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Columns > John Whitler

Published: 2008/05/23
by John Whitler

Every Day Is Earth Day

For those spending Earth Day in Washington, DC, at the Green Apple Festival, your Earth Day was wet, very wet. It was a bit ironic that Mother Earth would be responsible for cutting the festivities short. Fortunately, those of us in attendance had a chance to visit the booths and hear a rockin set by Umphreys McGee. HeadCount was definitely one of my favorite booths to visit, not only because of their cause of registering fans to vote, but the enthusiasm of the people working at the tent. I actually caught some of those same folks featured in a CBS news segment on the evening news this week which was very cool.
Although I was disappointed that most of the festival got rained out, I think the annual event of Earth Day reminds people how important the environment is. I hope that some people take the information they learned seriously and become more aware of their decisions and how they affect the environment. Although Earth Day is officially celebrated once a year, we need to acknowledge the impacts we have on the environment every day. The awareness established on Earth Day is only a small part of improving our environment, but the choices we make as individuals can collectively make a huge impact.
One of the choices that we are fortunate to have in this country is choosing our political leaders. Another booth I visited was the League of Conservative Voters, which is an organization that provides information on how members of Congress and the president vote on pieces of environmental legislation, campaigns for environmental issues and tries to empower citizens with information on environmental issues. Although the primaries are almost over, I would still recommend checking out their page on how the 2008 presidential candidates compare on their environmental positions – I am not advocating for one candidate over the other, but I think it is clear from the information provided which candidate has the best environmental record and plans for improving the environment in the future.
The environment is in the news everyday, whether it is high gas prices, debates over biofuels, endangered fisheries, threatened species, clean air, potable water or renewable energy. The value of a quality environment can be difficult to quantify, especially when we currently dont incorporate the costs of environmental damage into our products. For any political candidate, the environment cannot be ignored. As citizens we must put the pressure on our politicians to take environmental issues seriously. A wealth of information is out there, make yourself aware, and make your politicians aware of your position on those issues. As citizens we must be involved to make our democracy work for us.

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