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(US MA) York: Protecting environment: an equal opportunity must August 02, 2005 10:49 PM By Jean York Wednesday, August 3, 2005 "America the Beautiful," "Home on the Range," and an array of other musical memorabilia describe somewhat, in their lyrics, a blissful environment not burdened by the present onslaught of man-made pollutants Can anyone think of a song espousing the glory of lethal, industrial waste spewing into the atmosphere of the land of the free? Protecting our environment today is an equal opportunity must if Americans of tomorrow are to breathe free as well. Over the years, the Environmental Protection Agency has established laws and regulations to safeguard the country from irresponsible and greedy polluters who would otherwise contaminate our waterways, send excessive amounts of mercury and other poisonous elements into the atmosphere, or unscrupulously damage our sea shores with preventable oil spills. Should the government relax or abandon these laws and regulations because corporate America (Greed R Us ) wants a larger profit margin? Remember the Love Canal episode where families had to be permanently evacuated from their homes because contamination in the water, soil, and atmosphere from cancer causing agents made the area not fit for human occupation? What about those Americans who worked closely with asbestos? In the past, there were no regulations in place to protect those workers from dangerous airborne fibers entering their lungs. Today, there are laws to protect children from the consequences of lead paint. Slowly, in time, as the nation became more industrialized, past administrations strengthened the environmental laws and regulations to protect the well-being of Americans, and the health benefits far outweighed the costs. Nowthis administration is engaged in ecocide, which is the destruction of the environment and ecosystems. Americans have an obligation to defend its ecosystems. For example: should Alaska's pristine forests fall victim to oil and gas drilling? Should America's national forests be prime targets for logging companies? Should the Everglades be protected from mining interests? What about the animals who are dependent on those areas for their food and shelter? Should America's national emblem, the bald eagle, step aside in favor of corporate earnings? It took eons to create this wonderful greenery inhabited by humans and wildlife alike and  [ send green star]
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