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Happy Earth Day, America!!
By Ernest Stewart

"We have met the enemy and he is us!" ~~~ Pogo

You may recall that it was Senator Gaylord Nelson, a Democrat from Wisconsin, who was instrumental in raising awareness about protecting the environment. On April 22, 1970, the first Earth Day, rallies were held in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Washington, DC and Los Angeles, as well as numerous college campuses across the country. I attended the one at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. It was glaringly obvious that something had to be done -- even to the Republicans, including Richard Milhous as our environment was on the brink of collapse. The air was so polluted that smog started looking like a dense fog that you could hardly see through. The rivers, were catching on fire and burning for hours as they did in Cleveland and Detroit!

The Earth Society Foundation in 1976. declared that its mission was to:
"Conduct educational programs and seminars and promote research and investigation throughout the world for the purpose of providing data to all individuals and institutions who are joining in the movement to promote and implement the Earth care ethic: namely, that the stewardship and care of earth requires action to produce and use materials and services that help nurture, conserve and recycle, without destructive pollution, the organisms and nutrients of Earth's web of life. Coordinate or assist the work of like-minded organizations for the purposes of minimizing unnecessary duplication of energies and maximizing the impact and effectiveness of the earth care movement."
Through awareness triggered by Earth Day, the United States government was pushed to enact many environmental acts. For example, the Clean Air Act, the Water Quality Improvement Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Toxic Substance Control as well as the Surface Mine and Reclamation Act. Many corporations jumped on the bandwagon and proclaimed their support; but, apparently, no one noticed they had their fingers crossed!

By 1990, Earth Day had gone global. Two hundred million people in 141 countries brought worldwide environmental issues to light. A decade later, global warming was the highlighted issue. Earth Day 2000 featured 5000 environmental groups in 184 countries, connecting hundreds of millions of people, using the blossoming Internet.

While rivers no longer catch on fire, and you can no longer tell the cities by the color of their air pollution, and we've made inroads into trashing our landscape, in some ways, things have gotten even worse because of decades of inaction, or by industry's attempts to get rid of clean air and water by bribing Con-gressmen and Sinators -- not to mention Presidents who were paid to look the other way.

Global Warming is caused by human-made greenhouse gasses, including carbon dioxide that correlate with global temperatures. The reasoning is fairly simple as greenhouse gases act to trap in heat that bounces off the Earth's surface and prohibits it from escaping our atmosphere. The greenhouse gases change the equilibrium of heat exchange between the Earth and Sun. However, linking global climate change to one single source can often times be difficult and inconclusive. This, in a large part, is why it has taken climate scientists decades to determine with certainty that the warming of the Earth we are witnessing is linked to greenhouse gas emissions in the last three centuries. On the plus side, Global Warming did stop the mini-Ice Age that ran from the 1300s to the early 1800s

As global temperatures rise, the sea levels also rise from melting of glaciers and polar ice. The oceans of the world absorb a large majority of the greenhouse gasses emitted into the air through carbon dioxide dissolution and the carbonate factory. In addition, the pH of the ocean water is becoming more acidic from the increased carbon dioxide and hence carbonic acid in oceans. Warming and increasing acidity of our oceans is reflected directly on ocean life and as scuba divers know, the extensive coral reef ecosystems's decimation in tropical oceans. As many folks depend on the oceans for life and the oceans are dying, it won't be long until mass starvation rears its ugly head.

As we continue down the road to extinction at full speed, it won't be long until we reap our rewards in record temps, like last month which set a record for the hottest March on record and in Houston that got historical floods this week, raining 17 inches over night! We've already crossed the 2 degrees Celsius threshold of no turning back. Happy Earth Day, America!


11-04-1925 ~ 04-18-2016
Thanks for the film!

09-16-1922 ~ 04-20-2016
Thanks for the film!

06-07-1958 ~ 04-21-2016
Thanks for the music!


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Until the next time, Peace!
(c) 2016 Ernest Stewart a.k.a. Uncle Ernie is an unabashed radical, author, stand-up comic, DJ, actor, political pundit and for 14 years was the managing editor and publisher of Issues & Alibis magazine. Visit me on Facebook. Follow me on Twitter.

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Issues & Alibis Vol 16 # 17 (c) 04/22/2016