Editorial: Earth in critical condition
Around 1970, pollution was rampant. Litter lined the roads; drums of hazardous materials lay dumped in open fields; the air was so dirty in some places, you could practically see it.
When a river in Cleveland caught fire, the environmental catastrophe could be ignored no longer. The resulting protests turned into the annual tribute to environmental awareness we call Earth Day.
Much improvement has been made during the last 38 years. Rivers and lakes are recovering from decades of toxic dumping; litter is less noticeable; and most communities require residents to recycle glass, plastic, aluminum, paper and cardboard.