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Friday, April 21, 2023

'An environment of decency for all living creatures'


"Our goal is not just an environment of clean air and water and scenic beauty. The objective is an environment of decency, quality and mutual respect for all other human beings and all other living creatures." Gaylord Nelson

I was just out of college and only a month ahead of a stint in the Army when I was assigned to report on the first Earth Day in 1970.   My editor was skeptical that anything might happen, but it soon became clear that people, especially young people, were organizing dozens of projects and I was on the front line reporting about them.

In 1990, I persuaded Senator Nelson to be the Earth Day guest speaker at the small college campus where I was working as Director of Public Relations.  He spoke eloquently and passionately about why we must continue to carry it forward and expand upon it each and every year.
Gaylord Nelson

“Earth Day achieved what I had hoped for and then some,” he told the students.   “The purpose of Earth Day was to get a nationwide demonstration of concern for the environment so large that it would shake the political establishment out of its lethargy and, finally, force this issue permanently into the political arena.

“It was truly an astonishing grassroots explosion."

If ever there was a Writer’s Moment for me, it was the first Earth Day.  It has remained so ever since.

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