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April 20, 2009

If There Is No Green, There Will Be No Gold

Wednesday 22, 2009 will be the 39th birthday of EARTH Day. Twenty million people celebrated the first EARTH Day on April 22, 1970. That initial celebration might not have occurred if not for Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin. Senator Gaylord's concern about the state of our environment convinced him that the government and nation had to get involved to clean up our air and water. He then convinced President Kennedy to give credence and visibility to the issue by taking a national tour. President Kennedy took a 5-day 11 state conservation tour in September 1963. For various reasons it didn't succeed in establishing conservation of the environment onto the national political agenda, but the seed was planted. Sen. Gaylord was inspired by the anti-Vietnam War teach-ins that were occurring at college campuses across the country, and saw that a grass roots environmental demonstration might get the nation involved. He then invited the entire nation to become involved at a conference in Seattle in 1969. The wire services carried the story and, as they say, the rest is history. In 1990 EARTH Day went global and over 200 million people in 140 nations participated. It was during the 1990 EARTH Day that recycling gained huge momentum worldwide.

EARTH Day was the catalyst for raising awareness about our environment and, instrumental in Richard Nixon creating the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1970. The EPA was established to protect the environment and the public health. It was funded for research, monitoring, standard setting and enforcement activities to ensure environmental protection.

Awareness, recycling and the EPA should have positioned our nation as a leader in caring for the planet we inhabit. You would think that we would have gotten it right and passed a clean and pristine world to the future generations. WRONG! The EPA hasn't protected us from the businesses and corporations whose goal is gold. Too many pay-offs, too much looking the other way, and legislating laws that protect the polluters have derailed the vision of Senator Gaylord and millions of us around the world who know the importance of conserving our resources. So here we are preparing to celebrate EARTH Day 2009. Our waterways, air, animals, plants and people are perishing from neglect. Our future existence is in peril and only in this present space and time can we save the planet and ourselves. What can we do? What must we do to try and stop the pillage and destruction of our EARTH?

First we must support the current administration's agenda for green jobs and energy. President Obama is committed to creating 5 million green-collar jobs over the next ten years. His plan will address two dilemmas - escalating unemployment and the protection of our planet. It is crucial that we understand that there will be no gold if there is no place for man to live. Green Jobs are the solution to the massive loss of the manufacturing jobs lost in this country that will not ever be replaced . Green jobs are local have a living wage and will be long term. We will eliminate the dependence on foreign oil and imports by creating our own national energy security. Green jobs include wind, solar, solar thermal, solar photovoltaic, geothermal, biomass/landfill gas, utilities, research, policy development, installation, conservation, and new technology to name just a few. More information regarding green jobs can found at some of the following sites;,,,, and There are some things we can each do immediately and individually to ensure that green jobs and energy are a reality for us and future generations;

1) Make calls to your congress people and demand emission cuts of 35-50% under the present levels by 2020, which the world's scientific community suggests. If we haven't stopped the rise of emissions by 2015, it will in all probability be too late.

2) Write a letter or e-mail your local editor about the importance of green jobs and energy.

3) Educate yourself and determine that you will conserve energy by changing to energy efficient lights and appliances when possible.

4) Support the administrations efforts to stimulate the economy through green jobs.

5) We have until Memorial Day to strengthen the pending climate change bill. Rep. Henry Waxman is the chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee, and it is imperative that we get as much feedback as possible to his committee before it passes to the house floor.

In conclusion, on April 22, 2009 go to an EARTH Day celebration, donate to an environmental entity or cause that you favor that is informing, lobbying and helping to save our planet, and go to see "EARTH", a documentary by Disney opening April 22 at a theater near you.

Time is not our ally so we must hurry and help stop the demise and damage of our EARTH. May it be your goal to prevent the greed for gold and decide the fate of Mother EARTH.

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