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St. Louis Earth Day Festival; Poll On Global Warming

April 22, 2012 Environment, Events/Meetings, Featured, Parks, Sunday Poll 11 Comments

Earth Day is recognized all over the world today, including here in St. Louis:

The St. Louis Earth Day Festival is the oldest Earth Day festival in the Midwest and the third largest celebration in the country! Attracting 30,000+ attendees annually, the Festival is a premier destination for the public to learn about a wide-range of environmental issues in an engaging and entertaining setting. 

The St. Louis Earth Day Festival is today, Sunday April 22nd, from 11am to 6pm in Forest Park. The event is free.

ABOVE: Forest Park

The organizers, naturally, would prefer you not drive to Forest Park for the event, their “Planning Your Visit” page offers directions on using public transit, bicycling, walking and carpooling. Unfortunately, like most local events they mention MetroLink but forgot about MetroBus — you know the part of our public transit that carries more people daily.

The number of bus lines around Forest Park are too numerous to list. Besides taking a bus to Forest Park you can take a bus to one of the MetroLink stations to get on the light rail system. Buy a transfer on the bus ($2.75 total) and the transfer will also cover your MetroLink trip for 2 hours.

ABOVE: From Metro's Missouri system map, click to view (large PDF)


The poll this week seeks to see if readers see a connection between global warming and the weather in the US. The poll question was copied from a national poll that will be credited on Wednesday May 2, 2012 when the poll results are presented. The poll is in the right sidebar.

– Steve Patterson


Currently there are "11 comments" on this Article:

  1. GMichaud says:

    We are in for a rude awakening at some point. Conservation will become an important factor, as such a more coherent and sustainable city/urban policy will be the result. Quality of life is reason enough to work on better planning outcomes.
     I am never ceased to be amazed at how so many pretend St. Louis and America can continue in profligate ways without recourse. I personally feel that the global situation is far more serious than is commonly acknowledged. But instead we get the game of denial. I can still remember the dark skies and pollution from coal burning furnaces in the 50’s. They were banned and miraculously the atmosphere cleansed itself.
    To pretend ten of thousands of auto’s, airplanes, coal fired plants and other human activities are not polluting the atmosphere is folly at the highest level.
    In any case, as I say, improving the quality of life for citizens is reason enough to develop more coherent, sustainable planning policies.
    East West Gateway is administering a sustainable planning grant right now, I expect the result to be the usual correct buzz words without really challenging the way St. Louis is approaching urban planning and development. That is the way of the current power structure whose main interest is protecting their cash flow.

    Rethinking urban and city planning along with transit usage are central actions for St. Louis and America if we are to address the whole oil/pollution/poison continuum now present in American life.

    This is one strategy among many, but conservation is a major factor, a long term solution and a easy choice.

  2. Moe says:

    I agree GM….I fail to understand the policies of the far right that would rather see the EPA and other goverment entities rolled back or eliminated so that we can become just like China and India with water and land so polluted and air so thick you can’t see the blue sky. 
    Then again, I fail to understand what is the harm in conservation…..even if global warming is a hoax….would it be so bad to leave the world a better place for the next generation?

    • Eric says:

      There are two different issues here – pollution and global warming. By pollution, I mean heavy metals, chemicals, and other things that affect the human (or animal/plant) body. By global warming, I mean carbon dioxide, methane, and other things that are harmless to people but in the long run change the climate.

      Pollution, according to my definition, should certainly be eliminated. Usually that just means that factory owners have to be responsible and not dump their waste into the groundwater. In most cases there is a relatively cheap way of treating the waste, or an alternative production method that produces less waste. That it the EPA’s job, they have to do it and just need to avoid excesses (like California right now where pretty much every commercial product says “Warning: may cause cancer” on it).

      Global warming is different. The consensus of scientists is that it is occurring, and that it’s substantially if not entirely caused by humans. However, stopping it is very difficult. There is no complete alternative to fossil fuels at this point. Solar is still too expensive, wind energy is unreliable (the wind strength changes), hydroelectric only works in a few places, geothermal has very high installation costs, nuclear has to deal with bad PR and extreme bureaucracy (though if you crunch the numbers it’s actually much safer on average than any other energy source).

      And you can’t just stop using fossil fuels. The state of the US and world economy is dictated to a large extent by oil prices – not just all motor vehicles, but also manufacturing depends on oil, and this has a cascade effect on everything else in the economy. What if we all stop using fossil fuels and the world economy crashes? You and I would probably still support ourselves somehow, but for millions of people in the third world, it would be the difference between life and death. The future cost of global warming may be high, but if the cost of preventing it is higher, then we should not attempt to prevent it.

