December 2 – Happy Birthday, EPA!

Posted on December 2, 2016

In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency has done a really good job of helping to protect human health and the environment by setting priorities, writing laws, and enforcing laws.
This organization has literally changed the world – for the better.
The EPA has worked on pesticides, air pollution, water pollution, greenhouse gases and climate change, ozone depletion, trash/waste, and much more.
With more than 15,000 full-time employees, including many engineers and scientists, the EPA is on the front lines standing against short-term thinking and greed, standing up for a more global and long-term view of human activity.
The EPA was proposed by President Richard Nixon, and he signed an executive order bringing the agency into existence. It began operations on this date in 1970.
This is important: even though the Environmental Protection Agency was the brainstorm of a Republican President, and even though it has been widely viewed as effective and important, the current Republican platform, the Republican president-elect, and the Republican-led Congress all seem to want to abolish the EPA as we know it! The platform urges the government to forbid the EPA to regulate carbon dioxide – which is crazy, since that is one of the most important greenhouse gases. It also calls for shifting responsibility for environmental regulation to the states, ending the federal government's ability to study the effects of pollution and to establish policies and laws that safeguard our air, water, and land. Instead of thinking long-term, big-picture, as the Republican Party has in the past, the current version of the party seems to want to crawl into a short-term, small-view that will be more self-destructive than helpful to anyone and everyone!
Let's celebrate the EPA today, on its birthday! And let's make sure it stays the hard-working, effective agency it always has been.
One EPA success story that touches my life is the air quality in
Southern California. When I was growing up, there was so so so so
so so much smog, and so many days we were not allowed to play
outside because of smog alerts. Now there are even more people
and even more cars in the Los Angeles area,
but the air is much much much much cleaner and clearer!

My husband grew up in one of the biggest environmental disaster zones in the country, the Love's Canal area of Niagara Falls, NY. The first time he tried to show me what his old stomping grounds looked like, when we were adults, it looked like the fenced off area above. The last time we went there, it ALMOST looked like parkland, below. The old, unused houses had been removed, but there were still some old, unused roads. It was pretty but also pretty weird...The EPA is key to preventing new disasters and also healing old ones.

Also on this date:

Artist Georges Seurat's birthday

Liquefy Day 

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