Little Green Lies: The Environmental Miseducation of America’s Children


Some have called it "Eco-Kid Power," while to others it is the "Newest Parental Nightmare." The latest craze sweeping this nation's youth is environmental consciousness, due in no small part to the spread of ecological issues into the classroom. This movement has reached almost every school district in the nation, as children are increasingly taught the importance of being green.

More Pennsylvania high school students are taking environmental education classes than physics. Even the federal government is actively involved. In 1990 President Bush signed the National Environmental Education Act, appropriating $65 million over five years to set up in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) an Office of Environmental Education that serves as a clearinghouse for green educational materials.

Most classroom environmental information, including most that is listed at the EPA clearinghouse, comes from literature and teaching guides drafted and distributed by the major environmental groups. These materials include everything from the World Wildlife Fund's "Vanishing Rain Forests Education Kit" and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's "What I Can Do To Save the Bay," to the Acid Rain Foundation's curriculum, "Air Pollutants and Trees," and the Sierra Club educational newsletter, "Sierraecology." Similar material is targeted to children at home, including 50 Simple Things Kids Can Do To Save the Earth, which has sold nearly a million copies, and TV's popular "Captain Planet and the Planeteers," not to mention the recent feature-length film FernGully. . . The Last Rainforest.

It is entirely appropriate for children to learn about the environment. Indeed, any comprehensive science program for primary and secondary schools ought to include discussions of the food chain, the life cycles of various species, and the fundamentals of meteorology. Using nature trails and camping in the wilderness can be valuable educational experiences, particularly if children are taught to understand what they are seeing. Unfortunately, much of what is taught to children is simple-minded and inaccurate. Among the growing environmental disinformation spread through the classroom are 10 myths that give children an incomplete understanding of environmental issues.

1: Recycling Is Always Good

The recycling craze has captured America s schools. From coast to coast, children are organizing recycling programs in their schools and neighborhoods, separating their trash, and sending bottles, cans, newspapers, and yard waste to their local recycling centers. Various environmental groups, as well as the EPA through its "Recycle Today! " campaign, actively promote recycling as a means to "help stamp out the Garbage Gremlin." Animated characters such as Henry Cycle and Captain Planet sell the practice to elementary school children.

In one guide for parents and educators--This Planet Is Mine--Mary Metzger and Cynthia Whittaker claim that recycling is "by far the most commonsensible and energy-saving waste reduction technique." This sentiment is echoed in the EPA's Let's Reduce and Recycle: Curriculum for Solid Waste Awareness, where children in grades K-6 are told that recycling reduces pollution and saves natural resources, energy, money, and landfill space.

While recycling is often a sensible means of disposing solid waste, it is not so clear that recycling is always of benefit to the planet. Aluminum cans have been profitably recycled for years--indeed companies actually pay for used cans--because recycling aluminum costs less energy and money than does producing cans from virgin materials. Yet this may be the exception rather than the rule. Although recycled paper can be used for newsprint, ledger paper, and cardboard boxes, it is inappropriate for paper products that require the greater strength of unrecycled paper, as the fibers tend to deteriorate during the recycling process. The bleaching of recycled paper causes more water pollution than bleaching paper from virgin pulp. Even when materials are collected for recycling, they are often not used for that purpose. In Islip, New York, there are mountains of tinted glass from bottles collected for recycling, and in the nation's capital newspapers intended for recycling sit rotting in warehouses.

Children were told during a CBS "Schoolbreak Special" that "recycling paper saves trees," and that if all paper were recycled it would save 500,000 trees per week. However, 87 percent of all paper in the United States is produced from trees planted and grown for that purpose by the paper industry. Were there less of a market for unrecycled paper products, the incentive to plant more trees would likely shrink as well. Thus, is recycling really a policy that serves to save trees? Or, may it actually reverse the current trend of growth of America' s forests? Roger Sedjo of Resources for the Future, an environmental think tank, points out that there has been a steady increase in U. S. forestland for the past 40 years, and "profit-seeking firms are planting, growing, and harvesting forests on an unprecedented scale. " The existence of vibrant markets for virgin wood materials has encouraged this growth.

What is more, it is not clear that recycling is always the environmentally preferable disposal option for solid waste. Cleaning cloth diapers, for example, may at first glance seem less wasteful than throwing out disposables, but collection and sterilization requires massive amounts of water, energy (for heat and transportation), and deter- gent, not to mention the additional time spent in cleaning. If recycling requires increased consumption of energy, it may not result in the net saving of resources that environmentalists desire.

2: Plastic Is Bad

Plastic has reached the top of the eco-kid enemies list. Among the "55 fun ways kids can make a difference" listed in Michael O'Brian' s I Helped Save the Earth are: "Use paper, not plastic," "Don't buy drinks in plastic containers," and "Buy things packaged in cardboard, not plastic." 50 Simple Things Kids Can Do To Save the Earth calls upon all children to "Stamp out Styrofoam" because "using Styrofoam means using up precious resources. . . and adding more garbage to our world." It further asserts that "plastic foam is often made with chemicals that make the ozone hole bigger!" One New York mother told the New York Times that her 12-year-old son's anti-plastic sentiments are so vehement that "If something is in plastic, I have to hide it if I want to use it."

This message has apparently had a significant effect. In Closter, New Jersey, the elementary-school group Kids Against Pollution (KAP) has been credited with successfully promoting a ban on foam containers in their community, and was very active in pressuring McDonald's to abandon its polystyrene "clamshell" containers.

One reason plastics are attacked is that they are often difficult to recycle. In addition, plastics are generally not biodegradable, and perhaps most important, rather than being "natural," are produced synthetically from man-made chemicals. Thus, the use of plastic is viewed as an inevitable source of pollution and an unnecessary contribution to the solid waste stream.

Because they are rarely recycled, most plastic products eventually find their way into a landfill. The greatest environmental concern raised by the use of landfills is the possibility that toxic wastes will seep into the local groundwater. Yet plastics are typically inert, and therefore they are certain not to decompose. The stable state of plastics--their non-biodegradability--is a protection for human health when they are deposited in landfills.

Of course, many kids are upset by the notion that plastics placed by people in the earth today will remain there for centuries. But while plastic does not degrade in a landfill, rarely does anything else either. As the research of William Rathje at the University of Arizona has shown, in landfills, even newspapers fail to biodegrade for decades. What is held against plastic can be a criticism of paper as well.

Children uncomfortable with using plastic might want to ask why its use is so common in contemporary society. Plastic packaging limits breakage and spoilage, and makes it possible to distribute foods and medicines over greater distances at significantly lower cost. Plastic can create strong but lightweight packaging for everything from candies and soft drinks to vitamins and vegetables that would otherwise require tremendous expenditures of natural resources. Do not these benefits offset, at least in part, the environmental concerns about disposal?

Consider aseptic packaging, the synthetic packaging for the "juice boxes" so many children bring to school with their lunch. One criticism of aseptic packaging is that it is nearly impossible to recycle, yet on almost every other count, aseptic packaging is environmentally preferable to the packaging alternatives. Not only do aseptic containers not require refrigeration to keep their contents from spoiling, but their manufacture requires less than one-10th the energy of making glass bottles.

What is true for juice boxes is also true for other forms of synthetic packaging. The use of polystyrene, which is commonly (and mistakenly) referred to as "Styrofoam," can reduce food waste dramatically due to its insulating properties. (Thanks to these properties, polystyrene cups are much preferred over paper for that morning cup of coffee. ) Polystyrene also requires significantly fewer resources to produce than its paper counterpart. As documented in Science magazine, a polystyrene cup can be produced with one-sixth the physical material, one-12th the steam, and one-36th the electricity of its paper counterpart. It is no wonder that polystyrene cups are as much as 60-percent less expensive. It should also be noted that, contrary to popular perceptions, the production of polystyrene has not required the use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) for years, and thus poses no threat to the ozone layer.

The environmental benefits of plastic are demonstrated every day as over a million American students receive their milk from plastic, pillow-shaped pouches that require less material to produce than the conventional mini-milk carton and that create 70 percent less waste by volume. Indeed plastic is typically less bulky than other forms of packaging, and therefore reduces the amount of solid waste disposal.

Many environmental leaders now recognize that the plastic versus paper decision is not as clear-cut as they once supposed. As John Ruston of the Environmental Defense Fund acknowledged to the New York Times, "I don't think we have strong evidence that one is better than the other." Nonetheless, anti-plastic messages are still pushed to many school-age children as part of environmental education.

3: There Is Too Much Garbage

The popular children's book 50 Simple Things Kids Can Do To Save the Earth declares, "We are making so much garbage that in many places there is not enough room to bury it all." Another EarthWorks publication, Kid Heroes of the Environment, claims that "America faces a 'garbage crisis'; we're running out of places to dump our trash." A handbook produced by the Council for Solid Waste Solutions instructs children on how to establish school recycling programs because "overflowing landfills are threatening Mother Earth." In New Hampshire, a teacher' s guide produced by the state for Earth Day 1990 calls for students to write to companies complaining about "excess packaging," and the EPA's solid waste curriculum even claims that the growing "garbage crisis" is a problem that "threatens to weaken our cities and consume valuable portions of our natural resource base." Many children's environmental concerns are based upon the underlying assumption that too much waste is being created and that there is no place to put it.

However, there is ample space in which to dispose of America's garbage through landfilling, should such an approach be desired. As the research of A. Clark Wiseman of Resources for the Future has demonstrated, all of the solid waste produced in America in the next 1,000 years could easily fit in a single landfill accounting for less than one- 10th of 1 percent of the United States. This landfill would be approximately 44 miles on each side and only 100 feet deep. If there is more than enough space to dispose of America's garbage, can we really say that there is too much trash? Given that landfilling is significantly less expensive than most other disposal options, advocating that landfilling not be used means that more money will be spent on waste disposal, and less will be available to spend on other things. Some communities have even discovered that modern landfills can be a welcome addition to the neighborhood, adding jobs and economic resources without producing the environmental hazards and aesthetic objections that accompanied the dumps of the past.

While landfilling remains an environmentally and economically viable option, other methods of waste disposal are continually being developed. One increasingly attractive approach is the development of "waste- to-energy" facilities, whereby garbage can be turned into a source of energy. As more communities begin to rely upon this approach to waste disposal, garbage will actually become an important commodity. What is more, should landfill space ever truly become scarce, the resulting increase in the costs of waste disposal would encourage individuals to reduce the amount of waste they produce and develop alternative waste disposal options.

It is important to remember that human activity has always involved the production of waste, and that efforts to reduce, or even eliminate, waste must ultimately come at the expense of much human activity. Product packaging may end up in the trash heap, but during its life it also serves important functions, such as the preservation and protection of perishable goods. As long as society has ample ability to dispose of the waste it produces, there seems to be little reason to worry children about a supposed garbage "crisis."

4: Pesticides Are Always Bad

ABC's for a Better Planet, a children's book featuring the immensely popular Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, recommends that children "get folks to buy fruits and vegetables that are grown organically--that is, without chemical pesticides. Organically grown stuff may not look as perfect, but it tastes great--and it's good for you." Linda Lowery' s Earth Day, a book designed for children in grades K-4, asserts, "People don't need to use chemicals on their crops and lawns. There are safer, more natural ways to protect plants and help them grow. "

To emphasize concern over pesticides even further, the National Environmental Education Act requires that the EPA annually present a "Rachel Carson Award" in honor of the author who first brought fear of pesticides into the mainstream with her 1962 book Silent Spring. A biography of Carson is also one of the first in a new series of children's books published by Simon & Schuster's Silver Burdett Press.

While Carson deserves credit for raising awareness of the potentially damaging effects of DDT on eagle and osprey populations, many of the concerns she promoted, such as fear of the risks of pesticide residues on food, are greatly overblown. Metzger and Whittaker's This Planet Is Mine tells parents and eco-educators that pesticide use is killing millions of people, and that "children often receive greater pesticide exposure" than adults. However, the path-breaking work of Bruce Ames, a biochemist at the University of California at Berkeley, has demonstrated that pesticide residues on foods, such as fruits and vegetables, pose no significant health risk.

Notes Ames, "99.9 percent of all the pesticides we ingest, by weight, are natural, produced by the fruit and vegetable plants themselves as part of their protective mechanism." This can be seen in many common foods. While "everyone worries about minute amounts of dioxin," Ames has discovered that "there is a lot more of a dioxin-like compound naturally in broccoli than you will ever be exposed to through dioxin contamination in the environment." But, Ames points out, even the higher level of carcinogenic compounds naturally present in foods poses a negligible health risk.

