Monday, April 22 is Earth Day and I am writing this post because several weeks ago, we were having a family day and the subject of cars
came up, my nephew scoffed at Prius cars and I asked him why.. The answer: If you drove a Prius, a boring car, you just might be considered a Treehugger.. OMG-Horrors, I felt like it would be better to be labeled a serial killer than a Treehugger.
For once I kept my mouth shut, I don’t know if I was so shocked that that would be a bad thing to be called a treehugger, or was agog at how naive /apathetic this attitude is.. What I don’t think they realize, that if it wasn’t for Treehuggers:
- They would not be able to turn their tap on and get drinkable water (only 1 in 6 people in the world have access to clean water)
- They would not be able to breathe clean air. The EPA believes that over 230,000 early deaths will be prevented to the latest Clean Air Amendments.
- Kid(s) would most likely be born with huge problems due to the amount of pesticides in food and drink. The World Health Organization reports 220,000 people die every year worldwide because of pesticide poisoning
While some treehuggers have chained themselves to trees, caused havoc on the seas. In fact, most treehuggers live their life quietly and sustainably.
So for Earth Day my post is What If There were no Tree huggers?
1.) We would have no parks or wilderness areas. We would have no trees.
- Federal Land Policy and Management Act (1976): Provides for protection of the scenic, scientific, historic and ecologic values of federal lands and for public involvement in their management.
- Food Quality Protection Act (1996): Is designed to ensure that levels of pesticide residues in food meet strict standards for public health protection. Under this law, which overhauled the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, the Environmental Protection Agency is required to better protect infants and children from pesticides in food and water and from indoor exposure to pesticides.
3.) We would have smog filled air, there would be no smog certifications on cars.
- The Clean Air Act passed in 1970 regulates air emissions from both mobile and stationary sources.
4.) We would have acres of trash and litter dumped any place.
- Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (1976): Seeks to prevent the creation of toxic waste dumps by setting standards for the management of hazardous waste. Like CERCLA, this law also includes some provisions for cleanup of existing contaminated sites.
5.) We would have lost over thousands different species of animals due to human poaching and killing. No Rhinos, no Leopards, no tigers, no elephants, no gorillas, no panthers, bears, zebras, some wolves, whales, some dolphins and more. In the 2010 update of the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species, 17,315 species were listed as vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered. (Source)
- The Endangered Species Act passed in 1973 provides for the conservations of threatened and endangered plants and animals in their natural habitats.
6.) We would have no zoos or research on how to save animals which are crucial to our eco-system.
7.) We would have no clean water. Even now only 1 in 6 people in the world have access to clean drinking water. In fact clean water is one of the top environmental issues today.
- In 1972 the Clean Water Act established the structure for regulating the discharge of pollutants into waters of the US.
- The Shore Protection Act of 1988 prohibits the transportation of waste within coastal waters by a vessel without a permit.
- Safe Drinking Water Act (1974): Establishes drinking water standards for tap water safety, and requires rules for groundwater protection from underground injection; amended in 1986 and 1996. The 1996 amendments added a fund to pay for water system upgrades, revised standard: setting requirements, required new standards for common contaminants, and included public “right to know” requirements to inform consumers about their tap water
- Proposition 65 (1986): Is a California law passed by voter initiative. Known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, Prop. 65 is designed to provide public warnings about the risk of exposure to toxic chemicals and to eliminate toxins from drinking water supplies. It is responsible for California having some of the strongest environmental protections in the nation, and thus has helped make the state a model for other regions seeking to address environmental hazards.
8.) There would be no standards for manufacturers to dispose of toxic waste. They would continue to dump into the land and water.
- Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (1986): Requires companies to disclose information about toxic chemicals they release into the air and water and dispose of on land.
9.) More workers would die or be harmed by toxic and unsafe working conditions.
- The Occupational Safety and Health Act mandates that workers are provided a safe place to work that is free from recognized hazards to safety and health.
- Toxic Substances Control Act (1976): Authorizes the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate the manufacture, distribution, import and processing of certain toxic chemicals.
10.) Our Coastline in the USA would be destroyed and built up with high rises and who knows what.
- Coastal Zone Management Act (1972): Provides a partnership structure allowing states and the federal government to work together for the protection of U.S. coastal zones from environmentally harmful overdevelopment. The program provides federal funding to participating coastal states and territories for the implementation of measures that conserve coastal areas.
- Fisheries Conservation and Management Act (1976): Governs the management and control of U.S. marine fish populations, and is intended to maintain and restore healthy levels of fish stocks and prevent overharvesting. Better known as the Magnuson Stevens Act.
- Marine Mammal Protection Act (1972): Seeks to protect whales, dolphins, sea lions, seals, manatees and other species of marine mammals, many of which remain threatened or endangered. The law requires wildlife agencies to review any activity — for example, the use of underwater explosives or high-intensity active sonar — that has the potential to “harass” or kill these animals in the wild. The law is our nation’s leading instrument for the conservation of these species, and is an international model for such laws.
- Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Act Enacted (1972)
- Oil Pollution Act (1990): Enacted a year after the disastrous Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska’s Prince William Sound, this law streamlines federal response to oil spills by requiring oil storage facilities and vessels to prepare spill-response plans and provide for their rapid implementation. The law also increases polluters’ liability for cleanup costs and damage to natural resources and imposes measures — including a phaseout of single-hulled tankers — designed to improve tanker safety and prevent spills.
12.) We would have little or no mountains and the toxic runoffs would effect and kill thousands of people
- Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (1977): Is intended to ensure that coal mining activity is conducted with sufficient protections of the public and the environment, and provides for the restoration of abandoned mining areas to beneficial use.
13.) We would have no trees. If there are no trees, which not only provide habitat for animals, they clean our air. Since 1990 half of the worlds rain forests have been destroyed. The clearing of forests continue at an alarming rate. Every hour, at least 4,500 acres of forest fall to chain saws, machetes, flames, or bulldozers. More than half of the world’s timber and 72% of paper is consumed by 22% of the world’s population (the United States, Europe, and Japan) (Source)