Thursday, April 21, 2011
The first Earth Day celebration took place in 1970, resulting from the efforts of Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin. Senator Nelson also urged amending the U.S. Constitution to guarantee everyone an inalienable right to a decent environment. Here is a link to his landmark speech. Although the federal amendment never made its way into the federal constitution, many states incorporated a similar amendment in their respective state constitutions. Here is Pennsylvania’s:
The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania's public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come. As trustee of these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people.