As a result of the scare over Alar--a substance used to strengthen apple stems and prevent apples from falling off the tree prematurely frightened mothers were calling the EPA to inquire if one could safely pour apple juice down the drain. Yet Alar residues posed no threat to their children. As Rutgers professor Joseph Rosen noted, Alar " has not been identified as the cause of a single childhood cancer. " In fact, according to Dr. Sanford Miller, dean of the University of Texas Health Science Center's Graduate School of Biomedical Science, "The risk of pesticide residues to consumers is effectively zero. " As he told the late columnist Warren Brookes, "This is what some 14 scientific societies, representing over 100,000 microbiologists, toxicologists, and food scientists, said at the time of the ridiculous Alar scare. But we were ignored."

While pesticide residues pose no appreciable threat to human health, Ames has noted that the probable impact of efforts to limit pesticide use "will be to raise cancer risks, because it will cut consumption of the very foods most beneficial in preventing cancer." Pesticides, including those compounds used to fight insects, weeds, and fungi, increase agricultural productivity and help to prevent food spoilage. The result is that fruits and vegetables are more readily available to consumers at lower prices. And, pesticide-assisted increases in agricultural efficiency have enabled farmers to produce more food while devoting less land to agriculture. Fewer trees are cut down, and fewer wetlands are filled to meet increases in food demand.

5: Acid Rain Is Destroying Our Forests

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles tell our children that "'acid rain' pollutes rivers and kills fish and trees." 50 Simple Things claims, "Acid rain is extremely harmful to plants, rivers, and lakes,. . . In some places it is killing forests. And it pollutes the water that animals and people need to drink." The EPA lists the Acid Rain Foundation as a source of educational materials in its booklet "Environmental Education Materials for Teachers and Young People (Grades K-12)." Materials provided include acid rain educational activities for grades 4-8 and a curriculum for grades 6-12 that repeat these charges time and time again.

Similar information is available from other sources as well. The children' s comic book Water In Your Hands, published by the Soil and Water Conservation Society and distributed by the federal government, claims, "Acid precipitation can harm plants on land as well as plants and animals that live in streams and lakes thousands of miles from the source of pollution. Already there are many lakes in which only a few things can live because of high acid levels." The proposed solution is for people to use less energy. They should drive less and "use less electricity. The less you use, the less coal-burning power plants must produce. That may mean less acid precipitation."

The curricula state correctly that many trees are dying in the eastern United States, that northeastern lakes and streams have fewer trout and other sport fish than they did earlier this century, and that burning fossil fuels can make rain more acidic. But a $700-million study commissioned by Congress, the National Acid Precipitation Assessment Program (NAPAP), concluded that acid rain is not a major source of problems in eastern forests and fisheries.

On the contrary, the nitrogen contained in acid rain actually helps much of the eastern forest by providing a necessary nutrient. It also turns out that most acid lakes in the Northeast have been acidic for most of their history. Fish could live in them temporarily when the clearing of forests for farming and paper pulp made watersheds more alkaline; but the watersheds returned to their natural acidity when the farms and dairies became uneconomic and the forests grew back. NAPAP determined that little damage could be attributed to acid rain in the United States, and even then only at very high altitudes in a few small areas. (The minor effects of acid rain on this continent, and the history of lake acidity in the United States, were explained by soil scientist Edward C. Krug in "Fish Story," in the Spring 1990 issue of Policy Review.)

6: We Use Too Much

Last year the New York Times ran a story on the "Newest Parental Nightmare, " the "eco-smart" child who constantly pesters his parents to use less and "conserve" energy, for one day we might run out. This pressure results in part from school materials such as the EPA children's activity books on water conservation, which proclaim, "We need to save water! This is also called 'conserving' water--not wasting it so we'll have enough for the future!" The TV special based upon 50 Simple Things told children, "Turn down the heat and put on a sweater" because that is a more efficient use of resources. Muppets Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy were enlisted to promote this message, appearing in a public service announcement for the National Wildlife Federation.

Children are taught to monitor the "wasteful" activities of their parents. As Dee Kloss told the Philadelphia Inquirer about her eight- year-old eco-conscious daughter, "She's harassing me, that child. If I leave the water on when I'm brushing my teeth, she yells at me. She says, 'Off, off, off. You're wasting that water.' " Ironically, some health groups actually recommend letting tap water run for a full minute before using due to concern over lead or other potentially toxic sediments.

Unfortunately, this effort to watchdog water use reflects a simplistic view of natural resources. Water in the United States will not "run out," although it may be misallocated. In almost all cases, water shortages have occurred as a result of political intervention; California' s problems can be attributed, for example, to artificially low water prices for agricultural use. As for energy, oil and natural gas prices are at their lowest price in decades, a clear sign that fossil fuel supplies are abundant. The price of a resource rises when it becomes more scarce. But the prices for the vast majority of non-renewable resources--from aluminum to zinc--have declined over the past century.

Even if a given resource were to become scarce, this would not be the end of the world. Its price would rise, and the economy would promote increased efficiency and the development of alternatives. Thus, it is understandable that 80 percent of the energy efficiency improvements in the United States between 1973 and 1988 were the result of increases in energy prices. Fears of an impending coal shortage in England not only spurred the development of more efficient technologies, but also encouraged coal's eventual displacement by the use of petroleum. Similarly, when whale oil scarcity drove up prices, entrepreneurs were prompted to develop refined petroleum as a substitute for lighting and other uses.

In the case of energy, the goal should not be "conservation" in the sense of simply using less but "efficiency"--using less to accomplish more. Otherwise, reducing energy use would require sacrificing personal mobility, autonomy, and living standards. Any serious effort to reduce personal consumption would require giving up various human activities, from transportation of people and resources, to heating, lighting, and cooking. Driving to and from school or the office may burn fuel, but it often saves time that can then be devoted to other important activities. Almost all efforts to enhance energy efficiency involve trading capital expenditures in the present for potential energy savings in the future. These trade-offs are inherent in any serious effort to reduce the use of energy, and must always be considered. Nevertheless, they are rarely discussed in the classroom.

7: There Are Too Many People

As population continues to increase, so will the human impact on the natural environment. More people on the planet means that more people are engaged in activities that shape the world around them. As a result, children are taught, the earth faces dire ecological consequences, from resource depletion to famine and extinction. From the EPA's Earth Notes--sent to educators for grades K-6--to the educational materials such as "For Earth's Sake" and "The Population Challenge" of Zero Population Growth, educational materials on population growth are becoming part and parcel of the environmental curriculum.

One educational guide, distributed in conjunction with Turner Broadcasting' s "Save the Earth Season," provides a worksheet in which the students' "ultimate goal is protecting the environment through population control. " A high-school text published by Addison-Wesley even talks of the "innovative" population measures developed in the People's Republic of China, a country known for coercive abortions and draconian laws limiting family size.

Some educational messages are more explicit in their advocacy of population control. This Planet Is Mine instructs educators to tell children that population growth will cause severe environmental problems "unless the use of birth control methods increases." In suggested activities, educators should "talk about what would happen to the planet if all the people in the world created large families generation after generation. " Captain Planet and the Planeteers also tell children, "When it's your turn to have a family, keep it small. The more people there are the more pressure you put on our planet." The population message is summed up well by a "Green Tip" published in the dally Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic strip: "The world grows by 95 million people each year; the U.S. by three million. We can help greatly by all having fewer children and considering adoption." The TBS children's special "One Child--One Voice" claims that population growth is causing the growth of the Sahara Desert in Africa, ignoring Science magazine's reports that the desert has actually been shrinking in recent years, and that its growth may have been more the result of climatic conditions than population-related pressures.

If population growth is such a dire threat, why are living standards worldwide increasing concurrently with increases in the world's population? Even in the Third World, increases in agricultural production typically out-pace population growth. If it is true that a continually expanding population will overcome the limits of world food supply, why then is most of the world experiencing increases in agricultural productivity that far outpace the increases in people? There are indeed areas that continue to experience famine, but more often than not these areas are in the throes of civil war and violent unrest that disrupt the distribution of food. It should be no wonder that in nations with totalitarian regimes, such as that recently deposed in Ethiopia, there were also shortages of food. But these shortages were more the result of political problems than they were of a deficiency in the world supply of food.

Moreover, children are rarely taught that as societies become more prosperous, population growth eventually slows and resources are used more efficiently with less environmental damage.

8: The Air Is Getting Worse

A common refrain on air pollution in school materials is that "the problems are here and they are growing at an alarming rate" (This Planet Is Mine). 50 Simple Things claims, "Today the air is so polluted in some places it's not always safe to breathe!" whereas "until about 150 years ago, the air was pure and clean." This sentiment is echoed in a Charlie Brown film produced for the American Lung Association with a grant from the EPA. In the film, the air is so polluted that Lucy cannot even see a baseball hit into the air due to a great cloud of smog.

There is little recognition in school curricula that, by most measurements, air quality is actually improving. According to the EPA's own data, levels of ground-level ozone, the pollutant known as "smog," are declining significantly in most urban areas. Even were ozone levels not declining, there is little evidence that the moderatelevels found in most cities are responsible for any long-term health effects.

The Virginia Department of Air Pollution Control's "Airy Canary" has troubleflying because of "Dastardly Dirt" created by increased industrial and commercial activity. Yet after initial industrialization, economic growth typically results in decreases of airborne particulates, the form of air pollution with the most significant health effects. Particulate concentrations in such cities as Tehran and Calcutta are almost 10 times greater than those found in New York. As Resources for the Future vice president Paul Portney has noted, "It is important to remember that cities in the United States that are relatively polluted by our standards might be considered quite clean in other parts of the world. " This is particularly true when compared with the cities of the former Soviet Union.

While children are taught to dislike automobiles, they are not told that not all cars pollute equally, or that in most cases the contributions of individual vehicle emissions are negligible. Much air pollution is the result of incomplete fuel combustion. As technology has improved over time, cars have naturally become more efficient and have thus polluted less. While many give full credit to federal laws for these gains, reductions in automobile emissions began well before the first national clean air legislation was enacted.

Another source of air pollution that is often overlooked is the natural environment. While air pollution is almost always blamed upon human activity, in some areas most of the pollution comes from natural sources. Particularly acute in some areas is the emission of methane and other volatile organic compounds--a primary component in the formation of smog--from plants and animals. In addition, the topography of some areas makes them natural air-pollution traps. As a result, cities located in valleys or depressions, such as Los Angeles, often suffer from greater pollution than those areas where there may actually be greater levels of emissions.

9: Global Warming Will Kill Us All

Topping the list of environmental concerns these days is the threat of global warming. Increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gases, it is argued, will cause an irreversible change in the earth's climate by increasing average world temperatures by several degrees. Thus, it should be no surprise that discussions of global warming have become very prominent in the classroom. "Beat the Heat: The CO[sub 2] Challenge," distributed to teachers by Scholastic, Inc., charges that "the world is hotter today than any time in recorded history," but fails to acknowledge that the "recorded history" of accurate temperatures barely extends back 100 years.

In The Greenhouse Effect: Life on a Warmer Planet, an educational text for grades 5 and up--praised by the School Library Journal as "a book that is especially noteworthy for its calm, balanced approach to a timely topic"-children are told:

It's frightening to think about the world's food reserves dwindling away or entire islands disappearing under rising seas. Yet this is what scientists predict our world could be like in the next century if greenhouse gases continue to build up in the atmosphere.

Following the initial broadcast on PBS of After the Warming, the show' s producer, Maryland Public Television, drafted a teachers' manual as if the program--which chronicled the "history" of environmental degradation to the year 2050--was based upon fact, rather than exaggerated assumptions and unfounded conjecture. The TBS children's special " One Child--One Voice" claimed that the greenhouse effect could increase temperatures by as much as 5 or 6 degrees. The American Museum of Natural History, in conjunction with the National Science Foundation and the Environmental Defense Fund, is promoting a series of educational activities and programs based upon its exhibit "Global Warming: Understanding the Forecast." Educational books like 50 Simple Things tell children that with the greenhouse effect "places that are warm would become too hot to live in, and . . . the places that grow most of our food could get too hot to grow crops anymore." Simply put, global warming is portrayed in the classroom as a threat to all human civilization.

