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Your Earth Day Resource
Earth Day is an opportunity for all Americans to educate themselves on the state of our environment, and to pitch-in in their local communities to make them better.

The House Committee on Resources invites you to celebrate the achievements made in protecting the environment over the past several decades. Environmental trendlines continue in the right direction, with cleaner air and fresh water for all Americans. But too often, environmental headlines seem to predict impending apocalypse.

Good news doesn't sell as well as bad news, and the "sky is falling" sensationalism of environmental activists lead people to falsely believe that our environment is getting worse when it's actually getting better.

For example, air quality has improved dramatically, with smog and ozone levels steadily declining in major U.S. cities. The United States has 14 million more acres of forestland today than it did in 1920. Hundreds of millions of acres of parks and wildlife reserves have been secured for future generations of Americans to enjoy. And technology is showing us ways to meet the needs of Americans while having the lowest possible impact on our environment. We are learning that man and nature can live together and peacefully coexist.

In fact, our great environmental achievements have all come to America while America has continued to grow and prosper economically. Consider this fact: since 1970, volatile organic compound and carbon monoxide emissions from cars and trucks have declined by nearly 74 percent and 64 percent, respectively, all while cars and trucks in the U.S. doubled and total miles driven increased by 181 percent. Our prosperity has fueled the research and investment necessary to achieve these and other results. We are finding out that the key to a healthy environment is a growing and healthy economy. That's an environmental and economic success story about which all Americans can be proud.

Unfortunately, the positive trendlines don't fill the pockets of America's environmental activist industry. Scare tactics and sensational rhetoric have enabled the top 30 organizations to generate billions in annual revenue, according to public documents. But how much of this money is spent on real, hands-on, "muddy boots" conservation work for the environment? Almost none. Instead, it is spent on lobbyists and lawyers, partisan politics, direct mail, and more and more sensational fundraising campaigns.

What we are left with, in many cases, is misinformation and rhetoric that perverts the development of policies that will extend the positive trend-lines of success. The president of the National Environmental Education and Training Foundation described the consequences of this quite succinctly when he said, "This dependence on mythology threatens to block progress on important environmental initiatives ... it is vital that we debunk these myths so that the public can most effectively address the needs of today."

After all of our great achievements, and to continue our record of success, our environment will be better served if Americans volunteer for real conservation projects in their local communities, and use their own knowledge to guide their choices about how best to be a steward of the environment. It's not as easy as writing a check is for some, but with sweat, elbow grease and self-sacrifice comes a deeper appreciation of the environment.

This website provides information on the great environmental successes we have achieved over the last several decades, information to "debunk" the myths, and data on how the environmental movement in the U.S. has truly lost its way.

As President Ronald Reagan once said, preservation of our environment is not a liberal or conservative challenge, it's common sense. Indeed, all Americans and Members of Congress are committed to having clean air, clean water, and healthy populations of wildlife. Reasonable people can always disagree the on best ways to achieve our goals, but common sense escapes the debate too frequently, as the ubiquitous and inane rhetoric of "anti-environment" and "gut, rollback, and eviscerate" illustrates. Let Earth Day 2006 be a call for common sense and real results for the environment.




Page Updated: Thursday May 07, 2009 09:14 AM  Pacific

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