Story by Flor Trevino and Mike Fischbein
Earth Day marks the anniversary of what many consider to be the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970. At that time Americans were slurping unleaded gas through massive V-8 sedans, industry belched out smoke and sludge with little fear of legal consequences or bad press, and “environment” was a word that appeared in more often in spelling bees than on the evening news.
The idea of Earth Day came to Gaylord Nelson, a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, after witnessing the ravages of the massive oil spill near Santa Barbara, California in 1969.
Inspired by the student anti-war movement he realized that if he could infuse that energy with an emerging public consciousness about air and water pollution, it would force environmental protection on to the national political agenda.
The first Earth Day led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the clean air, clean water and endangered species acts.
Fast forward – this year’s earth day will be celebrated this Sunday, April 22nd. A variety of events around the Twin Cities will mark the day. One such event is a day hosted by the Red Stag Supper Club on Friday April 20th, where all proceeds will benefit the Land Stewardship Project.
Anna Cioffi is a Project Organizer with the Land Stewardship Project. She talked with Mike Fischbein and Flor Trevino on The Takeaway.