While these arguments are put forward as scientific fact in the classroom, various polls of climate scientists indicate little consensus on how the climate will change over the next century or the relationship between human activity and these changes. On the need for urgent action by the United States, there is even less agreement. In fact, one poll of climate scientists conducted by Greenpeace found that fewer scientists (45 percent) believed action was necessary to avert a "runaway greenhouse effect" than those who felt otherwise (47 percent).

Even if the world does warm up, the higher temperatures could well be beneficial. There is much research to show that plants would thrive in a carbon-dioxide enriched atmosphere, and that a slightly warmer climate would create a healthier planet. Agricultural experts point out that because carbon dioxide acts as a fertilizer for most plants, increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide will increase agricultural productivity. Also, most of the recorded temperature increases in recent years have occurred at nights, meaning smaller swings between night and day temperatures, and thus, fewer killing frosts.

Any serious effort to reduce the claimed threat of warming through a massive reduction of greenhouse gas emissions would have drastic economic consequences. One recent study by the Department of Energy projects that reducing carbon dioxide emissions to only 20 percent below 1990 levels would cost as much as $95 billion each year--and for many environmental advocates, such reductions are only the first step. When massive expenditures are forcibly directed toward averting global warming, fewer resources are available for use in other sectors of the economy, from nutrition and education to health care and housing. As Richard Stroup of the Political Economy Research Center testified before Congress's Joint Economic Committee. "If 'insurance' against a particular risk, such as the threat of global warming, is bought at the cost of reduced economic growth, then a decline in the automatic insurance represented by wealth, and the social resilience it provides, is one of the costs borne by future generations." These costs of prevention are rarely accounted for in classroom calls for decisive action. Instead, children are exhorted to become politically involved.

For example, children were encouraged to write to President Bush to attend the United Nations "Earth Summit" in Rio de Janeiro, where global climate change was at the top of the agenda. The TBS "Save the Earth" series, which included an episode of the popular cartoon "Captain Planet and the Planeteers" on the need to go to Rio, was in large part an effort to mobilize impressionable youth for this politically popular cause through the use of children's programming, "action packs," and educational materials.

10: The Ozone Layer Is Going, and So Are We

The other global environmental threat that keeps children awake at night is the fear that human activity is destroying the ozone layer, exposing humans--and for that matter all types of flora and fauna- -to hazardous levels of solar radiation. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles tell children, "The ozone layer protects us from the sun's deadly radiation . . . but the ozone layer is getting thinner each year." According to This Planet Is Mine, ozone depletion will cause "DNA damage and resultant genetic defects." Moreover, "Ultraviolet rays also contribute to the dramatic increase we have seen in skin cancers, eye cataracts, . . . and impair the human immune system, reducing our ability to fight disease." In a recent debate on the Senate floor, Senator Albert Gore intoned, "We have to tell our children that they must redefine their relationship to the sky, and they must begin to think of the sky as a threatening part of their environment. "

Children are rarely told that the ozone layer naturally thins and accretes every year in a seasonal cycle that is controlled by the sun. Manmade chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) are blamed for ozone depletion, while natural sources of ozone-depleting substances (for example, the oceans and volcanos) are typically overlooked. Although chlorine molecules can contribute to ozone depletion, Linwood Callis of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Atmospheric Sciences Division charges that "73 percent of the global [ozone] declines between 1979 and 1985 are due to natural effects related to solar variability. " While such claims are not universally accepted in the scientific community, it is clear that children are only getting a small part of a very complex story--a story that hardly justifies fears of an impending apocalypse.

Contrary to what is being taught, the marginal ozone depletion that may be caused by CFCs would only result in marginal increases in UV- B radiation. For example, if 10 percent (a common estimate of the maximum potential ozone decline) of the ozone layer above Washington, D.C., disappeared tomorrow, radiation levels would only increase to approximately those typically found in Richmond, Virginia, almost 100 miles south. In fact, natural levels of UV-B rise rapidly as one approaches the equator or moves higher above sea level. Someone living in Denver receives significantly more UV-B exposure than a person in Minneapolis, but this is hardly cited as a reason not to move to the "mile-high city." It also must be noted that there is some inconclusive evidence that atmospheric ozone levels in the 1980s were higher than those in the 1950s.

The school materials also typically fail to explain the important human benefits that have resulted from the use of CFCs. For example, these chemicals have helped save millions of lives through making available to the peoples of the world inexpensive refrigeration for food and medicine. As with many environmental crusades, the drive to eliminate CFCs, even if potentially justified, involves trade-offs that children should be taught as well.

Toward a Better Shade of Green

While environmentalism is likely to be a mainstay of education in the years to come, this does not mean that America's children are to be condemned to curricula of half-truths and political advocacy. Instead, children can, and should, be taught facts, not conjecture, and they should learn the whole story, including how an environmental concern fits into the greater ecological and economic context. Rather than impressing upon children the need for political advocacy, children should be encouraged to think of their own solutions after all the facts have been presented. If water use is an issue, a child should learn about the hydrological cycle; if the concern is solid waste, a child should learn where paper comes from and where it may eventually go. At that point it might be profitable for a schoolchild to hypothesize about how public or private action might address the concerns raised about a given issue. Children should not be told by their teachers that they should sign petitions, endorse political agendas, or write pleading letters to the president.

Children need to understand that modern activities do not cause only "negatives" and that all efforts to alleviate environmental impact are purely "positive." Children need to be taught that there are trade-offs implicit in every environmental issue. Recycling paper may reduce the logging of trees (although they are indeed a renewable resource), but it may increase the use of energy and water. Banning CFCs may theoretically affect the levels of stratospheric ozone, but it would restrict the availability of refrigeration needed to preserve food and medicine in the Third World.

Children also need to learn environmental issues in a balanced manner. If there is scientific uncertainty on the likelihood and probable impact of global climate change it is wholly inappropriate to scare children by telling them their parents are destroying the earth. Environmental regulations can often have significant impacts upon regional and national economies, yet wealthier societies are not only healthier, but also more likely to be concerned about the environment. This, too, should be an important consideration.

Environmental education can be a valuable addition to school curricula, but only if it is conducted in a careful, thoughtful, and non-ideological manner. After all, schools are for education, not political indoctrination. If educators approach environmental issues in such a balanced fashion, our children might not turn out politically correct, but at least they will be much more "eco-smart."

Article taken from Gascape: 8/13/96

A Letter to the Nuclear Security Coalition


March 15, 2005 

Dr. Kevin D. Crowley, Director
Board of Radioactive Waste management National Research Council
The National Academies
500 Fifth Street, NW, 6th Floor Washington, D.C. 20001

Dear Dr. Crowley:

We are responding to a December 3, 2004 letter written to you by Luis Reyes, Executive Director of Operation, U.S. NRC regarding the proposed unclassified report concerning the National Academies’ study on the safety and security of commercial spent nuclear fuel.

The Congressional Appropriations Committee instructed the National Academies to release a classified report and an unclassified summary report for the public. In NRC’s December 3rd letter, NRC requests that the proposed unclassified summary report not be released because it contains information “that would be useful to potential adversaries and could reasonably be expected to have an adverse effect on the common defense and security.”

We wonder how this could be because the NRC has repeatedly stated that the spent fuel pools are “‘well engineered’ and ‘robust’ structures that have features that could blunt the impact of an outside force in an attack.”1

1 INSIDE NRC, Copyright by Platts, McGraw Hill Companies, Inc. June 28, 2004, “NRC Response: NRC has repeatedly said the agency has taken additional measures since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks to shore up security at nuclear plants. Chairman Nils Diaz and other agency and industry officials also have called spent fuel pools “well engineered” and “robust” structures that have features that could blunt the impact of an outside force in an attack.

NRC said in a “fact sheet” issued last August in a response to a spent fuel pool hazards paper published last year in the Princeton University’s Science & Global Security journal that the agency has addressed pool safety and security. The fact sheet notes that NRC had directed licensees to develop strategies for maintaining and restoring spent fuel pool cooling “using existing or available resources” if the cooling is lost or disrupted. Also, there have been improvements to “protective strategies for ground attacks on spent fuel pools.”

Clearly from NRC’s response we conclude that spent fuel pools are not the “well-engineered” and “robust” structures advertised by NRC - otherwise NRC would not be worried about NAS’ report becoming public. NAS must not have reached the proper conclusion, from NRC’s perspective, in the report that analyzed spent fuel risks and options to reduce risk.

We see NRC’s response to NAS as simply another chapter in NRC’s history of covering up the status of security at reactor sites – and avoiding requiring the industry to provide real security at commercial nuclear reactors. For example, on March 27, 2003, NRC Commissioner McGaffigan responded to the study “Reducing the Hazards from Stored Spent Power-Reactor Fuel in the United States” by Alvarez, Beyea, Janberg, Kang, Lyman, Macfarlane, Thompson, and von Hippel published in Science and Global Security2 that established the need for a safer method to store the highly radioactive fuel rods now stored at reactor sites throughout the country - simply by asking NRC staff to deep-six it. Specifically NRC Commissioner Edward McGaffigan ordered his subordinates to produce “a hard-hitting critique...that sort of undermines the study deeply.”3

NRC in the December 3 letter also requested NAS to spend more time on the study -in other words delay issuing any report and subsequent required remedial action. However, we know that terrorists will not necessarily wait until the NRC is ready.

We ask that NAS ignore the NRC and issue the report as required by Congress. We recognize that James Madison provided us with wise warning when he stated that “a popular government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy.”

The NRC has shown itself time and time again to be a lapdog of the industry and that is precisely why Congress directed NAS, and not the NRC, to perform the analysis and issue the report.

We request that the public report be issued expeditiously and that it will contain enough information so that both the public and decision-makers can understand the vulnerability of spent fuel pools to attack, potential consequences and options to reduce vulnerability. Without this information, the will to require the necessary remedial action will not be mobilized. It will not become the national security priority issue that it deserves to be. We are confident that this can be done without compromising national security.

Why is this important? Nuclear reactors are terrorist targets and are vulnerable. Spent fuel pools are densely packed, vulnerable to attack, and if targeted the consequences horrific. Yucca Mountain may open anytime between 2015 and never; and it is estimated that waste generated nationally by 2013 will fill Yucca’s maximum capacity. Hence, properly securing fuel on-site is a long-term concern. We are especially concerned about the vulnerability of BWR Mark I and

2 Reducing the Hazards from Stored Spent Power-Reactor Fuel in the United States by Alvarez, Beyea, Janberg, Kang, Lyman, Macfarlane, Thompson, von Hippel. Science and Global Society, 11:1-51, 2003

3 U.S.NRC, Briefing On The Status Of Office Of research (RES) Programs, Performance, And Plans, March 27, 2003, page 44

Mark II reactors and feel that they should be prioritized. As you know, their spent fuel pools are high up in the main reactor building, outside primary containment, with a thin roof overhead – making them vulnerable from three sides.

Thank you for your consideration.


Kids Against Pollution

Excerpt from PBS Thirteen

wue guide (dragged)

PBS station THIRTEEN is one of America's most respected and innovative public media providers.

A Letter to the United States Environmental Protection Agency


May 9, 2000

Carol Browner, Administrator

United States Environmental Protection Agency

Ariel Rios Building

1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20460

Re: EPA’s Response to the DC Circuit Court Decision Striking Down the Title V

Periodic Monitoring Guidance

Dear Ms. Browner:

We are writing to urge you to take quick action to ensure that permits issued pursuant to

the Clean Air Act Title V permit program require permitted facilities to perform adequate

pollution control monitoring.

On April 14, 2000, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia

Circuit ruled in favor of industry petitioners in Appalachian Power Company v. EPA, setting 

Periodic Monitoring Letter, page 2 of 2

aside EPA’s 1998 Title V “Periodic Monitoring Guidance.” The Periodic Monitoring Guidance

gave state and local permitting authorities specific direction on the type and frequency of

pollution control monitoring that must be included in a Clean Air Act Title V air pollution

permit. The loss of this guidance makes it far less likely that our nation’s largest polluters—

including power plants, incinerators, petroleum refineries and large factories—will be held

accountable for compliance with the Clean Air Act through effective Title V permits.

EPA must revise 40 CFR Part 70, the federal regulation governing state Title V

programs, to include language that clearly supports the periodic monitoring principles contained

in the Periodic Monitoring Guidance. Moreover, EPA must take all actions necessary to prevent

the issuance of inadequate permits pending the elimination of any gaps in periodic monitoring


In the Periodic Monitoring Guidance, EPA interpreted 40 CFR Part 70 as requiring state

permitting authorities to include additional monitoring in a facility’s Title V permit “for each

applicable requirement for which the present monitoring is nonexistent or otherwise inadequate.”

