April 2011 Archives
By Senator Gaylord Nelson, Founder of Earth Day
What was the purpose of Earth Day? How did it start? These are the questions I am most frequently asked.
Actually, the idea for Earth Day evolved over a period of seven years starting in 1962. For several years, it had been troubling me that the state of our environment was simply a non-issue in the politics of the country. Finally, in November 1962, an idea occurred to me that was, I thought, a virtual cinch to put the environment into the political "limelight" once and for all. The idea was to persuade President Kennedy to give visibility to this issue by going on a national conservation tour. I flew to Washington to discuss the proposal with Attorney General Robert Kennedy, who liked the idea. So did the President. The President began his five-day, eleven-state conservation tour in September 1963. For many reasons the tour did not succeed in putting the issue onto the national political agenda. However, it was the germ of the idea that ultimately flowered into Earth Day.
I continued to speak on environmental issues to a variety of audiences in some twenty-five states. All across the country, evidence of environmental degradation was appearing everywhere, and everyone noticed except the political establishment. The environmental issue simply was not to be found on the nation's political agenda. The people were concerned, but the politicians were not.
After President Kennedy's tour, I still hoped for some idea that would thrust the environment into the political mainstream. Six years would pass before the idea that became Earth Day occurred to me while on a conservation speaking tour out West in the summer of 1969. At the time, anti-Vietnam War demonstrations, called "teach-ins," had spread to college campuses all across the nation. Suddenly, the idea occurred to me - why not organize a huge grassroots protest over what was happening to our environment?
I was satisfied that if we could tap into the environmental concerns of the general public and infuse the student anti-war energy into the environmental cause, we could generate a demonstration that would force this issue onto the political agenda. It was a big gamble, but worth a try.
At a conference in Seattle in September 1969, I announced that in the spring of 1970 there would be a nationwide grassroots demonstration on behalf of the environment and invited everyone to participate. The wire services carried the story from coast to coast. The response was electric. It took off like gangbusters. Telegrams, letters, and telephone inquiries poured in from all across the country. The American people finally had a forum to express its concern about what was happening to the land, rivers, lakes, and air - and they did so with spectacular exuberance. For the next four months, two members of my Senate staff, Linda Billings and John Heritage, managed Earth Day affairs out of my Senate office.
Five months before Earth Day, on Sunday, November 30, 1969, The New York Times carried a lengthy article by Gladwin Hill reporting on the astonishing proliferation of environmental events:
"Rising concern about the environmental crisis is sweeping the nation's campuses with an intensity that may be on its way to eclipsing student discontent over the war in Vietnam...a national day of observance of environmental problems...is being planned for next spring...when a nationwide environmental 'teach-in'...coordinated from the office of Senator Gaylord Nelson is planned...."
It was obvious that we were headed for a spectacular success on Earth Day. It was also obvious that grassroots activities had ballooned beyond the capacity of my U.S. Senate office staff to keep up with the telephone calls, paper work, inquiries, etc. In mid-January, three months before Earth Day, John Gardner, Founder of Common Cause, provided temporary space for a Washington, D.C. headquarters. I staffed the office with college students and selected Denis Hayes as coordinator of activities.
Earth Day worked because of the spontaneous response at the grassroots level. We had neither the time nor resources to organize 20 million demonstrators and the thousands of schools and local communities that participated. That was the remarkable thing about Earth Day. It organized itself.
the minibus in which they were travelling were all killed in terrible a crash
The loaded bus was reportedly travelling from southern Trelawny into Manchester
when it failed to negotiate a corner, crashed into an embankment and overturned.
The vehicle crashed in to a wall and a light post and the entire top of the bus
was sheared off.
Meanwhile, Holmwood Technical High School has been plunged into mourning. The
three students who died were identified as Lyonisa Whyte, a 10th grade netball
player; and two sixth formers, Petrina Clarke and Vanessa Buckle
Twenty other Holmwood students were also injured in the accident, and doctors
had to carry out an emergency operation on one student before they could move
her off the ward.
Another student had to be airlifted to the University Hospital in Kingston.
Holmwood dismissed distraught and grieving students at lunch time today.
The mood at Holmwood has been very somber since this morning as students
received group counselling with the assistance of the Manchester regional
chapter of the Guidance Counsellors Association.
