Earth Day began 41 years ago when an unfortunately named Senator decided environmental issues needed a stronger presence in American politics.
“For several years, it had been troubling me that the state of our environment was simply a non-issue in the politics of the country. Finally, in November 1962, an idea occurred to me that was, I thought, a virtual cinch to put the environment into the political “limelight” once and for all,” Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin told the Wilderness Society.
Whether or not the “limelight” has since shined on the multitude of environmental challenges still facing our planet today (global warming, species loss, fossil fuel dependency, over population, shrinking potable water supply) is still in question, politicians are still using Earth Day to push their political agendas.
And Senator Nelson’s point is well-taken when it comes to advocating for the environment. A wise politician will use the annual Earth Day holidy to push legislation, as well promote environmental advocacy in what otherwise would be a PR stunt. Because, the fact that a legislator cares to be an environmental steward is only as important as showing their constituents that they care. That’s why a politician started the holiday.
Nydia: take note! You missed your opportunity.
Where other congressman did the green and promoted it on their websites, Nydia failed to complete the entire act.
Here are a few examples from congressional members’ sites:
From David Cicilline (D-RI) website: “We need to work together to create a better environment and economy for current and future generations of Rhode Islanders. While there has been progress made in reducing our dependence on foreign oil, more work needs to be done to assure our energy security and reduce the rising cost of gasoline….
From John D. Dingell (D-MI) website: Today, Congressman John D. Dingell (MI-15) marked Earth Day 2011 with representatives from the United Auto Workers and the Big 3 Automakers– Chrysler, Ford Motor Company, and General Motors for an Earth Day Auto Show…
From Dennis Cardoza (D-DC) website: In recognition of Earth Day (April 22nd), U.S. Congressman Dennis Cardoza (D-Merced) announced he has re-introduced legislation that protects the rights of homeowners to generate their own clean, renewable electricity through solar power….
On April 29th, Congresswoman Velazquez and EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck honored four individual/businesses from Puerto Rico with Environmental Quality Awards for their achievements protecting public health and the environment.
The award winners included a priest who runs an environmental health radio show and traveled across the US in the 1970 defending migrant workers and educating them about pesticides; to two women who run a recycling education program in Barrio Obrero Marina (Puerto Rico).
Nydia’s last news update on her site is from mid-April. She mentioned nothing about honoring these leaders in sustainability, nor did receive credit for collaborating with the EPA. Her web presence is minimal, as I’ve mentioned before, and she would be smart to hire a more effective web manager to keep her good work in the limelight.