Today is the 44th Earth Day, first promoted by Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, and endorsed by President Richard Nixon.
The environmental movement has had its successes under Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama.
At the same time, the environmentalists have had major setbacks under Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush, particularly under Reagan and the second Bush, the two worst environmental Presidents of the last century, while Carter and Nixon stand out as the best environmental Presidents after Theodore Roosevelt.
The corporate world has been responsible for much of the damage to our environment since the Industrial Age, with their mad dash for profits and lack of concern for the health and safety of the people in the areas they produced steel, mined coal, drilled oil, and the myriad of other industrial activities that produced a massive wealth ending up in the hands of a small oligarchy. They exploited their workers and took advantage of consumers, along with destruction of the environment, and without any apologies. And they still have massive influence with both parties, and any ability to deal with the issue of environmental damage is always counteracted by the financial resources of corporations out to prevent any major changes in policy and regulation.
So while progress has been made over these years since 1970, there is still a massive battle for the future of the nation’s environmental health over the long term. Environmentalists cannot let up their battles on Capitol Hill and in the courts!