(Earth Day 1990 - it's heart was in the right place)
Earth Day 1990 was more organized (and more commercially exploited)than it was at its beginning in 1970. On the one hand, there was more awareness of the fragile nature of our planet. But on the other hand it made for good sales pitches and Mainstream Media went overboard with celebrity endorsements, TV specials and eco-friendly (or just re-packaged) products.
There were still the arguments over Global Warming and Greenhouse Gases - and even in 1990 battle lines were being drawn. The EPA had been decimated during the Reagan years, and it was unlikely Bush Senior would reverse any of it.
Jeremy Rifkin (author: The Green Lifestyle Handbook): “We’re talking about a crisis, that’s unparalleled in human history. We have literally affected the biochemistry of a planet with global warming. And it’s not an accident or bad luck, it literally is the bill for our industrial consumer way of life.”
On Earth Day 1990 ABC Radio, in true soundbite/syndicated/rapidfire/pre-digested fashion, put together a "documentary" as well as a call-in portion hosted by Hugh Downs. The program covered a wide range of topics concerning the environment and featured a number of advocates, all of whom lay the blame squarely on the government and warned of increasing problems down the line unless action was taken and our conspicuous consumption came to an end. The intentions may have been good and the concerns were serious, but mainstream media had that irritating knack of making it all seem like lip-service.
Whether or not anybody actually listened to it is one thing. The fact remains that our current state of environmental wreckage is only marginally better than it was twenty years ago - a lot better than it was forty years ago. But there's still a very long way left to go.