532 Comments

The EPA made law by President Nixon. I was 18 in 1970. I remember having to give kudos to a man I didn’t care for. Today’s GOP would impeach such a POTUS for putting the EPA in place. Go figure!

Expand full comment

You and I are the same age, Evelyn, and I remember that time well. Worked on the McGovern campaign to unseat him. Go figure indeed!

Peace ... please.

Expand full comment

All the protest marches against the war in Vietnam and him!! I thought we had moved passed all that went with the 60s. Seems much worse now. It IS worse now!!

Expand full comment

It is far worse now BUT you, we, can really individually take one small effective step to change “the bad guys” to “good guys”: a group of Harvard students are working hard to register high school seniors and college students to vote in 2,700 schools only in “competitive” congressional districts (not wasting our time and effort); please stop for a few minutes today, reflect on what WE must do in a cost effective manner, go on www.turnup.us/ and make a generous contribution. They will register them now and turn them out in 24 all nonpartisan!! Thank you but please do it today? For the future of your loved ones? Again-- www.turnup.us/

Expand full comment

Yes the Civics Center is doing great work, and also Civic Influencers, on the ground in the recent Wisconsin election….considering Cleta Mitchell’s speech last weekend at a GOP donor retreat lamenting the ease of campus voting and how they must stop it, it’s clear this is one crucial battle line.

Expand full comment

Thank you, Ira. www.turnup.us/ is doing amazing work, as is the Civics Center with their non-partisan, non-profit Cap, Gown & Ballot campaign. It is highly organized and efficient and I am proud to volunteer with them.

Expand full comment

Here's the aforementioned Civics Center URL for convenience:

https://www.thecivicscenter.org/

Expand full comment

Just signed up for monthly donation

Expand full comment

Such good efficient work they are doing

Thank you, Ira!

Expand full comment

Thank you for posting and passing it on!

Expand full comment

they will be our rescue; still idealistic, still energetic for causes; have serious skin in the game...

Expand full comment

Thank you for the information. Donated. So proud of these young student activists. They give me hope for the future.

Expand full comment

Being of the same age as both of you, a story that resurfaces from time to time that also came out in 1970 was the ad campaign of the "Crying Indian". The now famous ad that set in motion a chain of events that has never been able to be undone.

The backstory of "Keep America Beautiful" and what they were really up to is worth the full read in the link below because the ad and its real message was a fraud. It was done by the bottle, can & packaging industry that saw the problems of its waste and litter coming back to haunt them and their profits so, they hired the global PR firm Burson-Marstellar who ingeniously spun the story on us. The problem was not the packaging (litter). It was the people that threw it,.... US.

Litter doesn't throw itself out, People throw it out. The problem is us. Just one excerpt

"It was an elegantly closed circle. The titans of packaging pushed throwaways into production. The Ad Council preached the creed of consumption, assuring Americans that the road to prosperity was paved with trash. The people bought; the people threw away. Then, the same industries and advertisers turned around and called them pigs. The people shamefacedly cleaned up the trash. And the packagers, pointing to the cleaned-up landscape, just went on making more of it."

And if you haven't yet made the connection, they are still using the same spin with guns - "Guns don't kill people, People kill people".

Before this and other ad campaigns we used refillable bottles and containers. But the packaging industry knew they'd make more $ with single-use disposables so, lobbied our consumer-based economy/govt and we've never looked back.

It's a fairly long read but educational on the whole industry - Happy Earth Day!

https://orionmagazine.org/article/the-crying-indian/

Expand full comment
Apr 22, 2023·edited Apr 22, 2023

I'm old enough to remember roadsides littered with trash thrown from passing cars, including cigarettes still burning and beer cans and bottles. Not sure who legislated it, but thankfully that cleanup campaign succeeded. Also, I participated in Earth Day annual cleanup of the Merced River Canyon, the entry to Yosemite NP. Steep and bushy, it was also frequently littered with passing cars' detritus. After a few hot hours my patch was done. As I climbed up to the road, proud of the clean section, a lady in a parked car was changing her baby's diaper. Then she drove off, leaving the dirty diaper on the roadside. Sheesh!

Expand full comment

Alongside many of the trails I hike there is no trash. Even beside the trails along the AZ-Mexico border, some admirable hikers have picked up clothes left behind as immigrants change before hitting populated areas. Cans and bottles are scooped up from campfires. I know because I know who removes the trash and comes down with garbage sacks full of debris. But dirty diapers???

Expand full comment

Sadly the trails and roadsides are still littered with the debris of self-absorbed people. Especially during the lockdowns of 2020, when millions "got outside" because they couldn't gather inside. Joshua Tree National Park is still trying to recover from the damage caused by the influx of ignorant visitors.

Expand full comment

When I visited India and saw the trash and garbage on their roads and in their cities and villages, I was horrified. My guide provided a memorable perspective: people in India generally took no responsibility for public spaces. They simply did not see public spaces as belonging to them. While all the nefarious actions of corporate trash creators is true, I think back to the sixties and am convinced that we had the same perspective about public spaces. The weeping Indian commercial broke through our National blindness and the shaming was effective in increasing our sense of personal responsibility for our own trash. It wasn’t 100% effective in permanently eliminating trash or our public responsibility for other pollution. But I remember the impact that one commercial had - and it was profound.

Expand full comment

Almost a syllogism: Guns don't kill people,

People kill people.

People with guns kill people.

Expand full comment

Thank you for this. I wrote a comment a few minutes ago. I hope they will post it. Annie Olson. annieolson1943@yahoo.com

Expand full comment

Oh, Damn.

Expand full comment

That was the first election I voted in. McGovern was the obvious choice. There is something very eerie about my memories of Nixon. It was the same feeling. I remember saying to friends and family: "How could you vote for Nixon - he's a sleazebag. He IS a crook!" But they chose to ignore his brutality and bought his BS.

Partly, I think the demonization of the Democrats (thinking they were sub human) had begun and was becoming normalized. And partly there was the carryover effect of the party of a relatively benevolent war hero called Ike.

But upon reflection...the GQP was beginning to change from a party with at least the veneer of respect for the rule of law - into a league of haters. The party of my parents and patriotism was beginning to rot from within. Some of you may remember that the GOP liked to say it had a "big tent". Now the tent is filled with bible twisting deplorables - with preachers preaching hate for others. Filled with frightened white people who are terrified of diversity. Filled with AR-15s.

Expand full comment
Apr 22, 2023·edited Apr 23, 2023

These people are my extended family, my neighbors, my community members, coworkers, and acquaintances. They have been fed lies to fester their uncomfortable fear that the world is changing and they will be powerless. I pity them, but also work for a future that they will be a welcome, accountable, constructive part of.

Expand full comment

It since Eisenhower a Republican president I could vote for.

Expand full comment

The rise of the Moral Majority began sometime after Nixon. That was when I started moving as far away from the republican party as possible. Start mixing religion and politics and I was done. Dangerous mix.

