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The environment: For decades it has continued to be an issue that some would say is too far gone. It always seems to be mentioned, along with health care and the economy, on every politician’s “fix it” list. This month’s Streetwise question ties in with Earth Day, which is April 22. The two-part question first asked four people their opinion on the world’s most pressing environmental concern. Second, if they could pass one law that would help the environment, what would it be?The answers are clear, and politicians should pay attention to the solutions. Here are some good ideas on how to help Mother Earth.

Steve Sibert
Well, if I had to say what it wouldn’t be, it would be the farce of global warming. Instead, I would say it is the lack of development of alternative sources of energy. And the law I would pass is one that would increase tax credits for people who do use alternative fuels.

Samantha Olson
Colorado Springs
I think the world’s most pressing environmental concern is finding an alternative source of energy; an alternative to using oil. And I would like to see a new solution for fueling vehicles.

Gloria Showalter
That’s easy – the use of oil or the lack of alternative sources for fuel. I would like to see a law where the oil companies have to be part of the solution and use the billions of dollars they make to help implement it.

Greg Edgett
Colorado Springs
I would probably say pollution. I would like to see a law that requires every state to use 20 percent of its total energy use with either wind or solar power.

Staggering statisticsWith every month that passes, we’re given increasing information to motivate us, as a nation, to embrace renewable energy. Here are three of those compelling reasons:
  • Americans use 30 percent of the world’s oil supply; yet, only 2 percent of that comes from our own soil. By embracing renewable energy, we can significantly reduce our dependency on foreign oil.
  • Renewable energy and conservation projects create 300 percent more jobs than the construction and operation of new traditional power plants of equal costs.
  • With every mile that we drive our gasoline-powered cars, we send 1 pound of CO2 into the atmosphere.
Source: www.campaignearth.orgHow Earth Day beganSen. Gaylord Nelson created the first Earth Day. In the early 1960s, Nelson and many other senators were concerned about the state of the environment. In a move intended to bring national visibility to the issue of environmental deterioration, the senators persuaded President Kennedy to take on a nationwide conservation tour, “spelling out in dramatic language the serious and deteriorating condition of our environment.” Though the tour failed to rouse interest of any significant level in the environment as a political issue, Nelson credits the mission with being the seed from which Earth Day would eventually flower.The idea for a grassroots effort gestated in Nelson’s head until July 1969, when, according to Nelson, the anti-war teach-ins of the Vietnam era inspired him to conceive of a nationwide environmental “teach-in” that Nelson planned for the spring of 1970. All of the major wire services ran the story, and the response was dramatic.In the end, an estimated 20 million people participated in Earth Day events of some kind. Ten thousand grade schools and high schools, 2,000 colleges and 1,000 communities across the country held official events.Earth Day is responsible for establishing the efficacy of grassroots environmental advocacy. A by-product of Earth Day that directly affected the automobile industry was the public’s heightened awareness of the environmental dangers of gasoline exhaust emissions.Source:

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