Plain Dealer Reports today, "Our environmental movement began in earnest about a half-decade ago." How misguiding is that?

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Sun, 09/28/2008 - 11:12.

Environmentalism: Growing food in your yard, naturally, to feed friends, family and others around you

I can think of no Northeast Ohio institution that is more responsible for the poor state of our environment than the Cleveland Plain Dealer, where the editors still deny "Global Warming" and today published a feel-good y'all srawling Xurban Republicans article titled "Northeast Ohio gets busy going green", offering little real insight but saying "Our environmental movement began in earnest about a half-decade ago." That is perhaps the most misguiding statement I've seen published by that shallow, highly polluting, strictly-for-profit enterprise, ever. A half-decade is 5 years... sooo, 2003... the year we lost Sadhu Johnston... then director of the Cleveland Green Building Coalition he founded in 1999, to Chicago. In 2001, Sadhu's work, and other green building initiatives, were highlighted in a lengthy article in Northern Ohio Live called "The Budding of Green Building", which shows the high degree of activity back then, when I'd say there was more life to environmentalism in real NEO than now.

I joined the Northeast Ohio Chapter of the Sierra Club in the early 1970s, when I was in elementary school, and a national representatives of the club came to my school back then to talk to our class about the environment, which was ruined. "By the mid-1980s the Northeast Ohio Group grew to more than 5,000
members who were active on 15 conservation issue committees, such as
energy, nuclear power, pesticides and solid waste", as David Beach reports, in his 1997 (over a decade ago) write-up on "Environmentalism", in The History of Cleveland.

David's history is very worth reading, to put environmentalism in perspective in general, and for here, and to celebrate many great people who have worked for over a century, and are working still, to make this a healthy place to live. He begins:

"ENVIRONMENTALISM. For thousands of years, American Indians lived
in northeast Ohio and scarcely altered the landscape. But with the
coming of European settlement and large-scale industrialization in the
1800s, much of the region's natural resources were exploited and
polluted within decades. Ever since, groups of far-sighted citizens
have struggled to right the ecological balance. Whether organizing
under the banner of the environmental, conservation, consumer, or
public health movements, they have sought to rediscover ways to live
well--yet live sustainably over the long term--given the natural limits
of the region's land, air, and water.
"

It is interesting to note, in David's history, newspapers have always been an environmental hazard, rather than help:

"The habit of avoiding environmental problems extended to air pollution.
In the 1850s reformers recognized that industrial furnaces were
creating a health hazard and passed legislation to control the problem.
But opposition to regulation was fierce. For example, in 1860 a
Cuyahoga County Grand Jury indicted the Rail Rd. Iron Mill Co. because
the smoke from its chimneys was a nuisance. The CLEVELAND LEADER
condemned the action, saying that "the idea of striking a blow at the
industry and prosperity of the infant iron manufacturers of Cleveland
by indicting the most extensive and important of them all as a
nuisance, is an act that should and will be reprobated by the whole
community."

Boy is that familiar... does the PD just recycle old social positions from our industrial archives?

Where I find the discussion about "the Environment" has really gotten off track, in the past decade of thinking about economic development, is using the word "sustainability" in association with environmentalism. In my opinion, "Sustainability" is only an interesting concept at the global level, where it is unfortunately not sustainable. In case you missed this:

Global carbon emissions soar

SINGAPORE, Sept 25 (Reuters) - Global carbon emissions rose rapidly
in 2007, an annual study says, with developing nations such as China
and India now producing more than half of mankind's output of carbon
dioxide, the main gas blamed for global warming.

The Global Carbon Project said in its report carbon dioxide
emissions from mankind are growing about four times faster since 2000
than during the 1990s, despite efforts by a number of nations to rein
in emissions under the Kyoto Protocol.

Emissions from burning fossil fuels was a major contributor to the
increase, the authors said in their "Global Carbon Project (2008)
Carbon budget and trends 2007" report
(http://www.globalcarbonproject.org/carbontrends/index_new.htm).

India would soon overtake Russia to become the world's third largest CO2 emitter, it says.

"What we are talking about now for the first time is that the
absolute value of all emissions going into the atmosphere every year
are bigger coming from less developing countries than the developed
world," said the project's Australia-based executive director Pep
Canadell.

"The other thing we confirm is that China is indeed now the top
emitter," he told Reuters, adding that China alone accounted for 60
percent of all growth in emissions. The United States was the second
largest emitter.

Read more here...