Periodic Monitoring Guidance, p. 7 (emphasis added). In Appalachian Power Company,

industry petitioners challenged the Periodic Monitoring Guidance on the basis that 40 CFR Part

70 does not give states the authority to require additional pollution monitoring when monitoring

provided in an underlying requirement is “inadequate.” Rather, industry argued that when an

applicable requirement specifies some form of monitoring that must take place from time to

time, no matter how infrequently, 40 CFR Part 70 does not require additional monitoring. In

ruling against EPA, the Court did not find that EPA lacks the authority under the Clean Air Act

to require by regulation that a Title V permit include additional monitoring when existing

monitoring is inadequate. Instead, the Court held that EPA improperly expanded 40 CFR Part 70

by issuing the Periodic Monitoring Guidance without following mandatory rulemaking


The Appalachian Power Company decision threatens to undermine the effectiveness of

the Title V program by making it so that Title V facilities are not required to perform monitoring

that is sufficient to assure compliance with Clean Air Act-based requirements. In addition, the

decision is likely to result in a stampede by facilities that already possess final Title V permits to

get the periodic monitoring conditions included in those permits relaxed. Permitting authorities,

already overwhelmed by the task of processing initial permit applications, could be swamped by

this push for permit modifications.

EPA must revise 40 CFR Part 70 as soon as possible to clarify that a Title V permit must

require the permitted facility to perform additional pollution monitoring when monitoring

provided in an underlying requirement is inadequate. At the very least, this revision must be

included in the Part 70 revision package that is scheduled to be released for public comment in

late summer or early fall of 2000.

Pending the revision of 40 CFR Part 70, EPA must take all actions necessary to prevent

the issuance of inadequate Title V permits and to discourage facilities from asking for

modifications in permits that have already been issued. While a variety of actions may be

necessary, we specifically ask that EPA immediately publish a Federal Register notice 

Periodic Monitoring Letter, page 3 of 3

announcing the agency’s intention to propose revisions to Part 70 that will reinstate the periodic

monitoring principles included in the Periodic Monitoring Guidance. The Federal Register

notice must also clarify that EPA and permitting authorities are still under an obligation to ensure

the adequacy of the periodic monitoring required in Title V permits. As the Court made clear in

Appalachian Power Company, existing regulations allow for increased monitoring in cases

where an applicable emissions standard lacks monitoring, where there is only a one-time

monitoring requirement, or where an underlying requirement fails to specify how frequently

monitoring must be performed. Moreover, Clean Air Act § 505(b) requires EPA to object to any

Title V permit that does not comply with the Clean Air Act, including the Clean Air Act

§ 505(a)(1)(A) requirement that every Title V permit include “conditions as are necessary to

assure compliance with applicable requirements [of the Clean Air Act], including the

requirements of the applicable implementation plan.” Clearly, a Title V permit cannot assure the

public and government regulators that a facility is operating in compliance with the law if the

facility is not required to perform adequate periodic monitoring.

The Court’s decision in Appalachian Power Company poses a serious threat to the

success of the Title V program. We urge you to avert this threat by implementing the

recommendations discussed above without delay.


Kids Against Pollution

U.S. Public Interest Research Group

Environmental Quality Strategy Team - Air Committee

Sierra Club

Environmental Working Group

National Environmental Trust

Clean Air Task Force

Clear the Air

Public Citizen’s Critical Mass Energy and Environment Program

Atlantic States Legal Foundation

Conservation Law Foundation

New England Clean Water Action

Consumer Policy Institute/Consumers Union

Sierra Club Great Lakes Program

Citizens Awareness Network

Alabama Environmental Council

Greenaction for Health And Environmental Justice

California Communities Against Toxics

Coalition for Clean Air

Land and Water Fund of the Rockies

Toxics Action Center

Legal Environmental Assistance Foundation

Florida Public Interest Research Group

Ozone Action

Campaign for a Prosperous Georgia

Georgia Public Interest Research Group

American Lung Association of Metropolitan Chicago

Illinois Environmental Council

Center for Neighborhood Technology

Illinois Public Interest Research Group

Valley Watch, Inc.

Hoosier Environmental Council

Citizens for Clean Air and Water

It's Our Home, Inc.

Natural Resources Council of Maine

Toxics Action Center

Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group

Ozark Chapter of the Sierra Club

American Lung Association of Michigan

Ecology Center of Ann Arbor

HEAT - Hamtramck Environmental Action Team

Michigan Environmental Council

Public Interest Research Group in Michigan

Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe

Rural Alliance for Military Accountability (RAMA)

American Lung Association of New Jersey

NJ/NY Environmental Watch

New Jersey Environmental Lobby

American Lung Association of New York State

New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG)

Citizens’ Environmental Coalition

Environmental Advocates

Scenic Hudson, Inc.

Poughkeepsie, NY

Chenango North Energy Awareness Group

Temple Beth El Social Action Committee

Central New York--Citizens Awareness Network

Great Lakes United

Appalachian Voices

North Carolina Public Interest Research Group

Earth Day Coalition

Ohio Environmental Council

The Environmental Community Organization

Ohio Citizen Action

Northeast Ohio Group, Sierra Club

Ohio Public Interest Research Group

Oregon Environmental Council

Swan Island Airshed Committee

Clean Air Council

Group Against Smog & Pollution (GASP)

Citizens for Pennsylvania's Future (PennFuture)

People United for a Responsible Environment (PURE)

Southern Alliance for Clean Energy

Tennessee Citizens for Wilderness Planning

Tennessee Environmental Council

Sierra Club, Lone Star Chapter

Galveston-Houston Association for Smog Prevention

Public Citizen of Texas

Texas Sustainable Energy and Economic Development (SEED) Coalition

Wasatch Clean Air Coalition

American Lung Association of Washington

Washington Public Interest Research Group

Washington Regional Network for Livable Communities

Concerned Citizens' Coalition

Wisconsin Public Interest Research Group

Legislation establishing Environmental Education in New Jersey





By Assemblyman OROS, Assemblywoman OGDEN

and Assemblyman Corodemus

AN ACT concerning environmental education, supplementing chapter 6 of Title 18A of the New Jersey

Statutes, repealing P.L.1971. c.279, and making an appropriation.

BE IT ENACTED by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

1. a. There is hereby created in but not of the Department of Environmental Protection the New

Jersey Commission on Environmental Education. The commission shall consist of 1

[21] 2


] 232

public members, the commissioners, or their designees, of the Department of Education, 1


Department of Higher Education,]1

 the Department of Environmental Protection, and the Department of

Health, the 1

[environmental prosecutor] Attorney General1

 or a designee 1

with responsibility in the area

of environmental law, the Executive Director of the Commission on Higher Education1

, and a designee

of the governor. The public members shall consist of two college professors in the fields of

environmental education or environmental science; one private school teacher and two public school

teachers, one of whom is selected by the New Jersey Education Association, including one teacher from


[kindergarden] kindergarten1

 to third grade, one from fourth to sixth grade, and one from seventh to

twelfth grade; one school administrator; 1

one representative of the New Jersey Principals and

Supervisors Association;1

 one local school board representative selected by the New Jersey School

Board Association; one member of 2

[the clergy] an interfaith religious organization2

; one representative

from labor; one representative from industry; two representatives from environmental or public interest

organizations; two representatives from cultural institutions such as museums and nature centers; two

representatives from the field of environmental health; two non-academic science professionals; two

representatives from the agricultural community; 2


 one student representative from a student

environmental organization, such as Kids Against Pollution 2

; and one representative from the South

Jersey Environmental Information Center2


b. The public members shall be appointed by the 1

[governor] Governor1

 for terms of three years,

except that the student representative shall be appointed for a term of one year, and in the first year the

other public members shall be appointed to staggered terms as follows:

(1) 1

[Six] Seven1

 shall be appointed to terms of one year;

(2) Seven shall be appointed to terms of two years; and

(3) Seven shall be appointed to terms of three years.

c. The commission shall meet, at a minimum, four times a year.

d. 1

The commission shall elect a chairperson and a vice-chairperson from among its membership.

The term of office for each position shall be two years.


 The commission 3

[shall have a full-time Executive Director and at least one full-time staff

member.] may hire staff as necessary within the limits of funding as provided by section 5 of P.L. c.

(C. ) (now pending before the Legislature as this bill).3

2. The commission shall:

a. Advise and oversee the implementation of the Plan of Action 1

[which] that1

 was adopted by the

Commission on Environmental Education 1

[established] created1

 by Executive Order Number 205 of

1989 and 1

reconvened as the New Jersey Commission on Environmental Education by Executive Order

Number 111 of 19931


b. Develop and maintain, with the assistance of the various agencies and departments, a bi-annual

inventory of the environmental education resources that are available in all State agencies and


c. Develop and maintain an Environmental Education Network of activities, resources and model

programs throughout the State;

d. Organize a global forum on environmental education to be held every three to five years;

e. Organize and support an annual Environmental Education Week;

f. Support such other environmental education activities as the commission determines are


g. Provide technical assistance to the Legislature for legislation related to environmental education;


h. Submit an annual report on the status of environmental education to the Governor and the


3. The 3

[State Board of Education shall:

a. Integrate environmental education into the State's curriculum frameworks, proficiencies and

assessment programs, including the fourth grade, eighth grade, and eleventh grade State tests, except

that environmental education shall not be a graduation requirement;] Inter-agency Work Group, created

pursuant to section 4 of P.L. c. (C. ) (now pending before the Legislature as this bill), may:3


[b.] a.3

 Publicize existing model environmental education programs;


[c.] b.3

 Provide leadership and coordination in conducting teacher in-service programs throughout

the State;


[d.] c.3

 Solicit public and private partnerships at the local, State and national levels to provide

teacher education programs; and


[e.] d.3

 Provide the commission with information concerning the availability of environmental

education to students in the State.

4. There is created an Inter-agency Work Group, which shall consist of the commissioner 1



, or his designee, of each of the principal departments. This work group shall meet

periodically to coordinate the environmental education efforts of the various departments and agencies

in the State.

5. 3


 The Environmental Education Fund is established as a nonlapsing revolving fund in the

Department of Environmental Protection. The fund shall be administered by the commission, and shall

be credited with all moneys appropriated by this act and with grant moneys or any other revenue

obtained by the commission for the purpose of environmental education. Interest received on moneys in

the fund shall be credited to the fund.


[b. There is appropriated from the General Fund to the Environmental Education Fund 1


of which $150,000 shall be from fines and penalties collected for violations of environmental laws] the

sum of $75,0001

. There is allocated from the Environmental Education Fund 1

[$200,000] the sum of


 to the Environmental Education Commission and 1

[$100,000] the sum of $25,0001

 to the State

Board of Education, to be used for the purposes set forth in sections 2 and 3 of this act.]3

6. P.L.1971, c.279 1

(C.18A:6-80 et seq.)1

 is hereby repealed.

7. The Commission on Environmental Education, which was created by Executive Order 1


205 of 1989 1

and reconvened as the New Jersey Commission on Environmental Education by Executive

Order Number 111 of 19931

, is abolished 1

as of the date of the first meeting of the New Jersey

Commission on Environmental Education created by this act1


8. This act shall take effect immediately.


Creates NJ Commission on Environmental Education.

EXPLANATION--Matter enclosed in bold-faced brackets [thus] in the above bill is not enacted and

is intended to be omitted in the law.

Matter underlined thus is new matter.

Matter enclosed in superscript numerals has been adopted as follows:

1 Assembly AEN committee amendments adopted November 21, 1994.

2 Assembly floor amendments adopted December 11, 1995.

3 Assembly amendments adopted in accordance with Governor's

recommendations January 9, 1996.


