy prices and the need for rapid and massive alternative energy development.

While the environment ranks near the bottom of issues cited by voters in public polls, that is not the case when it's put in the context of almost every important economic and national security issue of our time.

The dubious success of ethanol is an example of poor policy choice. Ethanol is one of the contributing factors to higher food prices because it's an inefficient alternative fuel that takes up finite agricultural resources.

Thankfully, the era of official denial is coming to an end. The three remaining presidential candidates — Republican John McCain and Democratic hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama — have all committed to dealing quickly and effectively with global climate change, to accelerate the transformation to alternative energy sources and a greener economy.

Source: SeaCoastOnline

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