Expand full comment

So true. Republicans accused JFK of serving the Pope over America. Now they want a fascist "Christian" state that lords over every aspect of life.

One of my favorite organizations to support is Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

Expand full comment

Good one. Thanks for the suggestion.

Expand full comment

Exactly, Bill. I agree.

Expand full comment

I was 37 but I campaigned for McGovern too. Remember the buttons we wore in 1973. 'Don't Blame Me I voted for McGovern?

Expand full comment

My bumper sticker read “Don’t blame me, I’m from Massachusetts.” (The only state to go for McGovern.) In any case I’m grateful for Nixon’s part in forming the EPA.

Expand full comment

My McGovern bumper sticker on my pickup truck was scraped off by some ignorant redneck in Mississippi who probably voted for George Wallace.

Expand full comment

I may still have one of those in my basement. I know I did a year ago. My father LOVED to hate Nixon.

Nixon also tried to establish a population policy. He had a commission on population. Alas, the Catholic Church informed him that if he persisted, they would see to it that he wouldn't be re-elected.

Nixon was truly a complex and difficult personality, with good and bad. If I thought I had it in my to write a tragedy of a play, I'd write one about him.

Expand full comment

OMG, I remember that.

Expand full comment

Also, “my vote cancels your vote.” Here we are again. Common sense vs lies. Pesticides on crops getting stronger because—who knew—weeds and insects become immune. It’s a huge nasty business that makes big money for Koch and others. Start in your own yard. Leave the dandelions. Let the birds eat your ticks. Baby birds’ diet is ONLY insects. Give them a chance.

Expand full comment

Is anyone thinking about what agricultural run-off did to frogs?

Expand full comment

I cast my first vote for McGovern as a 20-year-old in 1972. I'm still proud of that!

Expand full comment

My first time voting as a 24-year-old in 1968 was for Richard Nixon. (Politically naive it was name recognition only - who was this Hubert Humphrey guy anyhow). I never voted for a Republican since and the fact that Nixon did something good sort of vindicates my ignorance of his overall corruption,

Expand full comment

Gimme Jimmy! was my first vote. Still happy about that.

Expand full comment

Goll-ee. It sounds like we are all brothers and sisters from another mother. Any college students out there? Let’s hear from you. 😍

Expand full comment

I was talking with a 17 yr old visiting our house. I asked him if he knew about Heather. He replied “my mom reads her every day”! I asked him if he’d ticked the register to vote box on his VT drivers license and he said “I think so”. It’s worth checking.

Expand full comment

Me too, but I registered so that I could vote Against Nixon, and he resigned a few years late on my birthday. YAY!

Expand full comment

A birthday to remember!

Expand full comment

Yep, I joyfully celebrate his resignation every year!

Expand full comment

Me too! My first time to vote!

Expand full comment

I couldn’t vote against Nixon in 1968 because I didn’t turn 21 until March 1969. Was so mad, I’ve never missed an election since. McGovern was also my first vote for President.

Expand full comment

I turned 21 in November 1971, Jan 1 1972 was when voting age was lowered to 18. I, too, cast my first presidential vote for McGovern.

Expand full comment

One good thing that Nixon did, but I never voted for him or any other R president. Now we have Rs trying to undo all this work. Last night NBC news had a story on the extreme melting of glaciers and also one on lab made meat. We have garden organically for many years, but people around us do love to spray. Once I found a hedge in front full of dead bumblebees. Also we only buy plants from reputable nurseries. When I walked in the neighborhood, I had a place I passed which I called Mr. Chemical, the smell was always so strong. The irony is that the house was finally sold and now the yard sports weeds. We use horticultural vinegar on some weeds, but one must be persistent. And we hand pull a lot. Usually the yard is full of bees...but now we need some warm temps and sun.

Expand full comment

Getting some this week, I hope. I haven't used weed killers since my mother-in-law died from non-Hodgkins lymphoma (directly attributed to using Round-up for years). I pull a lot of weeds. I don't use chemicals in the garden. I am finally able to plant bee friendly plants since fencing our previously open back yard and rerouting the deer freeway through our urban forest.

Expand full comment

What? You have a 12-foot-high fence, Ally? Deer are known to rather easily jump a six-foot-high one. Good yours don't, and kudos to you for not using chemicals. I use no pesticides or herbicides, and my garden is certified by the National Wildlife Federation and by Georgia Audubon as a wildlife sanctuary. There are thousands of such certified habitats in Georgia (and elsewhere) as more and more people are becoming aware of the importance of native plants, trees and wildflowers to sustain a healthy ecosystem, plus sources of water and shelter for birds and insects and other critters.

Expand full comment

Nope. 6' (regulation) with rainbow spinners and prayer flags 2' above the top to discourage jumpers. It has worked for the two years we've had it.

Expand full comment

I haven't used chemicals since the 60's but do use vinegar to kill blackberries and dandelions as I have neighbors that don't care for their property.

Expand full comment

Mix up my own weed killer of vinegar, table salt and a little dish soap (to help adherence) Works quickly, but you do need to apply more frequently. But hey, I'm retired, got plenty of time on my hands

Expand full comment

My mother died of non-Hodgkins lymphoma about 10 years after my parents put in a large vegetable garden. Dad swore by Roundup.

She was only 70.

In her honor we have avoided pesticides and herbicides in our own gardens. I’m also gradually bringing in native plants to replace ornamentals. We have lots of bees visit our suburban lot!

Expand full comment
Apr 22, 2023·edited Apr 22, 2023

There's a pronged long handled tool that has a foot lever for pushing it into the ground and pulling up weeds, roots and all. I mention this because it is so efficient and easy to use, it is almost enjoyable! There's also a small blow torch for scorching weeds, but I've never used that!

Expand full comment

I think we have one of these.

Expand full comment

Massachusetts was the only state to go for McGovern, and the local bumper sticker during Watergate was "Don't Blame Me, I'm from Massachusetts." My favorite one, though, said "Impeach With Honor", a play on Nixon's phrase for how we should get out of Vietnam. When I was a young history teacher, one of my colleagues and I smugly patted ourselves on the back saying that, by working in our field, we could "make sure Nixon gets place in history he deserves." So, "in my age of maturity," I do appreciate that Heather has included the Nixon administration's statement on the intended course and reasoning for their proposed environmental activism. One clearly good thing that Nixon deserves credit for "in his place in history."

Expand full comment

And the signs on our front lawns!

Expand full comment

There is a McGovern poster lining the bottom of my linen chest. Cried as I watched the convention.

Expand full comment

The lesson we should learn is to realize everyone has virtues but sometimes it’s hard to find ... somehow we must learn that if we are ever to realize a measure of peace ☮️. I was only 19 but also a very young mother of a beautiful baby girl. We see the world differently when we have a child as the world’s future takes on new meaning. That daughter has a sister and between the 2 have 4 children - all bright, strong humans that in my eyes see the world through meaningful lens. World Day has so much importance. We can never give up looking for “The Good In Us” (Mary L Trump) because we are “In This Together” (Joyce Vance). Happy Earth Day 🌎

Expand full comment

"'We see the world differently when we have a child as the world’s future takes on new meaning.''

