Earth Day 2009

Today is Earth Day.  The first Earth Day was on this date in 1970.  What’s changed?

In 1969 the Cuyahoga River caught fire.  Not the first time, but it was fortunately the last time.  Smog permeated the Los Angeles basin, soot floated in the air above Pittsburgh, and the “brown cloud” hung over Denver.

For the most part, that’s gone now.  But the earth is still a mess and much more needs to be done.

Think about how technology has changed since 1970.  I’m typing this on a notebook computer with a 1.8 GHz microprocessor, 1GB of memory and a wireless network connection.  In 1970, there were no personal computers.  There were no microprocessors.  There were no computers with a GB of memory.  The first test of a computer network had taken place the previous year.  What is needed is this type of technology explosion applied to greening the environment.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu said in the NYT: “I would say that from here on in, every day has to be Earth Day.”

The Nixon administration will be remembered for a lot of things; some good, some not so good.  But I think the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency was one of the greatest lasting accomplishments of that administration.



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50 responses to “Earth Day 2009

  1. Morning peeps, happy earth day all!

  2. dog's eye view

    Happy Earth Day.

    Interesting. EPA established during Nixon administration. Props where due.

    Agree re hoped for green technology “explosion.” I think it will happen. It has to, and it is past time.

    Have a good one.

  3. dog's eye view

    Hmmm. Bulletin: acting Freddie Mac CFO reportedly dead, a suicide.

    AP report, from NYT:

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Media reports on Wednesday said that the acting chief financial officer of Freddie Mac has been found dead in an apparent suicide.

    Media outlets, including WUSA-TV and WTOP Radio, are reporting that David B. Kellermann was found dead in his Northern Virginia home Wednesday morning.

    Mr. Kellermann, 41, has been Freddie Mac’s chief financial officer since September.

    A Fairfax County police spokesman, Sabrina Ruck, confirmed to The A.P. that Mr. Kellermann was dead, but she could not confirm that he committed suicide.

  4. dog's eye view

    More on the Freddie Mac/Kellerman suicide. He’d been with the company since 1992, elevated to acting CFO last September in wake of Wall Street collapses. Only 41 years old.

  5. horsedooty

    Happy Earth Day everyone. Think I will go fishing today to get out and enjoy the day.

  6. Earth Day! It’s time to plant a tree or two. Been putting off planting two lemon trees this spring. It might be the last available week as the heat has arrived. Garden is doing great thus far. Early Girl tomatoes are growing like weeds and standing three feet tall with lots of blossoms. We had our first radishes of the season yesterday; time to plant another row. In other words, I’ve got to get outside today to celebrate Earth Day!

  7. dnd

    “In the hushed state House chamber, all eyes Tuesday stared up at the vote board, which showed lawmakers deadlocked 32-32 on whether to repeal the death penalty in Colorado. ”

  8. dnd

    Those NASA images of earth are way cool. There’s suppose to be a live feed from the shuttle or space station, but I can’t find it.

  9. BevnTempe

    The pictures of earth are great. Is there a link?

    Is anyone else following The Great Turtle Race? This is the second year I’ve been watching. It’s about the Leatherback turtles and Conservation International. Lots of fun to watch the turtles reach their destination.

  10. nannymm

    Happy Earth Day! I ordered some new trees and bushes this morning in honor of earth day. I’m jealous of that garden, eprof. It will be at least another month before we can even think of planting ours. As for the radishes, I have a great recipe for radish soup. Sounds weird but it is delicious! Devised it one year when my radishes went wild and I had bushels of them.

  11. dog's eye view

    Don’t just tell us about that recipe for radish soup — share! Talk about what sounds like an inexpensive meal.

    Seriously. It sounds delicious.

    I like radish sandwiches: brown bread, butter, sliced radishes, salt. Perfect.

  12. I like different kinds of soups, so send it over to me at My favorite unlikely soup is pumpkin soup. I have one six foot row of radishes that are coming in nicely right now so I plan to plant another six foot row so that we’re not overwhelmed with radishes all at once. When we moved to AZ we discovered that farmers can get up to seven or eight hay crops/cuttings each year. In WA state were I lived for 18 years hay crops came in once, sometimes twice, and that was it. I lived in the Yakima Valley where hops are grown — 75% of the world’s hops — and the first time I ever saw them I thought they were giant bean poles. Hops grow on vines up to twenty feet tall before being harvested in September. Gardens and our food supplies are fascinating places. (All of this is by way of saying it’s Earth Day!)

  13. horsedooty

    “I like radish sandwiches: brown bread, butter, sliced radishes, salt. Perfect.”

    that is just wrong!

  14. dog's eye view

    Doots: you would be surprised how good it is.

    Not only that, but a favorite of Europeans. Even the French.

    Stick it to the Faux News crowd. Enjoy those radish sandwiches.

    Maybe with a crisp champagne or sparkling wine. You know us chablis-swilling types.

  15. dog's eye view

    OK. Now we need a pumpkin soup recipe too.

    Either on the blog or via email. And maybe one that will use the canned pumpkin puree never made into pies last Thanksgiving.

  16. Here’s a pumpkin soup recipe from Steve of Denver. Maybe dnd knows of him. It’s probably as close to what we do when we make our soup. Try it, you’ll like it.

  17. Afternoon peeps. You know one of the nice things about living NY it’s easy to be green! P~~

  18. nannymm

    Here ya go:

    I can’t imagine summer without this soup, made with fresh radishes straight from my garden.

    Cream Of Radish Soup

    5Tbs. Butter
    1 cup diced onions
    8 cups sliced radishes
    3Tbs. flour
    3 cups milk
    2 tsp. ground anise
    salt and pepper

    Melt 2Tbs. of the butter in a large soup pot and saute onions and radishes until both are translucent and limp, 3-5 mins.

    In a separate saucepan, melt the remaining 3 Tbs. butter. Stir in the flour and cook over low heat until smooth and bubbly. Add the milk a little at a time, stirring well after each addition to prevent lumps.

    Blend the onion and radish mixture in a food processor or blender until smooth.

    Combine radish mixture and white sauce in soup pot. Add anise. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Reheat and serve, garnished with radish curls if desired.


  19. dog's eye view

    nanny: thanks. How crucial is the anise? Only ingredient I don’t have.

    Is there a substitution? Would soup turn out without?

    Would like to try this soup. Wondering if you could dress it up and make it Japanese or Eastern, too. Japanese respect the radish.

  20. horsedooty

    I watched a documentary last night where 2 firefighters in Washington State rescued a Bull Moose that had fallen thru the ice in a frozen lake. They said it took several hours but eventually they got the Moose out.

  21. Nannymm

    I’ve made it without the anise, dog. It turned out fine. The radishes really provide the flavor here. If you experiment with Japanese or other influences, let us know how it works out.

  22. Nannymm

    Doots, that’s a much better way to treat moose than what those kids did.

  23. horsedooty

    In honor of Earth Day, I submit this group as the All-Earth Day All Stars in baseball.

    Manager: Dallas Green
    C: Steve Lake or Dave Valle
    1B: Shawn Green
    2B: Glen Beckert
    3B: Brooks Robinson
    SS: Khalil Greene
    OF: Jason Bay
    OF: Mickey Rivers
    OF Jim Greengrass
    DH: Todd Greene
    SP: Mark “The Bird” Fidrych
    SP: Ken Hill
    SP: Frank Mountain
    RP: Jose Mesa
    RP: Doug Creek
    RP: Kent Greenfield

  24. Nannymm

    Very creative, Doots!

  25. dnd

    I saw a bumper sticker today that said: “Got Moose?”
    It was from Yellowstone.

  26. dnd

    LOL! Might want to add Branch Rickey as manager. And maybe Larry Walker in RF.

  27. dnd

    When I was at the Oktoberfest in Munich they served those big white fall radishes with liters of bier. That quickly became my favorite radish recipe 😉

  28. Hillary Clinton Blasts Cheney As Not ‘Reliable’

    The pointed exchange began as Rep. Dana Rohrbacher, R-Calif., asked Clinton whether she would support releasing the memos Cheney described.

    “Well, it won’t surprise you, I don’t consider him a particularly reliable source of information,” Clinton replied, referring to Cheney.

    That response spurred Rohrbacher to redouble his efforts to get a straight answer, saying he was not asking for Clinton’s opinion of Dick Cheney.

    “Madam secretary, I asked you a specific question,” Rohrbacher reiterated.

    Clinton’s response: “Congressman, I believe we ought to get to the bottom of this entire matter. I think it is in the best interest of our country, and that is what the president believes, and that is why he has taken the actions he did.

  29. dnd

    So now Karl Rove and Arlen Spector are claiming that prosecuting those involved with torture is effectively vindictively prosecuting the previous administration like “Latin American countries.”

    Well thanks a lot. Obama just returns from a trip trying to mend fences with Latin America and you guys think it’s funny to pee on the campfire. Some patriots…

  30. dnd

    The efficacy of torture is irrelevant. It’s illegal. That’s what’s relevant.

  31. Don’t worry dnd, Spector will get his come this November!


  32. “The efficacy of torture is irrelevant. It’s illegal. That’s what’s relevant.”

    No argument there, not sure what point you are trying to make.

  33. dnd

    “No argument there, not sure what point you are trying to make.”

    That’s what Hillary should have told Rohrbacher, followed by “didn’t you swear to uphold the Constitution?”

  34. New thread at the stroke of midnight eastern.

  35. Nannymm

    That’s what Hillary should have told Rohrbacher, followed by “didn’t you swear to uphold the Constitution?”

    I agree totally, dnd. That is exactly what I was screaming at the TV. I don’t give a hoot whether torture works or not. It’s WRONG, plain and simple. Someone needs to tell these people that the ends do not justify the means. Their situational ethics is appalling. Anyone involved in authorizing torture needs to be held accountable. And frankly, I’m not at all sympathetic to those CIA agents who were tortured; the “just following orders” excuse just doesn’t cut it. It’s pure hypocrisy to claim otherwise.

  36. Amen, sister nanny! I just don’t get it how Rove, Cheney, et al, can say the things they’ve been saying in the face of evil — pure and simple evil. Unless, they are the face of evil!

  37. Nannymm

    I think they are evil for sure, eprof. Nothing will please me more than to see them all in handcuffs, shackles, and prison stripes. They deserve it; justice demands it.

  38. Nannymm

    BTW, I think you and I are kindred spirits, eprof. 🙂

  39. Nice thoughts, Brian, but I don’t think our spouses would like it very much. LOL!!!!!

  40. CListers, please indulge me this long post, but I just posted it to my blog and I can’t hold it in until an opening here on BackChannel.

    General Colin Powell and Torture!

    Both Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann on tonight’s programs layed out the most compelling case thus far for a Special Prosecutor to follow the memos of the Bush Administration leading up to the actual torturing of prisoners at GTMO and elsewhere. The Obama Justice Department doesn’t need any more evidence to employ a Special Prosecutor.

    On both programs tonight, the hosts pointed specifically to Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Condolezza Rice, Paul Wolfewitz, Ray Miller, and others both in the Bush Cabinet and in the military. One doesn’t have to be much of an historian to notice the omission of General Colin Powell amongst those named. The tragedy is that General Powell was a member of the Bush Cabinet and had served, with distinction, in the US Army for more than three decades.

    Like the Powell presentation to the United Nations describing all the reasons for going to war against Iraq, he must have present during the Cabinet discussions about torture. For a soldier and a diplomat and to one who has served this country for so long, I am totally dismayed at why Colin Powell didn’t stand up to Bush on Iraq and on torture.

    Where were you General Powell when the country really needed you?

  41. Eprof I have to admit that as more info is being revealed I am moving closer and closer to yours and nanny view on this issue. I do have a concern though and that is I don’t want this to end up becoming a partisan issue

  42. It is going to be partisan issue. It already is. But, the truth is more important and will benefit those who seek the truth, Democrat or Republican. And, Obama doesn’t want to be on the trailing edge of history instead of on the leading edge, where he is capable of being.

  43. Bob

    Eprof — Excellent observations, re: torture prosecutions. But why not post somewhere they’d actually be read by more than seven people.

  44. Nannymm

    The issue is already partisan, Brian. Even those repugs who know that we tortured and that we did so illegally and for political purposes are turning a blind eye to this. They won’t support an investigation by an independent prosecutor or prosecution of the torturers. They are standing together, brazenly supporting their party and the previous president and vice president, all the while hoping and praying that this will all somehow go away. Given that, there is no hope for any bipartisanship on this issue.

    As for Colin Powell, I have been tremendously disgusted with him since he gave his UN presentation prior to the invasion of Iraq. Prior to that, I thought he was a principled and honorable man; after that, I lost all respect for him. He owes this country a huge apology for failing to speak out in an effort to stop the war and torture. Heaven only knows what else he kept silent about.

    When he endorsed Obama, I got the feeling that he was trying to make amends for his prior bad acts. IMO, it was too little, too late. The only thing he can do now to regain any respect in my eyes is to come clean, COMPLETELY CLEAN. If he were to tell everything now, to expose the guilty and help ensure that they are dealt with by the legal system, that would help to restore some of his good standing. Unfortunately for him, his image will always be tarnished by his cowardly failure to speak up before the damage was done. But since he brought it on himself, I have little sympathy for him. At least he is alive and in one piece; far too many others are dead and maimed due to his silence.

  45. To Bob: Thanks for the compliment. All bloggers must feel like they’re not getting much readership for their views as I surf the Net and see the number of comments (or the lack thereof) on individual, non-corporate sponsored sites. I not only have my own blog but I like double posting here as I’m comfortable with the group as small as it is. I used to post comments on a much larger site only to have my pithy posts ignored or debunked without any real discussion. Mostly they were ignored. The “seven” folks here are very respectful of one another and know how to agree to disagree amiably. So long as that persists I will share my thoughts here; albeit to a small group.

    Bob, you obviously found your way here so why not tell your friends about this site and have them join in with a meaningful discussion as you did earlier. I hope to see you back.

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