Earth Day to Focus on Environmental Impacts of War
April 15, 2003
CONTACT: Peter Drekmeier, (650) 330-0408
With the 33rd anniversary of Earth Day (April 22) approaching,
Environmentalists Against War is encouraging groups to use the opportunity
to educate others about the environmental impacts of war and what can be
done to promote peace.
"Now that the war is winding down, it's important to focus on environmental
restoration in Iraq," said Peter Drekmeier, Coordinator of
Environmentalists Against War and former Executive Director of Earth Day
Network. "The clean-up of depleted uranium and the reconstruction of water
and sewage treatment plants should be a priority."
Environmentalists Against War is a coalition of environmental organizations
and individuals that came together in opposition to the US war on Iraq.
"Our next focus will likely be on preventing future wars in Syria, Iran and
North Korea, and promoting a national energy policy based on energy
efficiency and renewable energy sources that will help us wean the United
States from its addiction to cheap oil," said Drekmeier.
The group is also concerned about the Bush Administration's proposal to
exempt the Department of Defense from many environmental laws, including
the Endangered Species Act and laws governing cleanup of toxic waste on
military bases. The Pentagon admits that environmental laws have never
hindered its military readiness, but the Administration is pushing the
environmental rollbacks under cover of national security.
An Earth Day Action Kit is available at www.EnvirosAgainstWar.org. It
contains the following resources:
- Earth Day project ideas
- "10 Things You Can Do to Help Prevent War" action alert
- "10 Ways to Save Energy And Prevent Future Oil Wars" fact sheet
- "10 Reasons Environmentalists Oppose the War on Iraq" position paper
- Earth Day resources (videos, bumperstickers, T-shirts, buttons, Earth
More than 20 million people took part in the first Earth Day in 1970,
making it at the time the largest organized demonstration in history. In
response, the Environmental Protection Agency was established and the Clean
Air and Clean Water Acts were passed into law.
In 1990, Earth Day went international, with 200 million people in more than
140 countries participating. "The world is getting smaller, and we're all
becoming more interdependent," said Drekmeier. "Now more than ever we need
to promote peaceful solutions to international conflicts so we can focus on
the biggest threats to humankind, such as global warming."