Saturday, April 22, 2006

Earth Day - April 22nd

This Earth Day celebrate the magnificence of this beautiful planet. But also, remember that we are the Earth's keeper.

Have you been a good steward of that which was entrusted to your care?

Say a prayer for the planet today. plk

It’s Earth Day

A Talking Point from The American Progress Action Fund

April 21, 2006

Saturday, April 22nd, the world will mark the 36th annual Earth Day celebration. And in the years since Earth Day began, much progress has been made. “Rivers aren’t catching fire anymore, and you can see the sky in Los Angeles,” said Jon Coifman of the Natural Resources Defense Council. But on issues such as climate change, clean air and clean water, America can do more. When President Bill Clinton gave Earth Day founder Sen. Gaylord Nelson (D-WI) the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1995, Clinton expressed the importance of heeding Nelson’s legacy ((Nelson passed away last year). “Today, as much as at any time in modern American history,” Clinton said, “we need to remember what we share on this precious planet and in this beloved country. And I hope that Gaylord Nelson’s shining example will illuminate all the debates in this city for years to come.”

  • Climate change is happening and we have only ourselves to blame. The science is definitive: the earth is warming. Between 1900 and 2005, the average temperature at the Earth’s surface has increased about 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit. The last decade was the hottest in 150 years; the hottest 22 years have happened since 1980; and 2005 was the second hottest year on record. Prominent among all the bad news is the fact that United States “emitted more greenhouse gases in 2004 than at any time in history, confirming its status as the world’s biggest polluter.” Instead of trying to tackle the problem head-on, the Bush administration spends its time muzzling scientists who are most capable of explaining the issue to the public, and some right-wing commentators continue to deceive the public and say that it’s all a myth.

  • The air we breathe is still too dirty, and our wilderness lands are under constant threat. Air pollution continues to pose severe health risks to all Americans, especially minorities. The Associated Press recently reported that “black Americans are 79 percent more likely than whites to live in neighborhoods where industrial pollution is suspected of posing the greatest health danger.” Yet the Bush administration continues to push their “Clear Skies” legislation in an effort to loosen emission caps on airborne toxins. Our forests are also under attack: “In the 36 years that have passed since the first Earth Day, on April 22, 1970, we have lost more than one billion acres of forest, with no end in sight.” And the administration is cutting funding for lands already under protection.

  • The environmental cause is bringing together an unlikely group of activists. Judging from the diverse groups involved, there is yet hope for the cause of environmental protection. Sportsmen and environmentalists are teaming up “in debates over the future of federal land in the West…” and they credit the Bush administration with bringing them together. Many evangelicals are taking on climate change as a way to honor the Biblical admonition to watch over God’s creation. Evangelicals are joining forces with environmental groups to pressure the administration into action over global warming.

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