I am strong, positive and powerful.
Every person has a purpose. I may discover mine when I am troubled by a situation and feel called to be part of the solution. The path may not be perfectly clear; I may not know what action to take. Nevertheless, I begin right where I am. I trust my inner wisdom to show me the way.
Rather than worry about making a mistake, I pray and take one small step. I trust that God will place a lamp before my feet, guiding me as I go.
As I give of myself in sacred service, everything I need is provided. I joyfully do what is mine to do. My faith grows even deeper as I give from my abundance. As I step out in faith, I am strong, positive and powerful.
You see that faith was active along with his works.--James 2:22
After much persistence the ban preventing Mavado from performing in Trinidad has been lifted.
After being banned from the country in 2008 due to the supposedly violent and sexually explicit content of his lyrical repertoire, the artiste was finally allowed into the island to perform last Tuesday. He headlined RF Promotions' 'A Better Tomorrow' concert that was held at the Centre of Excellence, Macoya.
Promoter for the event, Roy Francis, said he had been trying to get the ban lifted for years and was finally given the permission merely days before the event.
"For years we tried and we end up going through the proper channels like the government and the government realised that he changed up his lyrics. That's how they decided to lift the ban. They only gave us one week to advertise. The concert pull off real nice," he told THE STAR.
However, there were restrictions. Francis said Mavado was only allowed to sing his positive songs. In addition, he was not allowed to put out flyers, as only radio promotion was permitted.
"We had a smooth crime-free concert. The government even said he could come back and I am bringing him back on the 30th of July. I feel good 'cause for years we fight and it finally come through," he said.
When the next concert is held in July, Francis said, "it will be better 'cause people had doubts that he could come to Trinidad."
Mavado was also pleased with going to the island neighbour after such a long hiatus.
"Trinidad was alrite enuh because I was banned like for four and a half years. Because people didn't really believe that I was there, the crowd turnout wasn't as large as I had expected but we're supposed to go again soon and next time I know it's going to be bigger. It's just like in Guyana when that ban was lifted. When we first went back it was like 4,000 people and the next time was like 25,000 people," he told THE STAR.
Mavado's manager, Julian Jones-Griffiths described the ban being lifted as a positive move.
"The ban being lifted, albeit temporary, is a very positive sign even for other artistes," he said.
In addition, he said the issue of Caribbean countries banning Jamaican artistes from performing in their islands needs to be addressed.
"Other Caribbean countries have other bans and I am working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to address it. The music industry deserves the government's support and lobbying, especially with CARICOM and CSME. The legality of banning CARICOM citizens working in CARICOM territories needs to be addressed. Mavado does not have a criminal record so there are no grounds to ban him on," Jones-Griffiths told THE STAR.
He added that Mavado is still unable to perform in countries like St Vincent and the Bahamas.
Word on the street is that Reggae star Sean Paul is writing a biography, and he admits he dated Beyonce when she was taking a break from Jay-Z.
The insider explained, "Jay-Z was very jealous . . . to this day he has a problem with [Sean Paul]."
Could this be the reason why Jay-Z prevented Sean Paul from performing "Baby Boy" with Beyonce at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards. Jay-Z wanted to be the only performer to share the stage with Beyonce who was his girlfriend at the time.
Foxy Brown's fingernails have once again landed the singer in hot water -- this time, she was booted off a Royal Caribbean cruise because she flipped out after missing her at-sea manicure appointment ... TMZ has learned.
Passengers on the cruise tell TMZ, Foxy set up a nail appointment on the cruise ship last Monday -- a day after the cruise took off -- and showed up three hours late.
We're told the people at the salon couldn't accommodate her when she rolled around -- and Foxy went completely ballistic.
According to sources, security removed her from the salon and sent her back to her room -- where she remained under supervision until Wednesday ... when the ship dropped anchor somewhere in the Cayman Islands ... and authorities kicked her off.
We're told Foxy -- who performed on board the day before the incident -- was then escorted to an airport and flown home. Royal Caribbean had no comment. Attempts to reach Foxy were unsuccessful.
Brown has a storied history when it comes to cosmetics -- in 2004, she faced assault charges for allegedly beating up two nail salon employees ... and again in 2007 after allegedly beating up a beauty store employee.