New Jersey Commission on Environmental Education established;

members; terms of office

a. There is hereby created in but not of the Department of Environmental Protection the New

Jersey Commission on Environmental Education. The commission shall consist of 23 public members,

the commissioners, or their designees, of the Department of Education, the Department of

Environmental Protection, and the Department of Health, the Attorney General or a designee with

responsibility in the area of environmental law, the Executive Director of the Commission on Higher

Education, and a designee of the Governor. The public members shall consist of two college professors

in the fields of environmental education or environmental science; one private school teacher and two

public school teachers, one of whom is selected by the New Jersey Education Association, including one

teacher from kindergarten to third grade, one from fourth to sixth grade, and one from seventh to twelfth

grade; one school administrator; one representative of the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors

Association; one local school board representative selected by the New Jersey School Boards

Association; one member of an interfaith religious organization; one representative from labor; one

representative from industry; two representatives from environmental or public interest organizations;

two representatives from cultural institutions such as museums and nature centers; two representatives

from the field of environmental health; two non-academic science professionals; two representatives

from the agricultural community; one student representative from a student environmental organization,

such as Kids Against Pollution; and one representative from the South Jersey Environmental

Information Center.

b. The public members shall be appointed by the Governor for terms of three years, except that

the student representative shall be appointed for a term of one year, and in the first year the other public

members shall be appointed to staggered terms as follows:

(1) Seven shall be appointed to terms of one year;

(2) Seven shall be appointed to terms of two years; and

(3) Seven shall be appointed to terms of three years.

c. The commission shall meet, at a minimum, four times a year.

d. The commission shall elect a chairperson and a vice-chairperson from among its membership.

The term of office for each position shall be two years.

e. The commission may hire staff as necessary within the limits of funding as provided by

section 5 of P.L.1995 c. 409 (C. 18A:6-91.5).


Responsibilities and functions of commission

The commission shall:

a.) Advise and oversee the implementation of the Plan of Action that was adopted by the Commission

on Environmental Education created by Executive Order Number 205 of 1989 and reconvened as the

New Jersey Commission on Environmental Education by Executive Order Number 111 of 1993;

b.) Develop and maintain, with the assistance of the various agencies and departments, a bi-annual

inventory of the environmental education resources that are available in all State agencies and


c.) Develop and maintain an Environmental Education Network of activities, resources and model

programs throughout the State;

d.) Organize a global forum on environmental education to be held every three to five years;

e.) Organize and support an annual Environmental Education Week;

f.) Support such other environmental education activities as the commission determines are appropriate;

g.) Provide technical assistance to the Legislature for legislation related to environmental education;


h.) Submit an annual report on the status of environmental education to the Governor and the



Inter-agency work group; duties

The Inter-agency Work Group, created pursuant to section 4 of P.L.1995 c. 409 (C. 18A:6-91.4), may:

a.) Publicize existing model environmental education programs;

b.) Provide leadership and coordination in conducting teacher in-service programs throughout the State;

c.) Solicit public and private partnerships at the local, State and national levels to provide teacher

education programs; and

d.) Provide the commission with information concerning the availability of environmental education to

students in the State.


Inter-agency work group established;

members; coordination of environmental education efforts

There is created an Inter-agency Work Group, which shall consist of the commissioner or secretary, or

his designee, of each of the principal departments. This work group shall meet periodically to

coordinate the environmental education efforts of the various departments and agencies in the State.


Environmental educational fund established

The Environmental Education Fund is established as a non-lapsing revolving fund in the Department of

Environmental Protection. The fund shall be administered by the commission, and shall be credited

with all moneys appropriated by this act and with grant moneys or any other revenue obtained by the

commission for the purpose of environmental education. Interest received on moneys in the fund shall

be credited to the fund.

Green Teens


By Nancy Marx Better;

Published: March 8, 1992

It's 11 on a cool Fall morning, and Sol Solomon, an 18-year-old native of Santa Monica, Calif., is pacing back and forth before some 900 students in an auditorium at Martin Luther King Jr. High School in Manhattan. Dressed in faded jeans and a T-shirt, his long black hair flowing from a baseball cap worn backward, Solomon is complaining about the environment's destruction. "The ocean I'm surfin' in is like a toilet that hasn't been flushed," he laments. "The sky has got colors in it Picasso couldn't even paint. What's going on here? Who's in control? Some corporate dude who wants to get rich? Some corporate dude who doesn't care about me?"

Amid cheers from his audience, Solomon reels off a dizzying list of ecological disasters: global warming, ozone holes, acid rain, toxic waste, vanishing wildlife. He tells how young consumers forced Star-Kist to stop buying tuna from fishermen who ensnared dolphins, how they stopped McDonald's from using foam containers and how they stopped Burger King from importing beef harvested from tropical rain forests.

"I know a lot of companies that are good, and I know a lot of companies that are bad," Solomon says. "So I'm going to speak out and boycott companies I don't like, because I can make a difference." Intoxicated by the potent juice of ecological righteousness, the Martin Luther King Jr. students clap wildly.

Solomon is a member of YES -- Youth for Environmental Sanity, a troupe of eco-crusaders that travels around the country preaching an evangelical mission with a funky mix of skits, slides and songs. Founded two years ago in Santa Cruz, Calif., YES, which is financed by Earth-Save and other environmental groups, has already reached more than 100,000 junior- and senior-high-school students, inspiring many to establish their own eco-clubs. The YES performers deliver an impassioned plea to their peers. "Who says we can't save the earth?" asks Solomon. "If we don't save it for ourselves, nobody's going to save it for us."

Earth Day is more than two decades old, and many adults have felt their ardor for the environment cool off. Not teen-agers. In a recent survey of 10,000 young people, the Bedford Kent Group, a New York consulting firm, found that more than 75 percent championed the environment as their favorite cause -- over homelessness, AIDS, illiteracy and drug abuse. Hundreds of groups are cropping up around the country, with punchy acronyms like HOW (Help Our World), STOP (Students Tackle Ocean Plastics) and LIFE (Let's Improve Future Environment). Just as the civil rights struggle and Vietnam shaped the baby-boom generation, global catastrophes like the Valdez oil spill or local crises like overflowing garbage dumps make their children brood darkly. They've adopted the movement their parents abandoned, convinced it's their job to turn back the tide.

To fight the good fight, so-called green teens have turned to tactics their parents should recall from college days. According to a survey by Alexander W. Astin, a U.C.L.A. education professor, the percentage of college freshmen who have taken part in protests is higher than ever -- surpassing even the late 1960's. Across America, teen-agers are nagging their parents to cast aside disposable diapers, disposable razors, disposable lighters. Chanting their movement's anthem -- "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!" -- they conduct environmental audits of their households, examining how much trash is produced, how much energy is consumed, how much water is used. At school, they lobby teachers to substitute ceramic mugs for foam cups. Even their little brothers and sisters are getting in on the act, shunning felt-tip markers with ingredients like toluene (bad) and ethanol (very bad) in favor of beeswax crayons.

It's a reversal of the age-old generational war: now children are bullying their parents into changing their behavior. At the Bel Air Elementary School in New Brighton, Minn., 17 sixth graders were suspended in 1990 for boycotting disposable trays. Barred from class, the malcontents cleaned up a local park. At the next board meeting, the administration capitulated and agreed to buy reusable trays districtwide.

Even an innocent picnic can become a test case for the green police. Barbara A. Lewis, a Salt Lake City schoolteacher and mother of four, remembers the look on her 13-year-old son's face when she brought home plastic cups. "It was as if I'd committed a crime," she says.

Before too long, it may be. In Closter, N.J., a handful of elementary-school students founded Kids Against Pollution (KAP) four years ago to protest foam containers. After speaking before the local Board of Education, the Mayor and the Town Council, the students succeeded in getting the substance banned from the entire community. Today KAP numbers more than 1,000 chapters across the country and abroad, in junior and senior high schools as well as elementary schools.

KAP is now lobbying Congress for an "environmental bill of rights." Their proposed statute, sponsored by Representative Frank Pallone of New Jersey, proclaims: "We believe we are entitled, by law, to clean air, land and water. It does not appear that our right to a clean environment is being upheld."

VERY POLITICAL movement has its heroes, its martyrs, its myths. Looming large in the green-teen pantheon is 17-year-old Joel A. Rubin, now a junior at Phillips Exeter Academy. In January 1990, as a freshman at Cape Elizabeth High School in Maine, he saw a TV film shot by Sam LaBudde, a San Francisco biologist who worked aboard a Panamanian tuna boat to document dolphins being slaughtered in tuna nets. "I didn't see how humans could murder them so brutally," says Rubin. "Maybe it's because I was taking biology at the time, and I knew dolphins were intelligent."

Rubin blames the blunder, in part, on the generation gap. "If my parents had seen the program on TV, they would have said, 'That's too bad about the dolphins, but that's life,' " he says. "They weren't taught how to save the environment when they were growing up."

With the help of his biology teacher, Rubin got the home addresses of three senior executives at H. J. Heinz, the parent company of Star-Kist, the largest producer of canned tuna in the world. He sent letters and received no reply. Frustrated, he enlisted 75 other biology students and deluged the Star-Kist executives' mailboxes with postcards. Says Rubin: "We wanted to affect these people on a personal level. We wanted them to come home every day to those postcards."

In April 1990 -- 10 days before Earth Day's 20th anniversary -- Star-Kist announced that it would no longer buy, process or sell tuna caught at the expense of dolphins. At the press conference, Anthony J. F. O'Reilly, president of Heinz, read a handful of postcards from the Cape Elizabeth students, including one that carried a single line: "How can you sleep at night knowing your company is doing this?"

The Star-Kist saga galvanized teen-agers everywhere. It also helped set the movement's confrontational tone. In the fall of 1990, KAP members mailed 3,000 letters to McDonald's headquarters in Oak Brook, Ill., begging the company to banish its foam containers. Last winter, McDonald's announced a switch to paper-based wrappings. The company also agreed to work with the Environmental Defense Fund on a waste-reduction program.

McDonald's was lucky; it succeeded in shoring up its image among young consumers. Other businesses haven't been so fortunate. In March 1990, a group of junior-high-school students in Walnut, Calif., persuaded the State Legislature to pass a bill banning the mass release of balloons at the beginning of football games and the like. Testifying before the state's Natural Resources Committee, the students argued that after balloons pop, tiny pieces float to earth, choking small animals and birds. The students won their vote -- dealing a severe blow to the balloon business in California.

If teen-agers have been remarkably successful at forcing concessions, it's probably because they have intransigence on their side. In April, 100 high-school students were invited to Pepsico's headquarters in Purchase, N.Y., for an environmental conference sponsored by the Volunteer Center of United Way. They refused to attend if box lunches were served, objecting to the excess packaging. It would have to be a buffet. "These kids were extremely strong-minded," says Louise Leeds, coordinator of the conference. "They weren't going to give an inch." GREEN TEENS AREN'T the first group of young people to threaten corporate America. But they may be the most effective. Opposition to Vietnam couldn't easily be expressed as a point-of-purchase decision, but opposition to environmental degradation can. "I think boycotting is something that allows you to make a real statement," says Ryan Eliason, who helped create the YES tour as a high-school senior in Santa Cruz, Calif. "It feels powerful. If you're saying to a company, 'No, I don't like what you're doing and I'm not going to support it,' you feel strong."

Thus far, only a handful of adults have capitalized on youth's enthusiasm for the environment. The most prominent is John Javna, author of a best seller, "50 Simple Things Kids Can Do to Save the Earth." Last fall his Berkeley, Calif.-based publishing firm, the Earthworks Group, brought out a sequel, entitled "Kid Heroes of the Environment," a collection of stories celebrating eco-victors. Prompted by the success of adult eco-magazines like Garbage and E, Marvel Comics introduced Captain Planet, a comic book based on an international band of teen eco-heroes who battle earth polluters. There's more to come: in 1993, New Line Cinema will release "Toxic Crusaders," a feature film based on a band of characters who are "faster than a nuclear meltdown, stronger than the Environmental Protection Agency and able to blow away radioactive fallout in a single breath."

"50 Simple Things" has spawned a flurry of junior self-help books, most of them advising teen-agers to help the earth by acting nice, not by acting up. In early 1993 the New York-based Council on Economic Priorities will publish, with Ballantine Books, a youth version of its best seller, "Shopping for a Better World," which rates the makers of 2,000 grocery products, based on companies' social, political and economic policies. "Our aim is to have consumers of every age turn their shopping carts into vehicles for social change," says Alice Tepper Marlin, president of the council.

That's no idle threat. According to the Rand Youth Poll, the 28 million teen-agers in the United States from ages 12 to 19 have almost $60 billion to burn. While the number of teen-agers has declined over the last decade, their purchasing clout has doubled. What's more, busy parents dole out $28.3 billion to kids for family grocery shopping. All told, the Rand group estimates the impact of teen-agers on the United States economy at about $230 billion per year.

