(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘Earth Day

“Let us give ourselves indiscriminately to everything our passions suggest, and we will always be happy”*…


Walter Rothschild with a member of his menagerie

Some men shoot tigers. Some men love bears. Walter Rothschild, 2nd Baron Rothschild, Major in the Yeomanry, Conservative MP for Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, heir to one of the greatest banking fortunes in history, and collector of the largest zoological collection ever amassed in private hands, had a specific and incurable addiction to cassowaries. He bred them. He stuffed them. He gathered living representatives of every known species and sub-species at his parents’ manor house in Hertfordshire. Bewitched by their beautiful and highly variable neck wattles, he identified new species where there were none. He wrote a book, A Monograph of the Genus Casuarius, about them and made excuses for them, and he could never get enough…

From A Monograph of the Genus Casuarius. London: 1900.

More on the curious connection between cassowaries and their champion at “A Natural History Of Walter Rothschild.”

* Marquis de Sade


As we ponder passion, we might recall that this date in 1970 was the first Earth Day.  First suggested by John McConnell for March 21 (the Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere, a day of natural equipoise), Secretary General U Thant signed a UN Proclamation to that effect.  But Earth Day as we know it was founded by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson (who was later awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award for his work) as an environmental teach-in to be held on on this date.  The first Earth Day had participants and celebrants in two thousand colleges and universities, roughly ten thousand primary and secondary schools, and hundreds of communities across the United States.  Later that year, President Nixon signed the Environmental Protection Agency into being.  Earth Day is now observed in 192 countries, coordinated by the nonprofit Earth Day Network, chaired by the first Earth Day 1970 organizer Denis Hayes– according to whom Earth Day is now “the largest secular holiday in the world, celebrated by more than a billion people every year.”

Earth Day Flag created by John McConnell




Written by (Roughly) Daily

April 22, 2016 at 1:01 am

The Tao of Dow…

When a PR firm for Dow Chemical asked Diet for a Hot Planet author Anna Lappe to produce a 60 second film for the Future We Create Conference, she didn’t exactly supply the “greenwashing” video Dow had hoped for…

Instead, she submitted this surprise video stating the following: “The future we should be creating is one in which everyone has access to clean water. No one should worry whether their water is tainted with endocrine disruptors, carcinogens, or neurotoxins — produced by Dow or any of the country’s other biggest chemical manufacturers. Dow has the power, and resources, to do more than create a faux “inclusive conversation” about water sustainability. The company should discontinue its most toxic products and pay to clean up communities it has contaminated. Until it does, I will not be complicit in its greenwashing.”

Dow, the world’s second largest chemical manufacturer, is notorious for their greenwashing campaigns.  Despite an atrocious environmental record as one of the top polluters of air and water, they take pains to sponsor such events like Earth Day and Blue Planet Run.  After the deadly leak of chemicals in Bhopal, India killed more than 20,000 people in 1984, Dow Chemical abandoned the site, refusing to clean it up.

Lappe is respected for her work on sustainability, food politics, globalization, and social change. She has been named one of Time‘s “Eco Who’s-Who,” and is a founding principal of the Small Planet Institute and the Small Planet Fund.

More in Reality Sandwich’s “Dow Chemical Got Punked.”

As wax poetic about justice, we might recall that it was on this date in 2006 that Pluto’s two most recently discovered moons named Nix and Hydra.  But astronomers give and they taketh away:  two months later the International Astrophysical Union demoted Pluto from a “planet” to a “dwarf planet.”

Pluto and its three known moons (source)


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