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September 02, 1970 - Image 14

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1970-09-02

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Page Two--Student Activities

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Wednesday. September 2. 1970

Page Two-Student Activities THE MICHIGAN DAILY

50,000

participate

In

'U,

environmental

teach-in

By DAVE CHUDWIN
If anyone in the University
community was not aware of
the environmental problem be-
fore last March 10-14, they are
aware of it now. During those
five days, this campus received
one of the most massive dos-
ages of environmental educa-
tion ever to be unleashed in this
country.
Sponsored by Environmental
Action for Survival (ENACT),
a March environmental teach-
in drew an,, estimated 50,000
people from all over the United
States to over 125 rallies, dis-
cussions and panels.
The distinguished guest-list
included experts from a num-
ber of environmental fields, as
well as speakers such as Sen.;
Edmund Muskie, Arthur God-
frey, anarchist Murray Book-
chin, aild Dow Chemical Corp.
President Ted Doan.,
The teach-in opened March
10 with a number of workshops.
That same day, an overflow
crowd in Hutchins Hall heard
environmental lawyer Victor
Yannaconne outline his $30 bil-
lion suit against DDT manu-
facturers.
At noon the next day, an
automobile was tried and exe-
cuted in a mock trial on the
Diag after testimony from wit-
nesses such as "Dr. Sigmund
Ford" and "Rob . Rockyfeller."
The car was hacked to death
by cheering students with
sledge-hammers.
Afterwards, students t e m-
porarily dumped more than
10,000 soft drink cans on the
lawn of the local Coca-Cola bot-
tling plant to protest the use of
non-return cans.
That night over 13,000 people
attended the formal kick-off
rally for the teach-in at Crisler
Arenia, listening to Sen. Gaylord
Nelson call for financial, social
and ethical changes to meet
the environmental crisis.
Other speakers included gene-
ticist James Shapiro, Arthur
Godfrey, Gov. William Milliken,
ecologist Barry Commoner and
President Robben Fleming.
On March 12 over 30 work-
shops on specific environmental
problems were held on campus
while an environmental t o w n-
meeting was held at Pioneer
High School.
Ralph MacMullan, director of
the state natural resources com-
mission, called over-population
our gravest threat there while
actor Eddie Albert warned that

man would not be the first ani-
mal to become extinct if he
keeps poisoning his environ-
nent.,
Also on the program were a
number of other local, state and
federal officials who said that
government would only move on
the problem if there was strong
public support.
Over three-dozen workshops
were held the next day followed
by a panel on the causes of pol-
lution featuring an address by
Muskie.
The Maine Democrat express-.
ed concern that the environ-
mental crisis would be used as
"a smokescreen" to obscure
issues. He called for a strategy
to protect the total environment,
warning against the "poisons of
hate and fear that divide us and
set us against each other.".
Departing from his prepared.
text, Muskie presented his vis-
ion of "a whole society, rich in
the .diversity of its people, rich
in their potential," an outpost of
life on a fragile planet.
Much of the diversity men-
tioned by Muskie was evident
in the noisy audience of 2,500
that overflowed Pioneer High
School's auditorium and gym-
nasium, where a closed-circuit
television carried the speeches
of Muskie and other speakers.
None of the speakers escapedr
some heckling, with the late
president of the United Auto
W o r kers, Walter Reuther,
and -Doan bearing the brunt of
it. The verbal riot continued
intermittently throughout the
four-hour marathon program.
Guerrilla theatre presentations
attacking Dow were given out-
side 'the auditorium before the
program began.
Muskie described the Ameri-
can people as the most powerful
establishment environmentalists
have to face and asked students
to undertake the challenge of
"enlightening them, motivating
them and getting them to act."
Admitting that change within
the system is often slow, he said
that within his lifetime he has
seen attitudes change on issues
such as abortion.
At a noon rally that, same
day, ecologist Hugh fltis said
that environmental reform is
important- because man has a
basic need for wilderness and
nature.
"Wilderness preservation is
for man's sake," he said to a.
crowd of about 1,000 people.
"We have to save the flowers
1 because man needs them for his

-Daily-Dave Schindel

ENACT literature: Give earth a chance

Chemical Corp. President Ted
Doan, claimed it can.
"Technology can solve these
problems," he explained. "Our
standard of living is based on
technology. We have opened up
Pandora's box and cannot close
it."
Others, typified by Ralph
MacMullan, state natural re-
sources commission director, be-
lieve such hopes are false.
"I read a quote from a presi-
dent advisor saying that tech-
nology can take care of this,"
MacMullan said. "That's a lot
of hogwash."
* A s s u m i n g environmental
problems can be cured, who
should pay for it? The federal
government, - corporations and
the American people were three
sources of money suggested by
different experts.
Ralph Nader urged that cor-
porate profits be used to fund
anti-Pollution research and de-
velopment.
Sen. Gaylord Nelson, among
others, recommended that the
federal government pay to clean
up the environment' through
reordering its p r i o r i t i e s. He
called for immediate expendi-
tures of $25 billion per year on
the environment.
Another solution was offered
by state Rep. Raymond Smit
who suggested that taxes and
the cost of living might have to
rise as much as ten per cent to
stop pollution.
* Can the present political
system be repaired to handle
environmental decay or are
moreradical changes needed?
Separating the liberals from
the radicals, this question was
one of the most controversial
of the teach-in.
"I think you can fight with-
in the system and make it re-
spond," commented Reuther.
"There will obviously have to
be some restructuring through
the political process."
Others ; called for broader
changes. "The only solution for
the people is to/take back their
country and industries," Sha-
piro said. "And that means
making a revolution."
Author Murray Bookchin ar-
gued that it is impossible to live
in harmony with the natural
world, with America's present
hierarchical, competitive so-
ciety. He said that ecological
action must be revolutionary or
be nothing at all.
*" How effective is govern-
ment in the fight to save the
environment? Most of the poli-
ticians defended their efforts
while others were critical.
"I don't think government
has been locking horns with this
matter the way it should," Ed-
die Albert said.
C. C. Johnson, head of the De-
partment of Health, Education
and Welfare's environmental
health service, claimed that
public apathy is the reason why
government has not taken more
affirmative action against pol-
lution.
Taking a similar stand, Mayor