Not surprisingly, green marketing is booming -- for adults and children alike. Some 600 new "green" products were unveiled in 1990, which means such introductions are increasing at a rate 20 times faster than the overall rate for new packaged goods. Many of these introductions are targeted at children. Animal Grahams, a line of crackers made by the Small World Products Group, depicts 11 endangered species, including pandas, elephants and rhinoceroses. Made from organically grown flour, they're packaged in biodegradable cardboard boxes with soybean ink. The Small World Products Group plans to donate 2 percent of the wholesale price of the crackers to environmental causes.

Some companies, like Chevron, Exxon, Scott Paper, Weyerhaeuser, and Procter & Gamble -- are setting up environmental-education programs to improve their image among young consumers. Sebastian International, a hair-care manufacturer based in Woodland Hills, Calif., recently began a project called Little Green, which includes "eco-literacy" contests in elementary schools.

But corporations should be wary about sprucing up their reputations with a coat of green paint. "When a company spends money trying to convince people it's a good citizen instead of trying to actually alleviate pollution, kids nose it out," says Peter Bahouth, former executive director of Greenpeace.

THE MOLDING OF THE green mind generally begins at school, where, since the giant eco-disasters of the early 80's, teachers have been struggling to explain environmental issues. Ari Raisa, who teaches science at Brooklyn Friends School, is an example. "I told them to come up with a product they feel is strongly connected with environmental problems, and then research how it's made and how it's disposed of," he says.

The strategy seems to work. Tara Satahoo, a sophomore, says her family no longer buys juice in plastic jugs or coated-paper containers; they make it from concentrate, in glass jars. When she goes grocery shopping, she carries a reusable plastic bag. "We talk about products at school, so I know what's okay to buy," Satahoo says.

When these teen-agers hit college, their activism tends to intensify -- and occasionally goes right off the rails. When a Shell Oil recruiter visited the University of Minnesota, Eric Odell, a senior, donned a gas mask and poured blood-colored paint from a gasoline can over a pile of fake money stacked on a table in front of a Shell Oil recruiter. "I'm one of those people who needs reining in at times," he says.

Today, Odell is affiliated with the Student Environmental Action Coalition, the nation's biggest and bold est youth-run ecological organization. Founded in 1988 by students at the University of North Carolina, the coalition now has 1,500 chapters on college and high-school campuses. In October 1990 it sponsored the largest gathering of young environmentalists in history, attracting 8,000 students.

The conference kicked off the coalition's Corporate Accountability Campaign, in which members conduct environmental audits to change the behavior of the business world. Students at Ohio University plan to boycott British Petroleum, requesting reforms in its waste-management process. The coalition's members at the University of Colorado boycotted Coors beer, demanding less pollution in the Rocky Mountains. Students at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque boycotted acid- and stone-washed jeans, which are made with pumice, a lightweight volcanic rock produced by strip mining. The main target: Levi Strauss & Company, which holds 49 percent of the jeans market. "We want to use public pressure to make corporate America clean up its act," says Randolph L. Viscio, the coalition's national outreach coordinator.

The group recently called for a boycott of Mitsubishi, the giant Japanese conglomerate, which finances logging in South American rain forests.

Today Mitsubishi, tomorrow the world. "I think S.E.A.C. represents the future of environmentalism," says Viscio. "We're trying to broaden the definition to include everything that surrounds us."

Photos: Joel A. Rubin, 17, persuaded Star-Kist to stop buying tuna caught in nets that also trapped dolphins. (Jose Azel/Contact for The New York Times); Members of Youth for Environmental Sanity strive for a model earth. (J. B. Diederich/Contact for The New York Times)

Nancy Marx Better, a New York-based freelance writer, specializes in business issues.

KAP presents Ford Motor Company with “Totally Awesome! Award”


Kids Against Pollution (KAP) presented Ford Motor Co. with their Totally Awesome! Award.

KAP chose Ford as this year's Totally Awesome! Award winner because the company took a stand in support of scientific evidence regarding the existence of global warming.

"KAP chose Ford for the Totally Awesome! Award because they recognize that climate change is partly human induced, and therefore human solved," said Shadia Wood KAP Youth Leader. "Peer pressure is difficult to confront as a kid, or as a corporation. Ford had the courage to do what was right in this case, and we think that is Totally Awesome!"

Andy Acho, worldwide director of environmental outreach and strategy at Ford Motor Co., accepted the award. "This award is very important to us because it means the people we are working to preserve the environment for recognize how important they are to us," said Acho. "At Ford, we believe in doing things that will assure environmental preservation -- things finding innovative ways to re-use post-consumer products, producing vehicles that run on alternative fuels and produce fewer emissions, and supporting research into environmental hazards."

Other totally awesome award winners include Ralph Nader and New York Congressman Sherwood Boehlert.

KAP was formed in 1987 when a teacher, by the name of Nick Byrne asked his students to analyze the news over the weekend. They could choose any issue, and the entire class decided on pollution, which started the organization Kids Against Pollution.

Interest in the group's quest resulted in a multinational network of KAP chapters.

The first Totally Awesome Award was handed out in 1994. KAP youth leaders choose recipients who are leaders for environmental health protection and or whose work keeps democracy alive.

Edited by Virginia Foran

Kids Against Pollution at Seven Bridges Middle School

Newcastle NOW Logo

April 18, 2008

by Madeline Rivlin

As the usual line of cars snaked up the driveway at Seven Bridges Middle School on Monday, April 14, they were greeted by students holding signs that read “save the earth, not just for us but for future generations,” and chanting “Ride the bus!”


Cars snaking up the driveway to Seven Bridges in the morning


Seven Bridges technology teacher and faculty advisor to Kids Against Pollution, Mike DeBellis


Against Pollution president Andrew Lafortezza

The students are members of Kids Against Pollution, an environmental group founded about 20 years ago by a New Jersey school teacher named Nick Byrne and his students. Seven Bridges students decided to join the group after Byrne spoke at Seven Bridges last year. They chose the bus riding project and made the professional quality signs with the help of technology teacher Mike DeBellis, their faculty advisor.

The students are counting all the cars that come in and out of the school each morning for a week.  So far, their data shows that approximately 300 cars enter the school premises each day and 200 leave, indicating that approximately 100 cars belong to teachers and staff, and approximately 200 people are driving students to school. Andrew Lafortezza, president of the Seven Bridges group, says that their goal is to reduce the number of people driving students to school by 50%.

Riding the bus “saves money, time and energy and helps protect and save the environment,” LaFortezza explained. So many students were interested in joining the group that DeBellis had to limit enrollment to 22 students this year, but next year he plans to make the group bigger and tackle other environmental issues at Seven Bridges.

NYPIRG Endorsers of the Bigger Better Bottle Bill


Endorsers of a "Bigger Better Bottle Bill" support expanding New York's current bottle law to include non-carbonated beverages and requiring that unclaimed deposits be returned to state or local governments to fund environmental programs. Some groups also support increasing the deposit to ten cents. Groups and government entities listed do not necessarily endorse specific legislation.


Adirondack Council

Adirondack Mountain Club

Agricultural Stewardship Association

Alliance for Clean Energy New York

Alliance for a Toxic-Free Future

American Environmental Health Studies Project

American Farmland Trust

American Littoral Society, Northeast Chapter

American Lung Association of New York State

American Water Resources Association

Appalachian Mountain Club

Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks

Association of Towns in New York State

Audubon New York

Catskill Center for Conservation and Development

Center for Working Families

Citizen Action of New York

Citizens Campaign for the Environment

Citizens’ Environmental Coalition

Coalition of Living Museums (100+ organizations)

Conservation Alliance of New York

Consumers Union

Container Recycling Institute

Ducks Unlimited

Empire State Consumers Association

Environmental Advocates of New York

Environmental Defense

Fiscal Policy Institute

Friends of New York’s Environment

The Garden Conservancy

GrassRoots Recycling Network

Great Lakes United

Highlands Coalition

Hudson River Sloop Clearwater

Hunger Action Network of New York State


Invasive Plants Council of New York

Izaak Walton League of America

JustGreen Partnership

Kids Against Pollution

Land Trust Alliance

League of Women Voters of New York State

Long Island Drinking Water Coalition

Long Island Environmental Voters Forum

Long Island Farm Bureau

Long Island Neighborhood Network

Long Island Progressive Coalition

Natural Resources Defense Council

The Nature Conservancy

New York City Audubon Society

New York City Environmental Justice Alliance

New York City Waste Prevention Coalition

New York Conference of Mayors

New York Conservation Council

New York Farm Bureau

New York Flora Association

New York League of Conservation Voters

New York Parks and Conservation Association

New York Public Interest Research Group

New York State Association of Counties

New York State Bar Association, Environmental Law Section

New York State Conservation Council

New York State Episcopal Public Policy Network

New York State Greens

New York State Nurses Association

New York State United Teachers (NYSUT)

New York Water Environment Association

New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness

New Yorkers for Parks

N.Y.S. Urban and Community Forestry Council

NY Trout Unlimited

New York/New Jersey Trail Conference

Open Space Council

Open Space Institute

Open Space Preservation Trust

Parks & Trails New York

People's Environmental Network of New York

Regional Plan Association

Residents Committee to Protect the Adirondacks

Riverkeeper, Inc.

Save the River

Scenic Hudson

Sierra Club

Sisters of Charity New York

The Trust for Public Land

United States Lifesaving Association

Urban Trail Conference

Wildlife Conservation Society

Working Families Party

Local Organizations

1 in 9: The Long Island Breast Cancer Action Coalition

A Better Chance of Fayetteville-Manlius

Accabonac Protection Committee (East Hampton)

Adirondack Land Trust

Adopt-A-Cemetery (Mohawk)

Albany Presbytery

Alley Pond Environmental Center (Queens)

Ancient Order of Hibernians (East Meadow, Levittown, Wantagh)

Aquarium of Niagara

Arbor Hill Environmental Justice Corp.

Astoria Residents Reclaiming our World (ARROW)

Babylon Village Earth Day Committee

Bayport Civic Association

Bellport Beach Property Owners Association

The Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park

Boquet River Association (Elizabethtown)

Brentwood/Bay Shore Breast Cancer Coalition

Broad Channel Civic Association

Bronx Council for Environmental Quality

Bronx River-Sound Shore Audubon Society

Brooklyn Bird Club

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Brooklyn Greens

Brooklyn Greenway Initiative

Buffalo Audubon Society

Buffalo Coalition of Community Gardeners

Buffalo Organics

Buffalo Zoo

Cancer Awareness Coalition (New Paltz)

Center for Community Alternatives

Center for Energy and the Environment at the N.Y. Institute of Technology

Central Queens Green Party

Central Westchester Audubon Society

Christ's Church (Guilderland)

Citizens Action Committee west

Citizens for a Clean Environment (Oswego)

Clean New York

Coalition to Save Hempstead Harbor

Coalition to Save the Woods

Coastal Steward (Long Island)

Columbia Land Conservancy

Community Health and Environmental Coalition of Long Island

Concerned Citizens of Bensonhurst

Concerned Citizens of Montauk

Concerned Residents of North Salem

Concerned Residents of Southeast

Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Cortlandt WATCH

Delaware Highlands Conservancy

The Diving and Peoples Union (Yonkers)

Dutchess Land Conservancy

Earth Day New York, Inc.

Earth Friends

East End Forever

East Hampton Trails Preservation Society

Eastern Long Island Audubon Society

El Puente

Environmental Clearinghouse of Schenectady

Environmental Justice Action Group of WNY

Environmental Quest, Inc. (Brooklyn)

Federated Conservationists of Westchester County

Finger Lakes – Lake Ontario Watershed Protection Alliance

Finger Lakes Land Trust

Fire Island Year Round Resident Association

First United Presbyterian Church (Troy)

Four Harbors Audubon Society

Four Point Rod & Gun Club, Inc.

Friends of Baiting Hollow Beach (Riverhead)

Friends of the Bay (Oyster Bay)

Friends of Brook Park

Friends of the Edgewood Preserve (Deer Park)

Friends of the Harbor (Port Jefferson)

Friends of Hempstead Plains

Friends of Hudson River Park

Friends of the Long Pond Greenbelt

Friends of Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge

Great South Bay Audubon Society

Green Party of Erie County

Green Point of New York

Greenburgh Nature Center

Greenworker Cooperative

Group for the East End

Harlem Tenants Council

Hiking Long Island

H.O.P.E. Environmental Club (Garden City)

Hopewell Junction Citizens for Clean Water

Hudson Highlands Land Trust

Hudson River Audubon Society of Westchester

Huntington Breast Cancer Action Coalition

Jamesville Positive Action Committee (JAMPAC)

Keep Rockland Beautiful, Inc.

