Letters to the Editor

Environment: A sad year for Earth Day

Over the past four years Earth Day has gone from being a day of celebration to a day of great sadness. Why, because no other president has aggressively dismantled so many environmental laws in such a short time. No other president has allowed the corporate bottom line to take such precedence over the health of the people and future health of the land.

The Bush administration has made a mockery out of the true meaning of Earth Day by excluding citizens and scientists from the decision process concerning environmental issues. We the people are left out of the loop with only a prayer and a litany of losses to speak of.

There is loss in the expansion of natural gas drilling in the most pristine places in the U.S. There is loss in the president’s rewriting of the Clean Water Act, which removes protections from streams and wetlands.

There is loss when this administration overturns rules which most Americans support such as...the Roadless Conservation Rule which could protect Alaska’s Tongas National Forest from unnecessary destruction.

There is great loss to come due to the Bush administration’s relaxing of federal controls by 30 percent on mercury emissions from power plants. Mercury effects brain development. As a result of this decision more than 600,000 newborns are at risk annually of suffering brain damage. The litany of losses continues.

Conservation is a part of our enactment of democracy based upon the democratic ideals expressed by James Wilson, secretary of agriculture under President Taft: “The greatest good to the greatest number for the longest time.” President Bush has blatantly set aside these ideals and replaced them with unacceptable environmental standards, which are to say the least, dangerous to human health and to the benefit of large corporations.

As a nation we can focus on the planet Mars all we want, but it is the Earth, our precious Earth that supports and sustains us. Now is the time to look to the Earth with love, respect and gratitude. Now is the time to support political candidates who understand community as inclusive of all creation, and who honor the laws required for a healthy environment. Now is the time to protect the resources of this place we call home. When we have taken these actions, there will truly be reason to celebrate.

Teresa Dix


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