Earth Day and H.R. 875



Tomorrow is Earth Day. It is very impressive what people have done the past two years, starting in Sydney, Australia in 2007. There are many YouTube videos of Earth Day 2008 when an estimated 50 million people participated. Many of these show large parts of cities going dark as the clocks turned to 8:30 pm. Therein is the problem with this year’s goal of having 1 billion participants. It is as much an event as it is a statement and as such is much more rewarding to take part if you are in a large metropolitan area where you can observe the hour with many other people. For those of us that live rurally, it is much less enticing to turn off the lights in our homes and just sit there in the dark for an hour. Still it is an admirable statement made by millions, focusing yet more attention on the state of the planet we call home.

no-symbol-copy On another topic, I wrote a letter to our Congressional Representative recently about H.R. 875. Many wild and unfounded claims are being made about this bill, introduced to Congress by Rep. Rosa DeLauro, Democrat of Connecticut. The hysteria, both by small bloggers and main-stream media is a great indication of how strongly people now oppose any attempts by big agribusiness and chemical companies to fight against the rising tide of local, sustainable food.  The bill itself is indeed a bad one, even if it does not live up to some of the crazy allegations against it, and I made sure our representative knew how I felt. I think this is more an example of some uninformed politicians trying to ride the wave of media attention to recent food contamination incidents than it is an evil plot by companies like Dow and Monsanto to undermine our food choices.

There is, however, an online petition at Leave My Food Alone that can be signed if you are inclined towards that sort of statement. I think the bill is still in committee and is so bad and poorly written that hopefully will not even make it out to the full House or Senate. If it does, then we really need to start making noise about it. I did see one report that it is expected to die in committee, but until it does, we need to pay attention to it.

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Will Sig

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