Land Restoration Project

League of Women Voters of Bedford/Lewisboro/North Salem

Lake George Land Conservancy

League of Women Voters of Rensselaer County

League of Women Voters of Suffolk County

Learning Disabilities Alliance of Western NY

Long Island Greenbelt Trail Conference, Inc.

Long Island Invasive Species Management Area

Long Island Pine Barrens Society

Manitoga, Inc.

Manlius Library

Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy

Mohonk Preserve

Morningside Heights./West Harlem Sanitation Coalition

Mother Earth Community (Rochester)

Mountain Top Arboretum

Nassau Land Trust

Natural Resources Protective Association (S.I.)

New York Botanical Garden

New York Katipunan Lions Club (Hollis)

North Fork Audubon Society

North Fork Environmental Center

North Fork Environmental Council

North Shore Audubon Society

North Shore Land Alliance

Operation SPLASH (Stop Pollution, Littering and Save Harbors)

Orange County Land Trust

Orange Environment

Organization of Waterfront Neighborhoods

Osprey Club (Broad Channel)

Otsego County Conservation Association

Otsego County Burn Barrel Education Committee

O.U.T.R.A.G.E. (Organizations United for Trash Reduction and Garbage Equity)

Patchogue Rotary

Peconic Baykeeper

Peconic Land Trust

Pickit Up Long Island

Picture the Homeless (NYC)

Pomona Clean-Up Squad

Port Washington Parks Conservancy

Prevention is the Cure (Huntington)

Project HOUSE (Rochester)

Protectors of Pine Oak Woods (S.I.)

Queens Botanical Garden

Rensselaer County League of Women Voters

Rensselaer County Residents for the Bigger Better Bottle Bill

Residents for a More Beautiful Port Washington

Rockaway Beach Civic Association

Rockland County Conservation Association

Roosevelt Island Garden Club

Saratoga P.L.A.N.

Save Open Space Now 2000

Save the Pine Bush (Albany)

Saw Mill River Audubon Society

Saw Mill River Coalition

Seatuck Environmental Association (Islip)

Seedcorn, Inc.

Serpentine Art and Nature Commons

Shoreham Civic Association

Sisters of St. Joseph (Syracuse)

St. Mary’s Episcopal Church (Harlem)

St. Stephen's Episcopal Church (Port Washington)

Sons of the American Legion Post 1711 (Levittown)

Southampton Baymen’s Association

Southampton Trails Preservation Society

South Shore Audubon Society

Stanley Isaacs Neighborhood Coalition

Staten Island Citizens for Clean Air

Staten Island Friends of Clearwater

Staten Island Greens

Staten Island Zoo

Sterling Forest Partnership

Sterling Nature Center

Stop Polluting Orleans County (SPOC)

Suffern Civic Association

Surfrider (NYC, LI, and NJ Chapters)

Sweetbriar Nature Center

Tanglewood Nature Center and Museum

Teatown Lake Reservation

Thousand Islands Land Trust

Three Village Community Trust

Torne Valley Preservation Association

Town of Manlius Coalition

Troy Area Labor Council

Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust

Tully United Community Church

Upper West Side Recycling

Utica Citizens' Action

Utica Zoo

Vision Long Island

Wading River Civic Association

Walkill Valley Land Trust

Warwick Smart Growth Alliance

Wave Hill

W. Haywood Burns Environmental Educ. Center


West Branch Conservation Association (New City)

West Harlem Environmental Action (WE ACT)

West Islip Breast Cancer Coalition

Westchester Land Trust

Westchester Peoples Action Coalition (WESPAC)

Woodstock Land Conservancy


Governor David A. Paterson 

N.Y.S. Attorney General Andrew Cuomo

N.Y.S. Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli

New York State Assembly


Albany Common Council

Albany County Legislature

Amherst Town Board

Angola Village Board

Former Auburn Mayor Melina A. Carnicelli

Binghamton City Council

Former Brookhaven Town Supervisor John Jay LaValle

Chautauqua County Legislature

Cheektowaga Conservation Advisory Council

Cheektowaga Town Board

Chenango County Envl. Management Council

Cortland Common Council

Croton-on-Hudson Village Board

Dutchess County Legislature

Erie County Legislature

Essex County Government Center

Evans Conservation Advisory Council

Geneseo Town Board

GLOW Regional Solid Waste Committee (Genesee, Livingston, Orleans & Wyoming)

Greene Co. Soil & Water Conservation District

Hamburg Village Board

Huntington Town Board

Hyde Park Visual Environment Committee

Inter-County Association of Western New York

Kent Town Council (Putnam County)

Kingston Common Council

Former Lackawanna Mayor John Kuryak

Madison County Board of Supervisors

Village of Massena Board of Trustees

Monroe County Legislature Democratic Caucus

Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi

New Paltz Town Beautification Committee

New Paltz Village Board

Ocean Beach Village Environmental Commission

Onondaga County Legislature

Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency

Onondaga Town Board

Orangetown Town Board

Otsego County Board of Representatives

Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto

Palisades Interstate Park Commission

Plattsburgh Town Board

Poughkeepsie Common Council

Putnam County Solid Waste Office

Rensselaer County Legislature Democratic Caucus

Riverhead Town Board

Rochester Mayor Robert Duffy

Rockland County Legislature

St. Regis Mohawk Tribe

Schuyler County Legislature

Skaneateles Town Council

Smithtown Supervisor Patrick R. Vecchio

Southampton Town Board

Steuben County Public Works Committee

Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy

Suffolk County Legislature

Suffolk County Water Authority

Syracuse Common Council

Ulster County Legislature

Utica Common Council

Tompkins County Legislature

Westchester County Executive Andrew J. Spano

Woodstock Environmental Commission

New York City:

N.Y.C.Comptroller William C. Thompson, Jr. 

N.Y.C. Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum

Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion, Jr.

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz

Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer

Queens Borough President Helen M. Marshall

Staten Island Borough Pres. James P. Molinaro

Joint Task Force of the Mayor and City Council on New York City's Recycling Program

Community Board 1 (Staten Island)

Community Board 3 (Staten Island)

Community Board 8 (Manhattan)

Brooklyn Solid Waste Advisory Board

Manhattan Solid Waste Advisory Board

New York City Soil & Water Conservation District

Queens Solid Waste Advisory Board


Adirondack Plastic Laminates (Galway)

Artism, LLC

Association of Postconsumer Plastics Recyclers*

Barbland Farms (Fabius)

Blue Moon Dressing (Saratoga Springs)

Bottle and Can Redemption Association of New York State (BACRA)

Bottle Babes (Binghamton)

Bridgehampton National Bank

C&G Redemption Center (Whitehall)

Caz Returnables (Cazenovia)

Central City Bottle Redemption Center (Syracuse)

Cinder Track Bicycles (Livingston Manor)

Educators for Gateway/United Fed. of Teachers Outdoor Environmental Education

Elementary School Science Association of N.Y.

Empire State Beer Distributors Association

Enviro-Tech Environmental Services (Victor)

EZ Bottle and Can Return (Fairport)

Federation of New York Solid Waste Associations

F-M Returnables (Manlius)

Fingerlakes Returnables (Seneca Falls)

Great Forest, Inc.

Haverstraw Marina

Honest Weight Food Coop (Albany)

Julius Petersen Boatyard (Upper Nyack)

Laborers Local 108 (Recycling & General Industrial Laborers)

M-T Net Company (Poughkeepsie)

Mason Tenders District Council PAC

Mirant Corporation

Mountaintown Spring Water (New Paltz)

N.Y.S. Association for Reduction, Reuse and Recycling (NYSAR3)

N.Y.S. Association for Solid Waste Management

N.Y.S. Public Employees Federation

N.Y.S. United Teachers (NYSUT)

Oneida Street Redemption (Utica)

Owens-Illinois, Inc.* (Auburn)

Pepacton Natural Foods

Phoenix Beverages (Long Island City) *

Puretech Plastics (East Farmingdale)*

Recycling in Communities, Inc. (Brentwood)

The Sagamore (Bolton Landing)

Schuyler Yacht Basin

Solid Waste Association of North America – NY

Strategic Materials (Syracuse)

Whole Foods

Willows Yacht Club

Wyoming County Redemption Center

(*Note: companies marked with an asterisk support expansion only)


List of over 200 scout troops and elementary, high school, and college groups available upon request.


List of more than 100 newspaper editorials that have been published in support of updating New York’s Bottle Bill available upon request.

Adirondack Daily Enterprise

Albany Times Union

Binghamton Press & Sun Bulletin

Buffalo News

Daily Orange

El Diario

Gloversville Leader Herald

Journal News

Kingston Daily Freeman

Lewisboro Leger


New York Times


Niagara Gazette

The Northender

Oneonta Daily Star

Plattsburgh Press-Republican

Poughkeepsie Journal

Queens Courier

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle


Schenectady Daily Gazette

Staten Island Advance

Syracuse Post Standard

Troy Record

Utica Observer Dispatch

Waste News

New Jersey Commission on Environmental Education


18A:6-91.1.New Jersey Commission on Environmental Education 

1. a. There is hereby created in but not of the Department of Environmental Protection the New Jersey Commission on Environmental Education. The commission shall consist of 23 public members, the commissioners, or their designees, of the Department of Education, the Department of Environmental Protection, and the Department of Health, the Attorney General or a designee with responsibility in the area of environmental law, the Executive Director of the Commission on Higher Education, and a designee of the Governor. The public members shall consist of two college professors in the fields of environmental education or environmental science; one private school teacher and two public school teachers, one of whom is selected by the New Jersey Education Association, including one teacher from kindergarten to third grade, one from fourth to sixth grade, and one from seventh to twelfth grade; one school administrator; one representative of the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association; one local school board representative selected by the New Jersey School Boards Association; one member of an interfaith religious organization; one representative from labor; one representative from industry; two representatives from environmental or public interest organizations; two representatives from cultural institutions such as museums and nature centers; two representatives from the field of environmental health; two non-academic science professionals; two representatives from the agricultural community; one student representative from a student environmental organization, such as Kids Against Pollution; and one representative from the South Jersey Environmental Information Center.

b. The public members shall be appointed by the Governor for terms of three years, except that the student representative shall be appointed for a term of one year, and in the first year the other public members shall be appointed to staggered terms as follows:

(1) Seven shall be appointed to terms of one year;

(2) Seven shall be appointed to terms of two years; and

(3) Seven shall be appointed to terms of three years.

c. The commission shall meet, at a minimum, four times a year.

d. The commission shall elect a chairperson and a vice-chairperson from among its membership. The term of office for each position shall be two years.

e. The commission may hire staff as necessary within the limits of funding as provided by section 5 of P.L.1995, c.409 (C.18A:6-91.5).


Taking Care of the Earth: Kids in Action


Combined efforts of young people around the world are contributing toward better care of the earth. Here's a book that highlights those efforts and the positive results--sixth-graders in Wyoming 'adopt' a creek; Nebraska students recycle tin and plastic to reduce solid waste; New Jersey students established KAP (Kids Against Pollution), an organization that now has more than 1,200 chapters worldwide. 

This book includes practical tips on what kids can do to clean up and preserve our planet. A list of environmental organizations provides resources and a starting point for planning projects. Laurence Pringle's expertise and Bobbie Moore's lively black-and-white drawings combine to make this a user-friendly resource for anyone interested in doing more to care for the earth. 

Author: Laurence Pringle

Available on: 


Barnes & Noble


Cartoons for a Small Planet



Eve M. Kahn writes for The New Yorker, HG and other publications.

Blue-skinned flying heroes rescue dolphins trapped in tuna nets. Mutant Ninja Turtles recommend that viewers avoid standing for too long in front of open refrigerators. Teen-age journalists opt to print the school newspaper on recycled paper. Say goodbye to the Road Runner school of senseless cat-and-mouse chases: children's television has gone green.

Parents can now rejoice when youngsters rush to the TV set on Saturday mornings, and all adults can rest assured that the next generation will treat the planet more lovingly than we have. Right? Maybe. Debate is stirring among television observers. How long will the pro-environmental trend last? Will it have any effect on children, and how many toys will it sell?

"Environmentalism has become a kind of mini-bandwagon," said Herb Scannell, vice president of programming at Nickelodeon, the children's cable service. "The key to success in this business is doing what the other guy did." In three new live-action series on Nickelodeon, major characters will often worry about the planet's well-being.

