Each of us can make a difference if we step up and try our best / Becoming Planet Citizens
File:USC Daily Trojan Sen Nelson speech day after first Earth Day .jpg
Student Activism and Exceptional Political Leaders Focus on Environmental Progress
Note: The student newspaper headline is a bit of hyperbole (the Senator wasn't the 'Teach-in originator'... 'responsible for the Environmental Teach-In') but Senator Nelson and student advisers and organizers were the originators of the first 'Earth Day teach-in'
SJS / Siterunner:
Back to 1970 and the student movement across the country's college campuses... As a co-founder of the Vietnam Moratorium Committee and coordinator of anti-war activities on college campuses in California, I worked as a student activist to organize at my own campus of the University of Southern California. In the mid- and late-1960s we became a center of peace and environmental work. The organizing took us from opposition to nuclear weapons, war and international conflict to environmental security and reform. Student "teach-ins" were popular tools for outreach and building awareness and support for the first generation of environmental laws. The teach-in model within Senator Gaylord Nelson's proposal to continue our student teach-ins acted to make one of our priorities become a reality. Congressman George Brown's encouragement and Senator Nelson's support in the endeavor to launch environmental teach-ins across the country every year became April 22nd Earth Days.
At USC it was appropriate to hear Senator Nelson speak to us on the first day after our first Earth "teach-in" at SC and across the US.
Senator Gaylord Nelson:
- "I am convinced that the same concern the youth of this nation took in changing this nation's priorities on the war in Vietnam and on civil rights can be shown for the problems of the environment... Successful teach-ins on all campuses on the same day will have a dramatic impact on the environmental conscience of the nation. They will be immensely effective as an educational effort in arousing public opinion concerning necessary steps to protect our environment and establish quality on a par with quantity as a goal of American life."
A Political Voice from East Los Angeles Acts to Push the US Congress in a Green Direction
Beginnings of the modern environmental movement...
● Waving the Earth Day flag ...
Ripples of an 'Earth Flag' Waved and Actions Taken
Nearby USC in Pasadena, JPL/NASA with many SC, UCLA and CalTech taught engineers, a key component in continued California environmental leadership ...
"18 Earth science missions in space, supported by aircraft, ships and ground observations, measure aspects of the environment that touch the lives of every person around the world."
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