Earth Day 2000: Launch of the Earth Day Network
By Denis Hayes
arth Day Network (EDN) is launching a multi-year campaign aimed at the major environmental issues facing our planet. EDN will use cutting-edge information technology and traditional grassroots organizing to enlist half a billion people around the world to challenge the power of vested interests and protect the public interest. The first of these annual campaigns, Earth Day 2000, seeks to accelerate the phase-out of fossil fuels and nuclear fuels before they do further irreparable damage, and to promote the efficient use of renewable energy sources.
New Energy for a New Era
Earth Day Network recognizes that, for the first time in history, humans now have the power to reshape the entire planet. We are changing the climate, triggering an epidemic of extinctions, drilling holes through the ozone layer, multiplying and consuming beyond the world's carrying capacity, and maintaining an arsenal of weapons capable of causing more destruction than multiple asteroid collisions. To address these threats, each year Earth Day Network will shine a global spotlight on one of the following critical issues:
Each of these yearly agendas is, of course, highly ambitious. Catalyzing such sweeping change is a heavy load to place on the shoulders of a citizen campaign.
But it has been done before.
f humankind is ever to realize the golden age that was supposed to have accompanied the end of the Cold War, we will be led there not by politicians, but by an informed, mobilized citizenry. Like its predecessors, Earth Day 2000 will be judged on the legacy of concrete accomplishment it leaves in its wake. In nations around the world, Earth Day organizers will coordinate with a wide variety of civic, business, labor, and governmental organizations working in the energy and climate fields. The campaign will significantly augment public support for the groups' programs, and it will prod many of the groups to think more ambitiously about the tasks they are undertaking.
Earth Day 2000 will promote actions to increase energy efficiency dramatically in the residential, commercial, industrial and transportation sectors. Simultaneously, it will promote policies that will give renewable energy technologies the economic benefits of mass production. Cognizant of over-consumption and a growing population, and sensitive to the special problems facing the poor, Earth Day will begin to move the world toward an energy system that is safe, secure, affordable, and sustainable.
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