Judy Price, vice president of children's programs and daytime specials at CBS, said: "You can't imagine how many environmental programs we were offered last year. Most of them were dreadful. There's a real danger of overkill on this issue, that the American public is going to get bored to tears and go deaf on us."

Three animated shows introduced in the past six months are being promoted mainly for their pro-environmental attitudes. In "Widget" (in syndication; Channel 9, Sundays, 9:30 A.M.; times given for syndicated shows are for the New York metropolitan area), a four-foot-tall purple alien metamorphoses into any shape necessary to save endangered species and other natural treasures. In "Captain Planet and the Planeteers" (Ted Turner's brainchild, co-produced by DIC Enterprises, on the cable service TBS and in syndication; TBS, Sunday, 8:35 A.M. and 5:35 P.M.; Channel 5, Saturday, 11 A.M.), a sky-blue superhero and his five racially diverse human assistants, battle eco-villains with names like Sly Sludge and Looten Plunder.

In "The Toxic Crusaders" (which recently had a trial run for summer syndication), a team of self-described "hideously deformed creatures of superhuman size and strength" with a leader named Toxie struggle against the forces of Dr. Killemoff. The doctor, a native of the planet Smogula, wants to defile the crusaders' home, Tromaville, "the last unpolluted town in New Jersey."

Other shows, though not directly focused on environmentalism, have also taken up the cause. On public television, "Sesame Street" and "3-2-1 Contact" have concentrated on the environment for the past year. Baloo the Bear, a familiar shambling figure from "The Jungle Book" who flies an airplane in "Tale Spin" (in syndication from Disney; Channel 11, Monday through Friday 4:30 P.M.), occasionally worries about air pollution and in one episode frees a talking whale from captivity. ABC's "New Kids on the Block" (Saturday, 10:30 A.M.), an animated series based on the pop group, has raised the subject of the vanishing forest, and its live-action counterpart on NBC, "Guys Next Door" (Saturday, 11:30 A.M.), has dealt with water conservation, recycling and the dangers of aerosol hairsprays.

During commercial breaks in children's programming, Fox broadcasts brief documentary portraits of endangered species, with young narrators describing the spots as "missions by the children of the planet to seek out and help protect the animals of the earth." On CBS, animated Teen-Age Mutant Ninja Turtles provide "Turtle Tips," ways young viewers can contribute to the planet's health -- for example, never leave the water running while brushing your teeth. The Turtles' own show, which can be seen six days a week, does not concentrate on environmental issues, but the fictional creatures themselves owe their powers to accidental exposure to radiation.

Had enough? More pro-environmental series are in the works, including one starring a planet-saving extraterrestrial named Zen Intergalactic Ninja (no relation to the Turtles except that they share a licensing company).

It's not clear what effect this green barrage will have, and emotions on the subject run high. Ted Turner has expressed high expectations for "Captain Planet." "Hopefully, this program will make a big difference, because if it doesn't, there isn't much future for the species," he has said.

Skeptics include Phyllis Marcuccio, assistant executive director of the National Science Teachers Association. "A cartoon is entertainment, and what's in it kids don't take too seriously," she said.

Joe Chadbourne, president of the Institute for Environmental Education, a 20-year-old public education foundation in Cleveland, said: "These cartoons are probably just a fad, and they'll fade once the basic systems for recycling are in place. Kids are better off learning the subject in depth, through hands-on experience, by watching things being made or by visiting a waste-to-energy plant."

At the moment, neither "Captain Planet" nor "Widget" qualifies as a big hit. " 'Captain Planet' is doing well," said Tom Horner, a media director at the advertising agency Bozell who buys commercial time on children's programming. "It's no 'Ninja Turtles,' but it's certainly not a weak show." " 'Widget' is also respectable." And, referring to the fact that dozens of toys based on pro-environmental shows are now being manufactured, he added, "The products will help make people aware of the shows."

There's nothing new about children's entertainment reflecting adult concerns; it often does, partly to ingratiate itself with parents. The Three Stooges mocked Hitler in films 50 years ago; gullible flower children fell prey to conniving villains in "Batman" in the late 60's. In the health-conscious mid-70's, specials and public service announcements warned of the dangers of sugary foods, and for the past 15 years, minorities and women have been given more and stronger roles in cartoons.

What may be new this time around is that children helped inspire the programming. "Television got the idea from the kids," said Nick Byrne, a fifth-grade teacher in Closter, N.J., and founder of Kids Against Pollution, a three-year-old group of elementary school activists. Edward Palmer, author of "Television and America's Children: A Crisis of Neglect," said: "The future of the planet is very high on the list of subjects of interest to children today." But he was not convinced, he added, that pro-environmental shows would produce a passionately green generation. "Television chases issues that are already prominent, and it echoes rather than changes society," he said.

An utterly unscientific study of the impact of pro-environmental programs on young people -- a half-dozen interviews with elementary school students -- suggests that they do learn something, although subtleties may escape them. Elspeth Kulman, a 7-year-old from Clearwater, Fla., watched a high-tech segment of "Captain Planet" in which Duke Nukem tries to build a leak-prone secret nuclear plant. "I didn't understand a lot of what was going on," she said, "but I liked it when the bad guys were stopped."

Mollie Lief, an 8-year-old from the Park Slope section of Brooklyn, watched Captain Planet prevent Looten Plunder from damming a river in Africa and drying up dozens of animal watering holes. "The elephants, the birds, the fish, they have to have water," she said. "It's a good show to teach children." But would she buy a Captain Planet T-shirt? "That's not my style," she said. PLANET PRODUCTS

Toys and other merchandise based on "Widget," "Captain Planet," "The Toxic Crusaders" and "Zen Intergalactic Ninja" are coming soon to a store near you. The Toxic Crusaders' line is confined to neon-bright replicas of the protagonists and villains and their vehicles, including an Apocalypse Attackcopter that spews smog. Captain Planet's licensees, on the other hand, plan to follow the Teen-Age Mutant Ninja Turtles' lead and blanket the nation with jewelry, clothes, lunch kits, stickers, posters, bedding and more. Over 50 companies have acquired permission to reproduce the Captain's image.

Many products will be packaged in partially or entirely recycled paper. On the backs of Captain Planet packages appear hints on helping the environment, duplicating some of the suggestions that the Ninja Turtles recite -- for example, children should cut up the six-holed plastic holders on six-packs of cans before throwing them out, to protect animals from potential strangulation.

The toys themselves, of course, are plastic. "We might see a 'Captain Planet' action figure washed up on a beach some day," said Dr. Helen Boehm, vice president of the Fox Children's Network.

Photo: Toxie, a doll based on "The Toxic Crusaders" (Troma Inc.) (pg. 30) Drawings: Widget (Zodiac Entertainment) and Captain Planet (TBS Productions), two of the new ecology-minded superheroes--Save the earth, sell more toys (pg. 29)

Parenting Magazine honors KAP



The Kids Guide to Social Action: How to Solve the Social Problems You Choose and Turn Creative Thinking into Positive Action


Kids Against Pollution gained national recognition after its many efforts to promote a healthy environment.  

The book, The Kids Guide to Social Action by Barbara A. Lewis, spotlights KAP stating their case in the New York Assembly Standing Committee on Environmental Conservation in Albany, NY.

The book inspires kids to choose the social causes they care about and take action themselves. Compelling, empowering, and packed with information, The Kid’s Guide to Social Action is the ultimate guide for kids who want to make a difference in the world.

First published in 1991, this book has helped thousands of young people get involved, get noticed, and get results. It has won awards from Parenting Magazine (“Outstanding Children’s Book, Reading-Magic Awards”) and the American Library Association (“Best of the Best for Children”). And now it’s even better.organizations.


A War Hero’s Prescription for Ending War

by Nick Byrne


I feel that Independence Day should be a celebration of the American independent spirit. I am going to explain about an American patriot, who is in fact a hero, but receives little attention because his message does not fit our current ruler’s standards for heros.

Smedley Darlington Butler was born in Westchester, PA, July 30, 1881. He was educated at Haverford School and married Ethel C. Peters of Philadelphia on June 30,1905. He was awarded two Congressional Medals of Honor. One for the capture of VeraCruz, Mexico in 1914 and the second for the capture of Ft. Riviere, Haiti in 1917.

He also received the Distinguished Service Medal in 1919. He was a Major General in the US Marine Corps and retired October 1, 1931. He was a lecturer in the 1930s and was a Republican candidate for senate in 1932. He died at Naval Hospital in Philadelphia June 21, 1940.

Smedley Butler had faced gunfire 120 times. Columnist Will Rogers wrote, “He is what I would call a natural born warrior. He will fight anybody, anytime… He carries every medal we ever gave out.” Butler spent the last third of his service in police work and administration. He became disillusioned as wars spread through Europe and America.

Here are some quotes from Major General Butler: “ I spent 33 years in the marines…most of my time being a high-class muscle man for big business, for Wall Street and the banker. In short, I was a racketeer for capitalism.” “ I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers from 1909 until 1912. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Haiti and Cuba decent places for the National City (bank) boys to collect revenue in. I helped in the rape of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street…”

“ In China in 1927, I helped see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested… I had a swell racket. I was rewarded with honors, medals, promotions.. I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate a racket in three cities. The marines operated on three continents…” New York Times August 21, 1931.
This is some of his testimony before a House of Representatives committee
investigating Nazi and other propaganda in 1935: “ You know very well that it (the American Legion) is nothing but a strike breaking outfit used by capital for the purpose and that is the reason I pulled out of it. They have been using the dumb soldiers to break strikes.”

He delivered this after his appearances before the Un-American Activities Committee:

“Do you think it could be hard to buy the American Legion for un-American activities? You know, the average veteran thinks the legion is a patriotic organization to perpetuate memories of the last war, an organization to promote peace, to take care of the wounded and to keep green the graves of those who gave their lives. But is the American Legion that? No Sir, not while it is controlled by the bankers. For years the bankers, by buying big club houses for various posts, by financing its beginning, have tried to make a strike breaking organization of the Legion. The groups, the so called Royal Family of the Legion, which have picked its officers for years, arenʼt interested in patriotism, in peace, in wounded veterans, in those who gave their lives… No, they are interested only in using the veterans…”

From Forum Magazine, Sept., 1934: “War like any other racket, pays high dividends to the very few. But does it profit the masses? The cost of operation is always transferred to the people who do not profit. But there is a way to stop this racket. It cannot be smashed by disarmament conferences, by peace parlays at Geneva, by resolutions to well meaning but impractical groups. It can be effectively smashed only by taking the profit out of war. The only way to stop it is by conscription of capital before conscription of the nation’s manhood. Let the officers and directors of our armament factories, our gun builders, and munitions makers and shipbuilders all be conscripted to get $30 a month, the same wage paid to the lads in the trenches. Give capital 30 days to think it over and you will learn by that time, there will be no war. That will stop the racket; that, and nothing else.” Have I gotten your attention? I hope so.

Nick Byrne is Director of Kenmax Foundation and Kids Against Pollution and has been featured in US News and World Report, Parenting Magazine,And the WatertownTimes,and former county legislator.

Support for Nick Byrne

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KAP featured in ASCD Curriculum Update


Statement by United States Congressman Frank Paullone Jr. to the House of Representatives, April 1990

200 years ago, our Founding Fathers enacted the Bill of Rights, providing for our civil and political freedoms and protecting us from governmental tyranny.  This document also called upon our legislators to provide for our general welfare.  I don’t think that even our Founding Fathers, in all their infinite wisdom, could have foreseen what future generations would do to our natural environment.

I believe our Constitution should address our right to a clean environment.  We have the right to clean air.  We have the right to clean water.  We have the right to experience forests and open space in their natural state.  Our air, our water, and our natural areas must not be contaminated by pollution and must not be despoiled by overdevelopment. 

To help achieve the goal of a safe and clean environment, I join with Kids Against Pollution (KAP) in calling for an amendment to our State and National Constitutions.  I am introducing in Congress an Environmental Bill of Rights to achieve this end.  As all legislators have taken an oath to uphold the Constitution, this new Bill of Rights will compel our lawmakers to enact and enforce our environmental laws.

This past Earth Day, Americans everywhere demonstrated their concern about the environment.  What i find most heartening, however, is how our young people are taking the lead.  In just 2 years, Kids Against Pollution has formed over 500 chapters in 42 states.  KAP is now a nationwide coalition of elementary schoolchildren who are learning about our pollution problems and seeking solutions.  KAP’s motto sums it up best: Save the Earth, Not Just For Us But For Future Generations.”

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