Read a Pacific Northwest, liberal perspective on world, national, and local politics. From majestic Redmond, Washington - the Northwest Progressive Institute Advocate.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day 2010!

Today, across the United States (and around the world) progressive activists are celebrating the fortieth annual Earth Day by cleaning up their communities and rallying in support of environmental justice.

Here's a roundup of Earth Day news and events that we've been tracking:

Senator Maria Cantwell is chairing a Commerce Subcommittee hearing on ocean acidification, an issue related to the climate crisis that is of top concern to many activists. The hearing will examine a new report from the National Academies of Science (PDF) which concludes ocean chemistry is chaning at an unprecedented rate and magnitude. "While more research is needed, there is a clear link between carbon emissions and the resulting impact on the chemistry of the world’s oceans," Washington's junior senator declared in a news release.

The Democratic nominee in Washington's 8th Congressional District, Suzan DelBene, made the most of an opportunity to critique her opponent's record on environmental protection, observing that the League of Conservation Voters recently gave Dave Reichert a failing on grade on its report card, and listing her own priorities in a campaign news release (PDF). "Last time I looked, a 64 percent is a D," DelBene said. "That may be good for an incumbent Republican politician in an election year, but it’s not good enough for the 8th Congressional District."

The White House's Katelyn Sabochik has posted a rather substantive Earth Day roundup on behalf of the administration, highlighting what different Cabinent members (including our former Governor, Gary Locke) have been up to. President Barack Obama also issued a statement commemorating the fortieth anniversary of Earth Day. The White House did not attempt to reconcile the President's support for needless oil drilling, more nuclear power, or the continued burning of coal with his professed commitment to environmental protection.

Seattle and Portland are each getting twenty million dollars to retrofit and weatherize buildings, the Obama administration announced yesterday. Both cities would have undoubtedly liked to have been awarded bigger grants, but twenty million apiece is nothing to sneeze at. The weatherization efforts are expected to help create and sustain thousands of jobs.

The Earth Day Network is organizing a massive rally in support of climate action on the National Mall this Sunday, April 25th. Although we agree that it is imperative the United States take action to address the climate crisis, we are opposed to the bill that is currently working its way through the United States Senate. As Winston Churchill once famously declared, "The era of procrastination, of half-measures, of soothing and baffling expedients, of delays, is coming to its close. In its place we are entering a period of consequences." We have entered that period of consequences, but too many senators think our response should be something less than quarter measures. Unacceptable.

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