2013-05-23 / Letters to the Editor

Let’s rethink Earth Day for the future

I sympathize with the feeble Earth Day cleanup that occurred this year in Jamestown. But perhaps we need to rethink the meaning of Earth Day.

The first Earth Day in 1970 consist­ed of 20 million Americans poised for political action. Because the Earth Day organizers were tied in to offices of our Members of the U.S. Congress, Earth Day began focused public and political campaigns that resulted in a decade of unprecedented environmental legisla­tion, which included the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the National Environmental Poli­cy

Act, and more.

Now what do we do on Earth Day? One of the greatest platforms for deliv­ering meaningful legislative action has devolved into collecting other people’s garbage.

We are facing one of our greatest comprehensive challenges: climate change, which is locally resulting in ocean acidification, sea-level rise, stronger storms, the migration of spe­cies and more. What if we looked at our future Earth Day in a different light?

What if Earth Day 2014 was re­affirmed as a day of national po­litical action to educate the public on solutions to climate change such as a carbon fee and dividend? What if Earth Day 2014 were tied into the offices of our members of Congress who are climate champi­ons, such as Senator Whitehouse, Rep. Waxman and others? What if we could have teach-ins and ral­lies across the country and have safe climate legislation in hand? Do you envision a different kind of Earth Day on the local and na­tional levels?

Mary Jane Sorrentino
70 Green Lane

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