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Forty-two years ago to the day, the first Earth Day got off the ground. Ironically, last year on this day we were getting news on the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, unfolding and creating probably one of the worst environmental disasters in that region. So maybe we were preoccupied and cynical on that particular day. On this particular Earth Day it may seem more cynical and loaded with lip-service than it has before and even acknowledgment of the day seems not to be coming from mainstream media aside from scant mention of it.
But on the first Earth Day there was promise and there was commitment and people were involved. NBC's Today Show devoted an entire week to the cause of the environment (back when the Today Show had something of a conscience going for it).
Hugh Downs (host – Today Show): “We’re exploring the grassroots sentiment of the Ecology Movement today and concerning ourselves with the social implications in the struggle to cleanse and to save our environment.”
As the years have gone by, and we're further and further away from the first Earth Day, the original vision and intent seems to have gotten lost, smeared, ignored and belittled by those elements portraying the Environmental movement as overrun with agenda-grinders and lunatics. It has lately been demonized as some extreme left-wing conspiracy by some, even though one of the original founders of the movement was a Republican (Pete McCloskey R-CA.).
That part seems to be missing along with the original message.
In case you forgot, here is what it sounded like on April 22, 1970, excerpted from that first hour of the Today Show.