Re-energize to fight for Earth
The coronavirus pandemic underscores how utterly interconnected we are on this planet. Manmade borders, political beliefs, religion, gender, age, profession — none holds sway over an undiscriminating deadly virus.
And so in fighting the coronavirus we unite. The same sense of common purpose must be engaged — widespread — to fight for Earth’s future.
The altered environment is a slower-moving tragedy than the current pandemic, but every bit as deadly. Ultimately, even more so.
The alarm about climate change has been sounded for years as scientists document the melting of the polar ice caps, which has far-reaching implications for weather patterns, economics and health. But the response, despite the scientific evidence, has been mixed.
Some, even in high places, deny this is a manmade problem. Denial, however, will not stop the severe weather-related eruptions around the world, from powerful hurricanes and tornadoes to vast wildfires.
One would expect that 50 years after the first Earth Day was observed we would be in a much better place of stewardship.
On April 22, 1970, people rose up to do something about the polluted air and water in this country. Smog blanketed cities on hot days, rivers ran colors from rampant industrial waste, wildlife was imperiled, as Rachel Carson warned about the use of pesticides in her 1962 book “Silent Spring.”
As a result, the Clean Water Act was enacted and the federal Environmental Protection Agency was formed. Regulations worked for the betterment of all.
In Connecticut, we see the return of the bald eagle population as testament to a healthier environment. But in other regards the state is behind. An American Lung Association 2020 “State of the Air” report issued last Tuesday gave Connecticut counties a failing grade for ozone pollution. . . .
We are concerned that any progress since the first Earth Day is unraveling before our eyes. The director of the EPA, a former lobbyist for the coal industry, has acted on administration goals to reduce helpful regulations, some under the mantle of dealing with the pandemic.
In March, the EPA announced that power plants and factories could determine for themselves whether they could meet legal requirements for reporting air and water pollution. They could monitor themselves, no fines. The same month the EPA aggressively rolled back emission standards for vehicles. The list goes on.
Earth Day 2020 was celebrated virtually as social distancing prevents large gatherings. The theme of “climate action” is a rallying call for when we can reemerge.
We must reenergize and get active about fighting for the environment and saving Earth, for all its interconnected inhabitants.
* A guest editorial from New Haven (Conn.) Register.