What this means is that even if people of the "Developed" nations do no new harm to the environment and "sustain" their current level of harm at current rates, which is not possible, as their populations and lifestyles evolve, growth and change in the "Developing" countries will cause enough new harm to wipe out all life on Earth in no time. And, to be fair, who are the developed to say one class of people had the right to destroy the environment but another class of people does not.... especially as the developed people still live lifestyles more harmful to the environment than the developing people... and, by most standards, have very different standards of living, health and social equity. For example... any idea how many cars per capita in the US vs. China, and total cars in each nation, and how many people will become virgin car-polluters in China in the next decade? We are all dead meat!

Unsustainable!

So, nothing about life on Earth is sustainable, and all focus of all people on Earth must be for all of us to become environmentalists.

Many of the Earth's cultures have been founded on principles of preservation of Mother Earth, first and foremost, and, throughout time, many people of Earth have fought for the environment... and many more people have not, and most people do not today.

There is no timeline on this, other than this is a battle of good against evil... enlightenment against ignorance... and that all our time has run out.

From Wikipedia...

Sustainability is many things to many people. It can simultaneously be an idea, a property of living systems, a manufacturing method, or a way of life. For some people it is little more than a hollow buzz word. Although the definition of sustainable development given by the Brundtland Commission
(used above), is the most frequently quoted, it is not universally
accepted and has undergone various interpretations. Difficulty in
defining sustainability stems in part from the fact that it may be seen
to encompass all human activity. It is a very general concept like
"liberty" or "justice", which is accepted as important, but a "dialogue
of values"[5] that defies consensual definition.[6]
It is also a call to action and therefore open to political
interpretation concerning the nature of the current situation and the
most appropriate way forward. A further practical difficulty with a
universal definition is that the strategies needed to address
"sustainability" will vary according to the particular circumstances
under consideration

Environmentalism is a broad philosophy and social movement centered on a concern for the conservation and improvement of the natural environment

Origins of environmental movement

In Europe, it was the Industrial Revolution that gave rise to modern environmental pollution as it is generally understood today. The emergence of great factories and consumption of immense quantities of coal and other fossil fuels gave rise to unprecedented air pollution and the large volume of industrial chemical discharges added to the growing load of untreated human waste.[4] The first large-scale, modern environmental laws came in the form of the British Alkali Acts, passed in 1863, to regulate the deleterious air pollution (gaseous hydrochloric acid) given off by the Leblanc process, used to produce soda ash. Environmentalism grew out of the amenity movement, which was a reaction to industrialization, the growth of cities, and worsening air and water pollution.

I n the United States, the beginnings of an environmental movement can be traced as far back as 1739, when Benjamin Franklin and other Philadelphia residents, citing "public rights," petitioned the Pennsylvania Assembly to stop waste dumping and remove tanneries from Philadelphia's commercial district. The US movement expanded in the 1800s, out of concerns for protecting the natural resources of the West, with individuals such as John Muir and Henry David Thoreau making key philosophical contributions. Thoreau was interested in peoples' relationship with nature and studied this by living close to nature in a simple life. He published his experiences in the book Walden, which argues that people should become intimately close with nature. Muir came to believe in nature's inherent right, especially after spending time hiking in Yosemite Valley and studying both the ecology and geology. He successfully lobbied congress to form Yosemite National Park and went on to set up the Sierra Club. The conservationist principles as well as the belief in an inherent right of nature were to become the bedrock of modern environmentalism.

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“Never too much change too fast"

Must read article in the New York Times, today.... "Whole Grains, Fresh Corn: School Menu on a Mission"... local fresh foods in public schools in Bloomfield, CT, May 2007... New Haven (same innovator) today.... QUOTE OF THE DAY:

“Never too much change too fast. We’re feeding kids here. Pizza is a
major food group. So you can give them fresh veggies on top, on whole
grain crust. And you slip pureed butternut squash into the tomato
sauce.”

Are we doing anything close to this in any of our public (or private) schools, or anything nearly this environmentally innovative anywhere in our region?

Disrupt IT

Your harvest?

Yum.  I love still life art to eat.  Great image.

Doesn't that look healthy?!?!

Yum is right.

I can't remember the last time I bought produce.

Got my parents covered, as well (with the help of City Fresh!!!!)!!! 

Disrupt IT

BTW... The Leader is the Plain Dealer

Also from the fantastic Encyclopedia of Cleveland History, about the leader... 

Cowles made the Leader an uncompromising organ for the newly formed Republican party...

On 31 Aug. 1917 the parent Cleveland Co. sold the 6-day Leader to the Plain Dealer, merging the Sunday Leader into the News as the Sunday News-Leader.

Disrupt IT

PD must have forgotten about Thoreau

Thoreau Is Rediscovered as a Climatologist NYTimes CORNELIA DEAN October 27, 2008 

Maybe they forgot about George Perkins Marsh, John Muir, Aldo Leopold, Rachel Carson and David Brower, too.