      • Moe says:

        Pollution and Global warming are the same.  Well it’s quaint to say that global warming only affects humans that is far from the truth. Humans are NOT the only living thing on this planet.  And actually we have a GREATER responsibility to care for the world and everything in it for the plants, animals, and the children that cannot speak for themselves.  “Just need to” is not as simple as that either when discussing the EPA and California.  In my opinion, we should all be more like California.

  3. JZ71 says:

    The underlying factor that no one seems to want to address is population growth.  As long as we continue to add population at an exponential rate, we’re on an unsustainable trajectory.  We simply won’t have enough resources (food, water, energy, etc.) to support the number of people attempting to live on this planet.

    The numbers (world population) speak for themselves:

    1800 – 1 billion

    1927 – 2 billion

    1960 – 3 billion

    1974 – 4 billion

    1987 – 5 billion

    1999 – 6 billion

    2011 – 7 billion

    Over the past twenty years, the United States population grew from 253 million to 310 million, a 22.5 % increase.  In my lifetime, the world’s population has more than doubled.  Before I die, it will probably double, again.

    We can try to be as green as we want, but even if we all ride bicycles and turn to subsistence organic farming, there is simply no way to avoid the types of famine and genocide that we’re seeing in parts of Africa today, with current growth trends.  The ONLY way to limit global warming and ecological armagedon would be to adopt a zero population growth strategy on a worldwide basis, and that seems to be anathema to many political and religious leaders . . .


    • Eric says:

      The only way to prevent population growth is to promote women’s education in the third world. First world countries without exception have birth rates near replacement level or much below replacement level.

      The most effective way to educate women is to promote economic growth, which creates leisure time in which young people can go to school rather than working the farm or pumping out babies (more farm labor). And this economic growth depends on cheap fossil fuels, which increases global warming in the short term.

  4. Moe says:

    ??????    First off I probably know more about food and what goes in it than you do and the guy down the street.   As for population control, I agree with PART of that statement in that it must be put under control and doing that will piss off most of the right and all religions.  But having said that…where do you get off linking women’s education to birth control?  While I agree that women are subjectgated in many countries, the last time I looked it took to make a baby.  

    As for Africa…there are 3 major issues:  1) too many countries with male leaders having penile issues.  2) water…..more than half the world does not have access to safe, drinking water….on a planet that is 90% water…is illogical.  and 3)  proper farming techniques.  In the absence of the mega-giant pharma/agricultural businesses such as Monsanto, we need to teach them proper, modern farming techniques that enrich the land and control the run-off/wastes.  While the genetic modified crops are a nice touch, they do nothing if controlled by the few to make profits off the starving.

    And since the great majority of the population does not know what a farm is or what goes into the food they are eating, and since people are not learning such things from reliable news media and/or educational institutions…then the state must step in.  If it bothers you so much to read a warning, then guess what…don’t read it.

    • GMichaud says:

       While I generally agree with you, I am not sure some of the problems of Africa don’t derive from the destruction of traditional agriculture. I have a fairly extensive agriculture background myself, and I’m not sure relying on Monsanto, or any mega corporation for that matter, is the solution, especially when their only goal is to slash and burn to the highest profits possible. While corporations have a role, their desire to dominate everything is self defeating.
      An agriculture framework like “Farmers of Forty Centuries”, is a more realistic solution. (written by F. H. King in the earlier 1900’s about
      the permanent agriculture of China and Asia). The book has urban
      planning implications also, as any book on agriculture should.
      While there is no question population growth is daunting, ultimately climate change and the sharp curtailment of the oil culture is going to be the biggest challenge in the near future.
       The transition, if not peaceful, presents a major danger of some type of oil wars. Famine and genocide are real, but resolving how to handle the oil culture into the next decade and century is central for survival in my view.

  5. Moe says:

    I would agree GM….but unfortunately I don’t think we are going to have a decade or so to figure out the pieces. I didn’t mean to imply that Monsanto and the others were good. Well their wallets may be in a good place with a small heart for some good PR, they are in it for the $$$. Their genetic modifications come at a cost for the people and the environment.  Look at India with their genetic crops of wheat and rice….now they don’t have enough water to live off of since they need the water for farming. With China being the largest user of oil and rare earths and the biggest bank account, they are also facing civil unrest of gigantic proportions as their billions want to be just like Americans..My God, what have we done to our world?.  Toss in Iran’s efforts to prove themselves masters of their lunacy may end up shutting off the flow of oil permanently.  If that happens, we will all be walking sooner than later.


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