1616 P Street NW - Suite 340
Phone :(202) 518-0044 Email : firstname.lastname@example.org URL: Website
Radical environmentalist group
Deems capitalism the scourge of the environment
Condemns U.S. for its disproportionate consumption of natural resources
Founded in 1994 by the organizers of the first Earth Day (which was celebrated in 1970), Earth Day Network (EDN) defines itself as an organization dedicated to building “broad-based citizen support for sound, workable and effective environmental and sustainable development policies for all.” EDN states that through its efforts, “activists connect, interact, and impact their communities, and create positive change in local, national, and global policies.” EDN's international network reaches more than 12,000 organizations in 174 countries, and its U.S. program includes more than 3,000 groups and 100,000 educators. According to EDN, Earth Day (April 22) is now “the largest secular holiday in the world” and is “the only event celebrated simultaneously around the globe by people of all backgrounds,” with over half a billion people participating in annual Earth Day events and activities.
One of EDN's major recent projects was its "One Million New Voters" campaign of 2003, which was launched on Earth Day of that year. "If you want to do one thing for the environment," EDN stated, "register to vote!" Though EDN denied that it was endorsing any particular candidate for U.S. President in 2004, Democrat John F. Kerry attended Boston's Earth Day events with EDN co-founder Denis Hayes and supported the "One Million New Voters" campaign, which was the brainchild of EDN President Kathleen Rogers. Ms. Rogers thanked Senator Kerry for his "leadership in environmental stewardship."
“Working with MoveOn and other successful Internet organizations,” said Earth Day Network, “EDN and its partners will register voters on our sites, create e-mail voter registration campaigns, and Internet educational outreach as well as create opportunities for other types of on-line activism.” Also supporting EDN in this effort to steer “environmental votes” towards Democratic candidates was the NAACP National Voter Fund and Project Vote/ACORN.
Another EDN project is the Environmental Education Program, which provides schoolteachers with games, interactive quizzes, and a variety of other aids for use in teaching children from kindergarten through twelfth grade about environmental issues. Implicit in many of these lessons is the notion that capitalism is unjust, and that the U.S. is a heartless nation that ignores the world’s poor and squanders the earth’s resources. In one lesson plan disseminated to teachers by EDN, titled “Have and Have-Not,” the directions state: “Present two groups of pictures before the class – one group of Americans/Westerners engaged in typical activities and the other group consisting of indigenous peoples or people living in developing countries. The latter group may be pictures of people pulling water from a well, using farm animals, carrying large loads, living in simple homes, etc. Spend a few minutes brainstorming on the types of daily activities these separate groups of people might do. Emphasize technology and energy use. ... Ask students if they think the level of resource consumption in different parts of the world is fair. Ask what the world would be like if everyone consumed as much as in Western lifestyles. Would the earth be able to support this? How does energy use by the wealthiest fifth of the world’s population affect others?”
The EDN website features an "Ecological Footprint Quiz," which asks readers a series of 14 questions about their lifestyles (particularly how much they use bicycles, motorbikes, or animals for transportation, as opposed to automobiles or airplanes), in an effort to assess their annual consumption of natural resources as compared to the consumption of people elsewhere in the world. "Worldwide," says EDN, "there exist 4.5 biologically productive acres per person." In comparison, "the average ecological footprint per person [in the U.S.] is 24 acres," or nearly 6 times the worldwide average. "If everyone lived like you," EDN informs on the basis of the test results, "we would need [X-number of] planets" to sustain the lives of all the earth's people."
Earth Day co-founder Gaylord Nelson was twice elected Governor of Wisconsin and represented that state for 18 years in the U.S. Senate. He was also a Director of the Wilderness Society. Describing Nelson’s brand of environmental activism, newspaper publisher E. Ralph Hostetter writes: “Nelson took a page from the Vietnam War protestors. ... The causes built on the fears of the Vietnam War and the Cold War, that had given these same people the political and intellectual control over their own followers and other segments of American society, were neatly transferred, to a new cause: Ecology. The Reds of the late 1960s had coalesced neatly under a banner of Green with their order of battle intact and with a clearly defined enemy: Capitalism and man’s ‘abuse’ of the environment.”
Earth Day Network co-founder Denis Hayes, who currently sits on EDN's Board of Directors, believes that capitalism is the scourge of the environment whose deadly ramifications can be reined in only by government regulation. “Under communism,” says Hayes, “prices were not allowed to reflect economic reality. Under capitalism, prices don’t reflect ecological reality. In the long run, the capitalist flaw – if uncorrected – may prove to be the more catastrophic. ... America has a mechanism to deal with things that are not well-served by the market. It’s called government. Government is the way that we assert the fundamental values of the majority, constrained by the rights of the minority. Government is the realm in which we decide what is dispensable and what is – literally – priceless.” In addition to his work with EDN, Hayes has also been a professor of engineering at Stanford University and the President & CEO of the Bullitt Foundation, a Seattle-based funder of the radical environmentaliast movement.
EDN's New York chapter is a member organization of the Abolition 2000 anti-war coalition. Six months after the 9/11 attacks, EDN President Kathleen Rogers said, “[W]e believe that while much attention currently is focused, and rightly so, on combating terrorism and violence, there is more insidious and pervasive terrorism of poverty, hunger, homelessness, inadequate education and health care, and population growth that remains a daily, mortal threat to the vast majority of the world.”