You are so right - parenthood changes everything, certainly did in my life and all for the good.

Expand full comment

R I was on the Nixon White House Enemies List and worked for McGovern in 1972. A friend of mine in the White House chided me. I said that the choice was between a crook and a fool. At least there was a chance that the fool, with good character, would learn to serve our country.

I was living in Greenwich Ct. In 1972 I was a political outcast. By 1974 it appeared that none of my friends had voted for Nixon. How quickly one forgets. I left my McGovern sticker on my car for years.

Expand full comment

So did I! 18 in '70. Peace, Please.

Expand full comment

I was 17. I remember it all vividly. I'd forgotten that Nixon had done some good in his time. (I guess being the first President to go to China since Mao came to power was a positive, too.)

Expand full comment
Comment deleted
Expand full comment

Yuhh. And Katherine, I was in launching B52's out of Thailand "to kill the yellow man" (Springsteen 1984'). That did'nt woik. Now they want to destroy the "Gov'mt".

Expand full comment

Today's Greedy Old Pricks would have had Tricky Dick ASSASSINATED. They're so scared sh-tless of change. That & the Evangelical / Trumpvangelicals believe that after the " Second Coming ", we'll have a new heaven & new Earth so we can let THIS Earth become a ball of toxic mud.

Expand full comment

Daniel, I hadn’t looked at the Second Coming that way, but I’m afraid you’re right. 💔🤬

Expand full comment

Suzanne - I really think that they believe that it's OKAY to " drill, baby, drill ! ", tear down the trees ( Put up a parking lot ! ) gunk up the oceans & generally let the Earth get trashed because, Hey ! Jesus will fix everything. & yet, according to the scriptures, we're supposed to be responsible " stewards " of the Earth.

Expand full comment

Yes, the “have dominion over the earth and subdue it” takes precedence over being good stewards to the white christo-nazis. But not all Christians agree with that. Good perspective here https://www.geneva.edu/community/environmental-stewardship/why_care

Expand full comment

See the comment that I just posted about the mid - 1980's " War of the Worlds " series. It went into one of the reasons why " Martians " were going to resume their original invasion attempt, because we're so IRRESPONSIBLE about taking care of the Earth.

Expand full comment

The wealthy elite think their money is going to save them. It won't of course. McMansions in the path of tornadoes also get torn apart. And if your are rich in Ft. Lauderdale, for example, you just experienced 2 feet of rain in six hours. One of my ex-students who has money has concluded that there is no longer any safe place to live. To her credit, she is vegetarian and doesn't spend lots of money on material goods.

Expand full comment

Just remember, Daniel... "the Scriptures" were only translated to English about 600 years ago by the Wycliffes.

Expand full comment

Actually, while several people translated bits of the bible into English, it was William Tyndale who is credited with the first translation of the bible into English although he actually only finished translating the New Testament. His reward was to be burned at the stake. John Wycliffe is credited to have "inspired" the first translation of the entire bible into English; meaning he didn't do all the work himself but had an important enough name that he didn't suffer Tyndale's fate...until after he died! He was actually dug up and burned at the stake!

It is important to remember that all these translations are translations from translations since no original complete texts exist.

Expand full comment

ALSO - have you seen or heard of the series " War of the Worlds ", based on the movie ? One of the main themes was that the " Martians " believed that they were justified in paving the way for another invasion because of the manner that we treat the Earth. 1 episode had a human / alien hybrid ( played by John Colicos ) who voiced those same sentiments, although since he was used to being half - human, he didn't want to see Earth invaded either.

Expand full comment

Thank you for the first real laugh of the day!🤣🤣🤣

Expand full comment

I suspect that tricky Dick's thoughtful and sensible legislative response to the massive protests surrounding Rachel Carson and the subsequent Earth Day also provided the seeds and growth of organizing the powers within and behind the capitalists (think the Kochs, the oil barons, the tobacco fortunes, the chemical & drug companies and later the gun manufacturers, etc) and all those who saw a HUGE threat to their capacity to make ever more money, no matter the cost to the environment or to individual health. Who amongst us ever thought capitalists would be responsible about the damage their operations inflicted on the water, the air and the land?!! So when Nixon actually got some legislation passed to respond to these massive outpourings of concern and anger the capitalists felt they had to go underground and increase their lobbying efforts to buy all the legislators they could.

Expand full comment

Brilliant and thank you. I was musing that Republican propaganda got a big start around that time.

Expand full comment

Yo Daniel of Appleton... and over the cliff (default) we shall go... Get ready for "the Crusades". The "moat" around Mar-A-laygo won't be deep enough, it'll become a Chinese resort. Putin will trade the Black Sea for South Lake Tahoe. Orban and DeSandis will be right at home in Disny World. And "the price of gas"? What gas?

Expand full comment

Wow, you’re so right. If these same folks actually READ the Bible they beat, wonder if they’d ban it? (I’m pro-Bible, BTW; a book full of symbolism, life lessons, and ultimately unconditional divine LOVE right here and now. “New heaven and new earth” is a change of perspective that can never to be obtained without Love) Destroying our environment for money...sounds like the Antichrist to me.

Expand full comment

Our survey says..... B - B - B- BINGO !

They rely on what some Evangelical pastor says. IIRC, after the church was established, laity weren't allowed to read the Bible although the stained glass windows depicted Biblical scenes as well as saints, angels, etc. I should double check this, it couldn't hurt. & I think that Auguste Rodin did some Biblical scenes. I was at a Rodin exhibit roughly 25 - 30 years ago.

Expand full comment

Daniel, first time I seen Trumpvangelicals. I like that. I grew up in an Evangelical world but left that behind long ago because of my belief in science. I used the word Evilagelicals but many just think it is a misspelling. To use a biblical term they are evildoers.

Expand full comment

Because they see DJT as their new messiah.

They can't be reached via logic or reason. It's pointless.

Expand full comment

They have been waiting for the “second coming” for more than 2000 years! Keep waiting! It’s inevitability seems questionable!

Expand full comment

The Reverend Harold Camping out in Nowheres Corners, Nowheritania, keeps predicting the Rapture every few years. He did it gain a few years ago. I kept looking out the window just in case & saw ZIP, zed, nada, zilcharoonie. All I saw was a crummy flying saucer ! 🛸👽 I got the alien's autograph, though - Zarg the Unfathomable. I told him that I'd put it with the others, LOL.

Expand full comment

I agree! I have been asking Christian why would you want to destroy your gods greatest creation. Their answer is always he’ll just creat a new one.🤬

Expand full comment

Just like the more BS crazy ones who kill people or are OK with killing gays, abortion doctors, others, because they think that God would be alright with it.

Expand full comment

I was just 15 on the first Earth Day and, very much against my parent’s wishes, attended an Earth Day rally at the U of MN. The campus was a hot mess (Vietnam protests) but the rally was both peaceful and inspiring - so much so that I’ve spent the last 53 years working to protect the planet. What a gift!

