Today is Earth Day, which marks the anniversary of the ‘official’ birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970. All over the world, people organize events to raise awareness of the need to preserve the environment through actions such switching to alternative energy, recycling, energy efficiency, (more…)
One of the benefits we noted when humanity first was able observe the earth from above our atmosphere, from outer space, is that it enabled us to gain a new perspective on how very special our planet is. Viewed from a distance, it is obvious that we are all living in one global environment. And from a distance, this environment doesn’t look as vast as it does from our vantage point on earth.
The land looks more precious, the seas less like unlimited places to discharge our wastes, and the atmosphere, less like a place to emit air pollution at night so no one sees it, to the fragile envelope which, more than anything, makes earth the special place it is.
Indeed, it is the atmosphere that permits life as we know it to flourish on earth. And we owe most of this new knowledge to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration!
This month marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, an event that has attracted millions to environmental causes. But winning passage of meaningful legislation on climate change requires more than slogans and green talk — it demands intense, determined political action.
Size doesn’t matter.
Or at least, size is not the only thing that matters. In 21st century American democracy, massive public support is certainly desirable, especially over the long run. But what really counts with Congress is intensity.
A huge majority of Americans favor gun control, for example. According to the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, four out of five believe a police permit should be required for the purchase of a firearm. (more…)
But a bigger wind and water story was hatched this week in the Great Plains. President Barack Obama, in an Earth Day speech in Iowa, said his administration is clearing the red tape for siting windmills on the outer continental shelf.
Forbes.com reports that the Department of Interior’s Mineral and Management Service will grant wind developers leases and easements to erect wind farms on the shelf, along with rights of way to wire wind power from water to land. There’s been a moratorium on offshore wind development for about four years in the United States; all the offshore wind is in Europe for now.