To sum up:
America's air, especially in & around its cities, is less polluted than it was in 1970. Many of America's waterways are cleaner. Thanks to the ban on the pesticide DDT & species support programs, iconic birds like the bald eagle & California condor have been brought back from the brink of extinction. Others, like the gray wolf, have been successfully returned to previous homes, bringing ecosystems back into balance. Later, updates to the Clean Air Act greatly reduced acid rain pollution. And all of the above has been achieved with very little cost to consumers or businesses.
But we've yet to address global warming, with global temperatures up a full degree F since 1970. We import more than twice as much polluting oil as we did in the 70s. One by one, mountaintop removal coal mining continues to destroy the Appalachians. The Chesapeake Bay is in as rough shape today as it's ever been.
Also: No skunks in Arlington. Weird.
So what can you do this year to help make sure the next four decades show even more environmental progress than the previous 40 years?
- Attend the Earth Day concert & rally on the National Mall this Sunday
- Find an Earth Day event in your area at EarthDay.org
- Show your support for clean energy & climate legislation by signing the Declaration of Energy Independence at EarthDayRevolution.com
- Or forget the petition & call your senators directly
Finally, I give you Biz Markie's Earth Day remix of You Got What I Need ... which is shockingly not bad: