… praise Gaia, was Earth Day.
Must confess, I missed it, but it’s never to late to say thank you.
The very first Earth Day occurred on April 22 1970 at Fairmont Park, Philadelphia. According to Ira Einhorn it was organised by Ira Einhorn. This tends to be played down these days.
Certainly he was there. He gave a rousing speech for 30 minutes or so before introducing the keynote speaker Senator Edmund Musky, sorry, Muskie. Musky comes later. I wonder what Ira said in that 30 minutes. A Google search made a little but permanent mark on my metadata file but yielded nothing.
We can speculate that he spoke about the crisis that beset that particular time. The following day the New York Times editorial page warned, “Man must stop pollution and conserve his resources, not merely to enhance existence but to save the race from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction.” Were they quoting Ira?
In that same month Paul Ehrlich wrote …
Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make. The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.
… but before we jump to the conclusion that he was quoting Ira we must remember that the year before Ehrlich had predicted an Eco-Catastrophe that we would cause mass starvation by 1975. For the Earth Day edition of The Progressive he predicted the great Die-Off. He dismissed as optimists other experts who thought we might hold out as long as 1980.
It was a time of extreme crisis. Predictions were dire. Ehrlich alone had predicted the imminent loss of nine tenths of the world’s rainforest, that air pollution would claim hundreds of thousands of lives, 200,000 in smog disasters in just LA and New York in the single year of 1973. He declared that the life expectancy of Americans had fallen to just 49 years.
A whole bunch of journalists citing experts and experts citing each other were in on the act. The world’s resources would be gone, the world’s food would be gone, the oxygen would be gone. Even the daylight would be gone. You can find a catalogue <HERE>. A couple of my favourites …
Kenneth Watt warned about a pending Ice Age in a speech. “The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years,” he declared. “If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.”
and another, it has always troubled me that Carbon Dioxide got such a bad rap whilst Nitrogen got off scot free ..
Ecologist Kenneth Watt told Time that, “At the present rate of nitrogen buildup, it’s only a matter of time before light will be filtered out of the atmosphere and none of our land will be usable.
If you are reading this it’s clear that we dodged the bullet, and we dodged the bullet thanks to Earth Day.
And thanks to Ira. Whether he was the founder or merely the Master of Ceremonies at Earth Day number one he did his bit.
Holly Maddox was Ira’s girlfriend. She left him and moved to New York. Ira threatened to toss her remaining belongings if she didn’t pick them up. So she went back to Philadelphia to do just that and was never seen alive again. The police did interview Ira who said that the last he saw her she was on her way to buy some tofu and bean sprouts.
Eighteen months later the guy in the apartment below complained of a brown liquid seeping through the ceiling and a musky smell. Police found the badly beaten body in a trunk in Ira’s bedroom. The body was surrounded by news paper.
Ira made bail … and immediately skipped town. After 23 years, he was extradited from France and put on trial. Taking the stand in his own defense, Einhorn claimed that his ex-girlfriend had been killed by CIA agents who framed him for the crime because he knew too much about the agency’s paranormal military research. He was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.
The moral of the story is clear. The Earth can be saved by composting bullshit … but it’s not the best way to recycle your girlfriend.