Earth Day: A 40 Year Long Experiment in Environmentalism

Thursday, April 22, 2010

It's been 40 years since activists got together to set aside a special day to encourage people to think about our environment. Denis Hayes, the principal organizer of the first Earth Day back in 1970, says this day wove together some of the disparate agendas within the fractious environmental movement. But Heather Rogers, journalist and author of the new book "Green Gone Wrong: How Our Economy Is Undermining the Environmental Revolution," says that while Earth Day was originally a good idea, a new tension exists today in how the movement should move forward.

Rogers says environmentalism has been co-opted by green consumerism and has lost its power to make real policy changes at the local and federal level.



Denis Hayes and Heather Rogers

Produced by:

Jen Poyant

Comments [2]

Susan Gleason from Seattle


I look forward to reading your book! YES! Magazine has been writing for years about what a new economic system could look like — one that supports people AND the planet. You may be interested in the New Economy issue -

... and the daily New Economy news feed at

Apr. 22 2010 11:01 AM
Jacquie from Fall River, MA

Earth Day has brought awareness to the American population but it has not made the companies or mega-farms who produce the gargantuan amounts of pollution ACCOUNTABLE for it. The government agencies are understaffed (and patrician at times) and therefore are basically ineffective. The people who make money from these ventures will never take or be made to take responsibility for their actions. It’s the “American way.” We should be ashamed.

Apr. 22 2010 09:19 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.