From the Publisher
Our choices matter - add your voice
by Carolyn Chase
am more convinced than ever that the many individual
actions we perform in private and professional situations add up to the
type of world we live in. Each earth day I am reminded of this in a variety
I received another bit of enlightenment the other day
via fax... "It is estimated that 50,000 windshields are dumped into
San Diego County's landfills annually, each consuming half a cubic foot
of space." Geez I thought, can't really do much about that can you?
Broken windshields are pretty much a lost cause, right? Well, maybe not.
For another opportunity to repair and reuse rather than replace and save
money in the process. See the ad on page 21 to learn that there really is
something that can be done about this, believe it or not. But this just
goes to show, that the things we believe to be lost causes, can sometimes
be turned around. But only if we do something about it.
EARTH DAY 1995... twenty-five years after the first
Earth Day, we should have reason to be pleased. Public environmental awareness
is high. Air is cleaner, drinking water is safer, we have some new national
parks, the term "sustainable" is beginning to be matched with
"development" and the use of ozone-depleting substances is on
the decline. So we have reason to be optimistic about the future. Right?
Unfortunately not. The new Congress, brought to power
on a wave of anti-government fervor, rightly feels a mandate to reform aspects
of government. Problem is, some members feel this mandate extends to the
systematic eviscerating of environmental protections. The most radical propose
to sell off national parks, allow oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife
Refuge, and eliminate the Endangered Species Act.
What is the justification for these actions? Some legislators
claim they were given a popular mandate in November to execute the "Contract
With America." However, while the "Contract" may contain
many needed reforms in government, it does not even mention the environment
and it contains no environmental commandments.
Therefore, there was no vote on the environment in November,
and the American people have not given anyone a mandate to dilute environmental
legislation. In fact, all national polls show that public support for environmental
protection is higher than ever.
So, Earth Day 1995, a day to express and celebrate America's
commitment to the environment, gives us an opportunity to come together
in a show of participatory democracy. In the tradition of the first Earth
Day - people working together at the grass roots - tens or hundreds of thousands,
or even millions of us with a common purpose can reaffirm our support for
the environment. And, if the "Contract With America" is truly
the will of many Americans, what better way to express our participation
than by adding an environmental amendment to the "Contract" -
an eleventh plank requiring Congress to not only maintain the best of current
environmental safeguards, but to expand them in the years ahead.
No matter what your party or politics, we invite you
to join with us by taking the Citizen's Earth Day Pledge. There will be
Pledge post cards at the EarthFair on April 23rd, or you can do the Pledge
on your own. But the important thing is for you to do something.
There is power in numbers, and there are millions -
many millions - of Americans who care about the environment. On this anniversary
year of Earth Day, let our collective voices be heard loud and clear on
behalf of ours and future generations.Thanks to Earth Day Hawaii '95 for
drafting this proposal and making it available.
Doing this will make a difference and remember, you
won't know what you can do, if you don't do what you can.