Yesterday, my grand niece Sophie toured the U of NE at Lincoln campus. She is interested in their Fisheries and Wildlife program. Her goal? Protect wildlife worldwide. Great auntie is thrilled- and will support her every step of the way. But she has a much bigger job these days to help institute policies that will protect, sustain and preserve...

Nixon, for all his terrible flaws, understood that protecting air and water quality was imperative. McCarthy and the Republicans attempt to hold the world’s economy hostage unless their demands are met to raise the debt ceiling is terrorism. Time to pick up and throw out the trash this Earth Day 🌎

Expand full comment

I have a high school classmate who is a professor at UN/Lincoln!

Expand full comment

What do they teach, Ally? Do you inow?

Expand full comment

According to a Google search, she’s in the business department. She’s done a lot of work in Africa, but I don’t have any specifics.

Expand full comment

I was 14, on the cusp of political consciousness while leafing through the Whole Earth Catalog; going to my first anti-war protests (proudly following the lead of my older brothers, with the approval of our parents), smoking my first joint. I was unambiguous about Nixon, and it would take decades to admit that he did a good thing regarding the EPA. Can you believe it's been 53 years?

Expand full comment

After teaching in California from 1968-72, I started International flying with Pan Am. We had to spray the inside of the aircraft with DDT after flights coming and going to our destinations. Some of us started to spray the bottles into the bathrooms so we wouldn’t have to breathe it, Slowly the world started listening to Rachael Carson. Slowly the airline started to realize we were being poisoned . We never ended smoking on board.

If anyone should be memorialized even more than she has been( very few young people know her name), Rachael Carson should stand along side our greatest heroes.

What I hope for on this Earth Day is that we , we human species, actually go forward in saving our beautiful Earth. Our blather clouds our vision. We talk a good story.... and we keep producing plastic, we keep pouring chemicals into our Water, our Air, and our soil.

I was 4 years old when my Father showed me some dirt and said,”whatever you put into this earth you will drink one day”!

We are so brilliant at times..... are we brilliant enough to actually mean it! That we must care for ourselves by caring for our Earth first and foremost.

“HAPPY EARTH DAY or happy ignorance??? You choose.

Expand full comment

I'm on a bit late today, but upon reading many comments, I thought I would hook onto the top comment in the hopes that others will find this recommendation:

Please consider reading a book "Junkyard Planet, Travels in the Billion Dollar Trash Trade" by Adam Minter.

I have to say, I found this book incredibly distressing. The author grew up in a family that ran a "junk yard" and gives a lot of information about what happens to the items we recycle, even traveling to China to see where the US recycled items end up and what happens to them. MIND BOGGLING!

Yes, I recycle, reuse and repurpose, and yes, we all need to do our part and our small efforts add up. After reading this book, I've come to believe that the onus for reducing waste is on our manufacturers. If anyone else has read this book, please feel free to comment. All others who have interest in recycling, please do search out this book!

I also would like to mention that frequent commenter, Sandy Lewis, has recently linked both an article and a short film about his organic beef farm and his concerns about the microbiome. Well worth the read/watch!!

Apologies to evelyn spiess for jumping in here on her comment thread.

Expand full comment

I was 18 also and a freshman in college. IU had a big gathering place called Dunn Meadow. I remember the first Earth Day.

Expand full comment

I’m the same age and the Cuyahoga River caught fire when I was growing up in Cleveland. Now we see the Republican Party bowing eagerly to their corporate masters to overturn environmental regulations. Perhaps now that I live in Minnesota I need to worry about the Mississippi River?

Expand full comment

Yep. I was in my senior year at Penn State and had so much resentment for Nixon. The man was his own worst enemy. But he knew how to get government and private enterprise to work for the common good. Reagan on the other hand?

Expand full comment

I attended the first Earth Day as a student at Miami University and read Silent Spring and Aldo Leopold’s works. Like many whose comments I just read, I also gave kudos to a President I did not trust or care for. The lesson for me? Until recent times poor Presidents and political leaders had shining moments.

Expand full comment

Reagan tried to shut down the EPA. He didn't but environmental protection lost a lot of momentum when the entire Republican Party (along with some Democrats) climbed into the pocket of plutocrats.

Expand full comment

Today’s GOP is a joke.

Expand full comment

More scary for me than funny. But I hear you!

Expand full comment

Maybe we should be thinking The Joker as in Batman? Scary, weird and above all else, chaotic.

Expand full comment

Who would've thought that I would be thanking the scumbag for that....

Expand full comment

I remember that first Earth Day. I also remember 10 days later when the man who created the EPA ordered the invasion of Cambodia, followed four days later by the killings at kent State and the national campus strike against the war. A period when every day seemed like a year if you were politically active.

Expand full comment

When I got back to Australia in 1972, after ten years in France and Italy, there were a whole lot of new words I didn't understand, like "ballpark figure", for instance, and "grassroots". I took a temporary job working for an earnest young man with a beard, doing a lot of water sampling at popular beaches; "e.coli" was easy to grasp, but I had to ask him what "conservation" meant. I don't think Silent Spring was translated into French or Italian. In 1970 I was living in habitually chaotic Italy, and what worried us was the rise of terrorism from the Red Brigades. Two years earlier, the French general strike showed that it was possible for the will of the people to prevail. Then the Russians rolled their tanks into Prague and crushed the freedom Alexander Dubcek had dared to lead. Has anything got better since then? durably better? And yet President Biden's simply worded statement is penetratingly clear.

Expand full comment

The current political reality shows that democracy must be vigorously and diligently protected. I thought things like protection of contraception were pretty durable, but after overthrowing (yes, word choice is intentional here) Roe v Wade Thomas began to call into question other very personal rights. Then there is the Social Security/Medicare situation. The social safety net ALWAYS has to be protected from the greedy rich.

Expand full comment

And he was one of the 2 in the 7-2 decision in keeping mifepristone on the market. (Guess who was the other.) I hate to throw around labels, like misogynist, but these two qualify. They seem like very unhappy people.

Expand full comment

Must have been that other unreconstructed jackhat, Alito. For the life of me I do not understand why Alito didn't follow his misogyny right into the Catholic priesthood, where he could vent his hate on women and the rest of the world without let or hindrance.

Expand full comment

He would be a bishop by now.

Expand full comment

Embarrassed that he is from NJ

Expand full comment

They simply are unable to help themselves. They are powerful men and few powerful men retain their ethics and humanity.

Expand full comment

Indeed. I wonder how they would define "tyranny" , if asked without warning.

Expand full comment

MLMinET, YES, two people who are sufficiently unhappy with who they are that they go to extraordinary lengths to appear otherwise, especially the fairly simple decisions about conflicts of interest and gifts and "emoluments" from others. See Lisa Murkowski's comments on being sold a bill of goods, all of us for that matter, who were sold a bill of goods throughout the confirmation hearings for any of these "justices!" They just plain lied.

Expand full comment

Yes, they did. And what does it say about the rot in our society that SC justice candidates think they can--and they did--lie their way through confirmation? And, in the case of Thomas, Biden and HW Bush were sufficiently intimidated by declining to nominate a black man (for cause) they caved. And here we are.

Expand full comment

As if Clarence was the only qualified Black jurist they could have nominated. OK, maybe the only “conservative” Black jurist.

Expand full comment

JennSH, yes we have to remain ever-vigilant but should be careful to not paste everyone with money as greedy. It is the fundamental nature of capitalism that is driven by continual growth and consumption. We must routinely counterbalance the creativity and energy (often driven by greed) with rational regulation and laws to protect those without the massive accumulations of wealth. Ironically, that is what Nixon started to accomplish despite his other despicable behavior and I think that is what drove the R's to try to control the legislative process, put their very heavy thumb on the scales of that balance between capitalism and the social & environmental welfare.

Expand full comment

1968. A no- good, horrible, very bad year....

Expand full comment

If you're European, no, that year was one hell of a mixture.

London, May '68. Night classes at the French Institute in South Kensington, an offshoot of the University of Lille in France... We had a wonderful history professor, a woman who, like HCR, knew how to connect up the present with the remote and recent past.

In Paris, the students built barricades and faced down the CRS riot police, trying to get the Communist CGT trade union federation to join them in a general strike. And we in our history classes broke off our study of medieval French history and discussed the uprising and what it meant for France, for Europe, for us.

The way it all ended, we'd come to expect. Yet those were moments that marked a generation.

*

On August 21st 1968 I'd bought tickets for myself, my Polish friend and his daughter to a concert to be given at the huge Albert Hall by the Orchestra of the USSR.

That morning, the Warsaw Pact armies invaded Czechoslovakia.

I phoned Iliasz, who'd woken up one morning in 1939 to find Red Army tanks below his window in Lwow, Poland, today Lviv, Ukraine, packed a bag, breakfasted with his parents, then left them and his country for ever, not stopping till he reached England, where he joined the Polish forces and fought through the entire Italian campaign.

I asked him:

"Do you still want to come to this concert?"

His answer couldn't have been clearer:

"Absolutely. The musicians in the orchestra will be suffering horribly for what their country has done. They'll need our moral support."

We went.

The concert closed with Tchaikovsky's 6th and final symphony, the Pathetique.

I wasn't a Tchaikovsky fan but I had and I have never heard anything like the music that evening -- one of the key moments in my life.

The orchestra rose to the occasion, their discipline was matched by an overwhelming, tangible sense of tragedy.

*

Striking to compare then and now, Stalin and Hitler's carving up Poland, Brezhnev's invasion and Putin's, my friend's reaction and the horrors we are seeing today.

Expand full comment

I was at UCL in 1968, street protests and all, often it must be said, lead by foreign postgrads agitating away from their own college to protect their status. I remember distinctly "housing" Rudi Deutscke and the members of his "committee" from the german protests in our somewhat downtrodden collective student house in North London. They didn't ask, they just pushed through the door heading straight for the "collective" fridge serving themselves on whatever drink etc they could find....good communist stuff i presume.

I was in the streets with the others and we had just been given the majority at 18. Freedom, Freedom, Freedom! It fealt so good, especially the feeling that the youth of the world spoke the same language and shared the same values.

Unfortunately we have had over 50 years to change the world. The result is far from what it might have been, what we hoped for. But we are responsible for the current mess nonetheless.

Danny the Red is still around politics in France and Germany. A bi-cultural gadfly once, a gladfly always. Today's local supposed followers of Rachel Carson spout dictatorial inanities that would have honoured POL Pot, Stalin, Hitler or whoever of that ilk; banning rugby matches, cycle races, air transport and the christmas tree amongst other ecological "threats" in the towns they control. None have a thought for the people and how they want society and their world to run. They just figure that the people are a little stupid, or as they put it "backward" and that their thinking doesn't work. Ideology replaces personal thought and considered opinion conveniently it would seem for such.

Expand full comment
Apr 22, 2023·edited Apr 22, 2023

Your last sentence says so much about today's world, not just French ideologues' inability to get their constipated little minds around an issue too big for them.

Ideology is ersatz, an imitation, it is prefabricated thought modules... It may be all too typical of humans but it is not just unnatural, it is contra naturam. Anti-nature.

Both Brezhnev and Reagan were representative mediocrities, champions of mediocrity. The Soviet leader let himself be railroaded into the Afghan war by KGB boss Andropov. He didn't want the war and hated the result.

Reagan spouted propaganda rubbish about the Soviets' "evil empire" while said bureaucratic empire was quietly imploding under the weight of complex reality.

Nixon had seemed bad enough, Reagan was an adman's dream salesman, we thought it impossible to find a leader as inadequate and manipulated as George W. Bush, who bravely made an unbelievable mess of the world then, before the consequences unfolded, proclaimed "Mission Accomplished!"

Yes, the operation was a great success, unfortunately the patient did not survive it... but his disease mutated, spread and became endemic. Well, thank you for nothing...

As it turned out, the fall of the so-called "Evil Empire" didn't put an end to the world's evils, it amalgamated them. America gifted itself a lesser product of Hell for President. And now the acme of evil idiocy has outed himself: Putin, unleashing Hell on Ukraine for its disgraceful failure to conform to His Great Idea of How It Is Supposed To Be.

One man and his demented zombie of an "idea" -- sump of all the evils of the 20th and 21st centuries gathered together in a single shitshow.

Heaven help us all, we humans and our one world, our wretched, beaten, ill-treated wonderful Mother, the ultimate Miracle -- Planet Earth!

Expand full comment

Too true, Peter, too true. First wrecking the education system helps, of course!

Expand full comment

In 1978, I joined the Communist Student Union at my university. What I found there were a group of unconsciously privileged, sallow, very earnest young men who thought meetings were a form of action. My assessment at the time was "these guys smoke too much and don't eat enough". I also realized they just spouted Marx as a way to sound more intelligent than they really were. I left after about a month.

Laziness is the original, and perhaps the most damaging, human sin. Racists lump entire swaths of humanity together, never taking the time to see the real people they oppress. Thinkers recycle ideas into smaller and smaller sound-bites. Politicians offer edicts, rather than ears. Algorithms decide what we see and hear in the ever-growing world of cyberspace. More and more, the arcs of our lives are funneled into an imitation of the stories fed to us on TV/the internet. I would mind none of this, really, if so much of the energy we need to keep each other growing and happy wasn't spent on distraction or out and out oppression. Comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable take real effort and original thought. I think we're ready.

Expand full comment

Jeeze Steve. Laziness prolongs life. If you get too busy, time flies.

Expand full comment

Time flies regardless.

Expand full comment

Pat, I think I learned the benefits of laziness too late in life. But I'm still here....

Expand full comment

"I also realized they just spouted Marx as a way to sound more intelligent than they really were."

That can be said about every "Marxist" since Marx himself. It certainly particularly applies to the idiots who became The Weatherman Faction and the Revvolutionary Communist Youth (Marxist-Leninist) in the death stage of SDS here in the US. What a collection of clucks, and too many of them still think their only problem was not enough people listened to them.

Expand full comment
Apr 22, 2023·edited Apr 22, 2023

Tom I taught ‘Economics from feudalism to the present.’ Personally I much prefer Groucho to Karl. Did you ever read the letter exchange between Groucho and T. S. Eliot?

Expand full comment

Would I be burned at the stake if I say Bernie?

I was there and met so many young men who could have been Bernie...they were so sure they were brilliant and had all the answers. As for those of the female persuasion; we could fix their meals and warm their beds.

Expand full comment

You did well to draw the distinction, TC.

There are a few worthy followers like Gramsci but most don't come up to Marx's knees. And many have used the name as a flag of convenience.

Expand full comment

Steve, fantastic summary of human types and pursuits.

We better be ready,

but it is our grandchildren I worry about. If Google ever goes down because of a grid failure or a cascading satellite accident, they won't know how to make a handsaw work, or put up produce--and if they can even find a library to learn how, there might be two un-banned books left.

We need to be passing on every skill we have. NOW.

AR-15's can't fix things or grow food....

Expand full comment

maybe if they're beaten into plowshares?

Expand full comment

I was at Michigan State University as an undergrad, demonstrating against the war, and marching through class room buildings trying to encourage other students to leave classes so we could "shut the university down". I passed by a class that was just letting out and asked one of the students what the class had been about. He said "the American Revolution." without irony.

Expand full comment

It's not given to everyone unfortunately to see beyond the end of their nose and appreciate the wider context and the deeper meaning of events.

Expand full comment

Excellent story, Peter. Thanks much!

Expand full comment

Winter of 68-69 Gus, "Get Oil Out' (GOO) but, the oil just kept on bubbling up for years depositing blobs of congealed oil on the beaches but, not difficult to pick up off the beach & very good for delivering a message. I recall one (1) Isla Vista, UCSB restaurant where the Community was invited to dig up the asphalt parking lot back-to-dirt. A number of students abandoned careers & went 'back to,the country': Sierra' small towns, the Hidden Coast, Oregon, the Rockies. Others, the fighters, became engaged on a still ongoin eclogical obattlefield.

One Urban Refugee built a shack within a few feet of a small waterfall 💦. Of course, the hut was "red tagged". Dedparate ESCAPE is not a realistic stategy on a round planet. 🙏

Expand full comment

Judith Viorst wrote many wonderful books, including that one about her son Alexander's terrible day. "Necessary Losses" is one I go back to from time to time. In her 90s now, she's still bright and sharp.

Expand full comment

Indeed, Gus.. 'you' know it my friend. Pax

Expand full comment

Every day when Trump was in office seemed like a generation. Or a CENTURY.

Expand full comment

Indeed it did.

Expand full comment

The Second Coming of DJT ain't happening, the " man " is coming unraveled mentally & physically, his base is cracking & most of the GOP wants to MOVE ON. I just hope that they don't find a smarter Trump wannabe with less ego, less narcissism & a wider appeal.

Expand full comment

Right! From joy to hell in record short time.

Expand full comment

TC, I was 10 that spring. Jackson Elementary School in Medford, Oregon. That was the first year that the three upper grades (4th,5th, and 6th) had "tree planting" field trips. We got bussed out to logged areas and planted trees. We learned all about trees, and wild life, and how to care for the soil.

The pure irony in this? The tree planting was monoculture Douglas Fir for the timber harvest companies in the area. I believe that tract of land (probably about an acre, Just outside of Jacksonville, OR) was harvested in 1998.

Expand full comment

Of course it was.

Expand full comment
Apr 22, 2023·edited Apr 22, 2023

Make mine a double TC. I got to do both so I guess you could say I was on top of things. I think for once I wasn’t out on the ranges where my luck never changes. I was a new modern worldly debutante. Wheeeeee, my time had arrived. Look out world. Imagine starting life as a footnote to Rachel Carson. I lived that book. Er I mean I loved that book.

Expand full comment

YES! And when it seemed the government was making war ON US! ...the kids on campuses, the ones trying to get educated to help us all out of the mess we had gotten into regarding both our environment and now (Kent State) our government! I remember that classes shut down for several days and we traveled to other campuses to talk to other students and see what they were doing about it...a SCAREY time indeed!

Expand full comment

I missed the first Earth Day in its entirety. At the time, I had just been drafted and was taking Russian at Monterey. Earth Day, Cambodia, Kent State -- everything other than study was a blur.

Most of us walk through life unaware of the events that are taking place around us. Others, like myself, are periodically isolated from the American Experience. As a consequence, there are gaps in my own knowledge of recent American history that are months and even years long -- because I never lived them. Dr. Richardson offers an antidote to this condition, and a reminder of all the things that good citizens should know.

Expand full comment

I’m curious why Russian and not Vietnamese, (if there is a brief explanation and you wouldn’t mind sharing it). I never knew that we have a Defense Language Institute before your comment. My nephew learned Chinese while at West Point, and spent 2 years in Taiwan after graduating, so I’m curious if it is a rapid immersion program @ the DLI, intended to prep troops quickly? 🙏🙏

So many good things to know!

Expand full comment

In the 1970s, DLI had thousands of students studying a couple of dozen languages at any given time. When I was there in 1970-71, there were over 300 Russian language students, and hundreds of students studying Vietnamese, Laotian, Cambodian and many other languages. The hard language courses were generally one year in length, and other courses were usually six months. Russian language students generally went to listening posts around the Soviet Union.

Expand full comment

Thank you so much!!! And thank you for sharing your varied perspective on the first Earth Day.

Expand full comment

Tom As Halderman highlighted in his book, ‘Nixon didn’t give a shit about the environment.’ For him it was a non issue and he went along with a Democratic Congress and then took kudos for the EPA. 50 years later the Republicans don’t give a shit about climate change.. Just look at McCarthy’s 300+ pages on the budget where eliminating ‘climate change’ is his top priority. Remember, in the Trump administration ‘climate change was excluded from all public documents.

Expand full comment

And I remember the rally at Tulane University (NOLA) the next day where a professor taught me to stay near the edge of a crowd in case police arrived. (They did.)

Expand full comment

Tonight’s letter brought me back to 1969 when I was just 18 and in college. I was in DC and in 1970 I found myself marching with many others against the Vietnam War. I ended up meeting a Vietnam veteran in September of that year. We will have been together for 53 years. The very first election I got to vote in was Nixon v. McGovern. Of course, I voted for McGovern and was totally deflated when Tricky Dick won by a landslide. I couldn’t understand how people could be so ignorant. Fast forward to 1994, one of our towns was celebrating Earth Day be staging a large event. My youngest daughter was 5 1/2, so I took her. When we left, she was handed a glass vial with a sprig of a redwood tree in it. We got home and she asked me if we could plant it. “Sure!” I said, knowing full well it wouldn’t turn into anything. In 2023, that sprig turned into a 40 ft redwood tree! Happy Earth Day!

Expand full comment

Made my day Marlene. It does not surprise me that events surrounding you come into unanticipated fruition in such a good way. While we planted 10’s of thousands of trees it was for 2.30/hr. as mercenary profit makers. Today I marvel at the forests we created simply trying to eat more than the c/rations we had ratholed for winter. What a kick to walk among the trees.

Expand full comment

It must just warm your heart, Pat, that you played such an important role in those forests.

Expand full comment
Apr 23, 2023·edited Apr 23, 2023

It was hunger Marlene. Nothing akin to altruism. I preferred hamburger with my hamburger helper. And catsup is good on c-rats and excellent on k-rats. But the real thriller was Tabasco. This was all made possible by what we facetiously called starvation wages. This is the real story of how the west was won. That we built and preserved forests we can lay claim to, but contentment was a full stomach.

Expand full comment

I can almost see that redwood from a seedling grown and by the wishes of your daughter and you, Hooray! Here's current news of the redwoods in California, Marlene. The following contains a generous portion of the NY Times article in today's paper. Sorry not to have the gifting option.

'When the rain is relentless and the wind is ferocious, there are plenty of imperiled things for Californians to worry about. The state’s iconic redwood forests are not among them.'

“These trees live for thousands of years, and while these winter storms may seem catastrophic to humans, they are part of the normal experience of redwoods,” Stephen Sillett, a redwood expert and professor at Cal Poly Humboldt in Arcata, Calif., wrote in an email.'

'Dan Porter, who leads forest strategy for the California chapter of the Nature Conservancy, said that rainstorms could cause problems for redwoods that are near rivers and creeks, especially those that have been altered by human activity, like logging.'

“During big events like this, the water comes up and the sediment undercuts those big banks, and some of the ancient monarchs succumb to that — they fall into the river or into the forest,” Mr. Porter said.'

'Professor Sillett of Cal Poly Humboldt said that he expected to find a few trees down when he surveys redwood forests after the storms let up.'

“Some trees have surely fallen, as happens during every rainy winter,” he said.'

'Climate change, he said, poses threats to the redwoods that are unrelated to the storms.'

'The natural range of the coastal redwoods is drying out because of warming temperatures, according to a study by Professor Sillett’s research team that was published in Forest Ecology and Management in December. That means that in a warmer future, redwoods may not be able to grow as tall or large as they have in the past.'

“Our actions now determine the quality of forests to be enjoyed by future generations,” the authors wrote.'

Expand full comment

Fern, my friend, thanks for this! I look at the redwoods as a renewal for Mother Nature. When we have had fires (and you know we’ve had plenty) the redwoods are the first to grace us with their beauty. We had some horrific fires and climate change on Mt. Diablo in the past few years. We have been told that when these fires occur, new seedlings will be allowed to scoot through. It’s a wondrous thing that we get to protect our many critters and even better that we have enough water to do so. 💞

Expand full comment

❤️🌳🥁🤸🏼‍♀️🐇🐺🐰🎶🎺🎷🎹🎵🎸🤸🏼🦊🐦🌳❤️

Expand full comment

Brilliant.

And shortly after this wave of environmental legislation was enacted in the early 1970s, American corporations simply took their operations overseas, where regulations were either lax or nonexistent, and where local populations could be exploited for long hours, unsafe working conditions, and low wages. Soon American consumers would have more crap than ever, and for less cost. Textbook capitalism. All part of God's plan.

Expand full comment

True, however, today it is not one nation working for a better Mother Earth but many. Soon there will be few places for rich corporations to hide their ills. The fragile life of earth hangs in the balance of knowledge.

Expand full comment

I was also 18 in 1970. Today I am living in Italy. The vineyards use no chemicals. They plant roses at the end of the rows because blight and insects show up first on the rose, then they prevent the spread using non chemical treatments. We recycle separately nearly everything including organic waste. Most vegetables and fruits are grown organically and you don’t pay more. Everywhere you go you you see solar panels (even streetlights) and wind turbines. It’s perfect. It’s a great commitment thus far, and highly visible. And gives one hope.

Expand full comment

I meant to say “it’s not perfect.”

Expand full comment

Italy’s system of differentiated waste collection requires a significant effort from households, especially apartment dwellers (i.e. most people) with small kitchens, who need six different bins for different kinds of waste, and then must carry the waste to specific dumpsters for collection. It’s impressive; they recycle 72% of all trash. Unfortunately, waste collection in old cities is particularly challenging, and dumpsters are often overflowing in places like Rome and Naples, attracting rats, seagulls, and wild boar. Rome doesn’t have a landfill, and exports its waste to other regions or countries even. That’s hardly environmentally sound. I think they’re trying to build a huge new incinerator, calling it “waste to energy,” but are facing a lot of nimby backlash.

Also impressive is their high taxation on fuel, which has led to conservation efforts like much smaller, more efficient cars and on-demand water heaters. Energy is really expensive in Italy. They’re trying.

Expand full comment

Stacey, are you a dual citizen?

Expand full comment

The EPA is the only thing Nixon did that I agreed with!

Expand full comment

& he supposedly cut funding for NASA even as he called Neil Armstrong to congratulate the crew of Apollo XI. A hypocrite. But I'd still trust him or GWB rather than Trump, because Bush & Nixon didn't demand unquestioning blind loyalty, pretty much to the point of WORSHIP.

Expand full comment

Me too, Herb.

Expand full comment
Apr 22, 2023·edited Apr 22, 2023

For once Gus, his fear of losing that monolithic voter block turned into something good. I’ll never forgive him for stalling the peace talks until after he was elected by promising a better deal to the enemy. My first real life traitor. The ramifications came home to roost. Why I hate the ex.

Expand full comment

If you’d like to listen to an excellent podcast “Nixon at War” that includes voice tapes of Nixon and Kissinger regarding the peace talks. It’s absolutely deplorable. You can’t deny it when it’s on tape.

Expand full comment
Apr 23, 2023·edited Apr 23, 2023

I have heard them calmly discussing the genocide of those people I considered my mamasans and papasans. Their utterly ruthless blend of escaping any blame. Like disbelieving priests in a confessional. Common criminals discussing vindication.

Expand full comment

Pat, I can't estimate how many of our brothers (and sisters?) died because of tricky's treachery. I get enraged. We were just tools.

And they gave him a great funeral, and even his own plane.

We who live, remember....

Thanks for your Service.

Expand full comment
Apr 23, 2023·edited Apr 23, 2023

It was a trying time for all of us Gus Koch. We wept as a nation. How could we not be a part of our own times. How could we let someone else go in our place. The line of our nation forms for good and bad and we are in it. Like now! Here we are again brothers and sisters, clearly embroiled. Thank you Gus Koch proud to serve with you.

Expand full comment

Same-same to you, Pat.

Proud indeed.

Don't let 'Jody' near that girl friend if yours--she sounds like a very remarkable person!

Expand full comment
Apr 23, 2023·edited Apr 23, 2023

That is so funny. I had forgotten about that rascal, Jody. All who know her love her. Even my wife. My hearing is very bad and they told me her name was Bernie. I thought they said Birdie. Now everyone calls her Birdie. When I work on her place she makes 4 fresh loaves of bread. I don’t know who gets the other 3.

Expand full comment
Apr 22, 2023·edited Apr 22, 2023

Republican leaders, so financially beholden to Big Business — including the petrochemical industry — are actively working to ruin the planet and harm their descendants along the way. The future is bleak, to put it mildly, though we can still make it less horrible. There's no escaping this harsh reality, despite lies and propaganda to the contrary.

I say this knowing that I'm not doing nearly enough to help prevent the inevitable horror of it all. As I've written here before, generations to come (who knows how few) will loathe us.

Expand full comment

Agree, Michael. Every day I meticulously scrape the labels - along with the glue - off my recyclable bottles, then take them to the town's recycle center. All the while I know it is not nearly enough.

Expand full comment

I repurpose them by making lights out of them by sticking rice - grain LEDs in them. I'm sure that I'm not the only person. Small things have cumulative effects.

Expand full comment

Me thinks I may have more than my fair share of glass bottles.

Expand full comment

My liver may HATE ME, but I'm trying to do my own tiny bit ! I open a Scotch bottle or a bottle of gin & my liver screams " MURDERER ! ".

Expand full comment

I wondered who was doing all that screaming. Good to know, Daniel!

Expand full comment

Daniel and Lynell: very funny dialogue. Thanks for the laugh! 🤣

Expand full comment

You don't have recycle bins at home?

Expand full comment

Yes, I do, Talia. But once they are filled, the bin gets taken to the center where the bottles are transported to be recycled. Am I missing something?

Expand full comment

Lynell, we fill our recycle bins and put them at the street and a truck comes and takes them away, just like our garbage. I think that is why Talia is surprised, its probably how hers works too.

Expand full comment

My step mom from the Albany NY area saw the truck folks dump everything together-NO recycling separation actually done.

Expand full comment

Our comingled recycling here in Eugene is sorted at the recycle plant at the local landfill. We have a bin that is picked up weekly, and we are able to fill it just about every week.

Expand full comment

Citizen initiative is the only way recycling is done in Ravalli Co MT. We have cardboard recycling 1x/m & glass recycling every few months. One facility that takes cans & Al2 in Co , The rest u need to take your recycling to Missoula

Expand full comment

Mystery solved; thank you, Nancy! We live in a semi-rural area without curbside pickup.

Expand full comment

For all of their treachery, I don't think they frame it in their own minds as wanting to ruin the planet, but they are focused to the point of obsession and negligence with achieving absolute power, allied with their maximized-profit (love of money) obsessed, plutocratic patrons.

Expand full comment

GREED & lack of vision. Plain & simple.

Expand full comment

As for ruining the planet, my local newspaper quoted a "Christian" school textbook that said that God is angered by environmental conservation because it betrays a lack of trust in his boundless providence. I don't know how many kids are exposed to such thinking, but I know it exists.

Expand full comment

That would explain the nauseating repetition of “thoughts and prayers” for the never ending slaughter of innocent children 😡

Expand full comment

They're like the mutants in one of the Planet of the Apes movies who worshipped a nuclear warhead.

I tried to have a rational, logical, CIVIL discussion about taking a critical look at one's faith with my cousin. Her reaction ? " Yo're a - tryin' to destroy mah faith ! ". & yet she'll babble on with great GLEE about whatever passes for " Christianity " until Hell freezes over or the Sun burns out. Or until I finally give in & tell her to shut up before I glue her lips closed.

Expand full comment

Indifference or even smug enjoyment of others suffering. "Greed is good" was a memorable line from the bad guy in a cautionary movie about avarice, but Republicans and Wall Sr. picked it up as a motto. I have lost track of how often it was repeated proudly in the financial press (it seemed to lose some cachet after the Subprime crash). But "greed", unlike mere ambition, is not good by definition; It causes others to suffer.

Expand full comment

They can't see the forest for the GREENBACKS. Very blindered.

Expand full comment

There is an irony here. The left for decades have vilified Richard Nixon and in many cases justifiably so. But he deserves credit for his pioneering environmental legislation which created the EPA. For those of us old enough to remember, TV ads from Dupont and others in the 50's promised us "better living through chemistry". The environment was on no ones radar. WJB

Expand full comment

Nixon was one of the most capable presidents we ever had, be it for good or evil. The way he sabotaged LBJ’s peace talks with North Vietnam, can never be forgiven.

Expand full comment

Agreed. Nixon betrayed the trust of the American people and deserved removal at the very least. And yet he was also a prescient environmentalist. For example:

"I am inaugurating a program to marshal both government and private research with the goal of producing an unconventionally powered, virtually pollution free automobile within five years."

And also very un-Reaganomically:

"These measures will require the oil companies and other energy producers to provide the public with the necessary information on their supplies. They will prevent the injustice of windfall profits for a few as a result of the sacrifices of the millions of Americans. "

One wonders what the future prospects of humanity would be had the environmental momentum of the Nixon and Carter administrations been carried forward.

Like many salient American political figures, Nixon's legacy was a bizarre and dualistic mix. What followed was an order of magnitude more dishonest and corrosive to the best of American ideals, and shockingly effective. In the year following his death 2.4 million Americans were polled to name the "greatest American" of all time, and Reagan emerged as #1. Weird, as scatter-brained Reagan was decidedly anti-democratic and enthusiastically pro-plutocratic.

Also totally anti-environmental protection; positions his party has maintained since. Moreover, the whole Republican Party coalesced around a package of plutocratic Big Lies.

Expand full comment

My favorite Nixon quote came as we sat in our hooch cleaning our machine guns just after we cleaned an inch of curdled blood from the floor mats of the helicopter. Did you know blood is like grease when it coagulates so thickly. We were sliding around all the way back from Cambodia that night when an armed forces radio broadcast featuring Nixon came on. We thought maybe the peace had come at last. Sort of. He said we were no longer playing a combat role in the war. I looked over at Don and he looked at me. I think he muttered “fuck” and that was pretty much all that needed to be said. The year was 1971. We were very fortunate as Don went back to being a hippie in LA and I went back to being a cowboy in Montana and 4 years later the war sort of ended.

Expand full comment

Were it not for Nixon , LBJ might have succeeded in his peace talks in 1968, instead the war dragged on for all those years.

Expand full comment

With the end of the Berlin Wall Reagan’s popularity catapulted.

Expand full comment

Capable, but...

At school in England. It was 1951 or '52, when one of my best teachers, a man who'd lived and worked in Canada, came into the classroom and said to us:

"If any of you ever have any say in the matter, make sure that Richard Nixon never becomes President of the United States of America."

Expand full comment

Our grammar school principal had us praying for the recovery of President Eisenhower, after he suffered a heart attack and now I know why. Nixon was waiting to take over, if the highly revered Eisenhower expired. Things were different back then.

Expand full comment