AF

physiological and e m o t i o n a 1
health."
Iltis, a University' of Wiscon-
sin professor, told the rally that
genetically, the man of today is
almost the same as the Nean-
derthal man of 50,000 years ago,
and even similar to the pre-
human apes from which modern
man developed two million years
ago. f
"You are genetically condi-
tioned not to Ann Arbor or to
Chicago, but to the African veldt
from where you developed," Iltis
explained. "We need our evo-
lutionary companions in na-
ture."
Iltis also discussed the harm
to the environment which he
said was caused by pollution and
man's exploitation of natural
resources. He..said that pollut-
ants haveneffects on children
that do not show for many
years.
"Look at yourselves," he told
the crowd. "You look -like a

bunch of asparagus shoots-
white, pale and sickly."
During the final day of the
teach-in, consumer crusader
Ralph Nader told a capacity
crowd in Hill Aud. that the pub-
lic should be increasingly con-
cerned about "corporate viol-
ence." That night, a panel dis-
cussion on man's survival- and
a speech by Gary Mayor Gordon
Hatcher closed the event.
Throughout the teach-in a
few basic questions kept coming
up, eliciting radically different
answers from teach-in guests.
Never resolved, these six is-
sues lie at the heart of the en-
vironmental problem:
" Who, or what carries the
main share of responsibility for
pollution and environmental
decay? Corporations, t e c h-
nology, the American people,
capitalism and the frontier
ethic were a few of the culprits
accused by teach-in partici-
pants.

"Why do we have a pollution
problem?" a s k e d geneticist
James Shapiro at the kick-off
rally. "It's because the corpora-
tions make a profit of pollu-
tion."
"Pollution is an intrinsic
feature of the very technology
we have developed," environ-
mentalist B a r r y Commoner
countered later. "Our techno-
logy is enormously successful in
producing material goods, but
too often it is disastrously in-
compatible with the natural en-
vironment."
"The problems of the world
are not caused by science or
technology but by man," dis-
agreed the late United Auto
Workers President Walter Reu-
ther another night. The next
day Gary, Ind. Mayor Richard
Hatcher took a similar position,
describing all Americans as "co-
conspirators"
Capitalism was the target of
ecologist Richard Levins "Only
under' capitalism are human
skills a commodity and waste
necessary," Levins explained
Sen. Edmund Muskie gave a
different analysis, placing the
blame on the frontier ethic.
"The frontier ethic helped us
build the strongest nation in
theworld," Muskiessaid. "Bud it
also led us to believe that our
natural and human resources
were endless."
" Can technology over-come
the problems of pollution? Some
teach-in speakers, such as Dow

Senator Muskie speaks at teach-in

Robert Harris said no public of-
ficial would vote for higher tax-
es or attack powerful economic
interests without strong public
support.
r Finally, is the environ-
mental crisis obscuring other is-
sues such as poverty, racism
and the Vietnam war?
Hatcher, for example, charged
that the issue is taking the
nation's attention away from
the problems of discrimination,
"something not even a Bull

Connor or George Wallace could
do.
Muskie also expressed concern
that the anti-pollution crusade
not "become a smokescreen
that will obscure the overall
crisis of life in America."
Disagreeing with this view,
Commoner said there are defi-
nite links between' pollution,
the war and the problems of
blacks and warned against be-
lieving people who claim they
are separate.

Ecology programs continue

TIRED OF STUDYING?
Relax With a Good Book
BROWSE OVER OUR
20,000 PAPER BACKS
WAHR'S
UNIVERSITY BOOKSTORE
316 S. STATE ST.

(Continued'from Page 1)
the land to our air, water and
dumps," said William Kopper
of the Ecology Center.
The drive was so successful
that the glass company agreed
to set up a permanent collec-
tion point in the city for re-
cycling glass.
ENACT hopes to turn this in-
to a recycling center where peo-
ple can bring discarded alum-
inum cans, paper and scrap
metal as well as glass. Staffed
by full-time w o r k e rs and
ENACT volunteers, the drive-
in center would pay nominal
sums of money for the scrap
material.
"Every time someone brings
in glass it represents a change
in attitude," ENACT co-chair-
man Toby Cooper said, explain-
ing what he thought was the
reasoning behind the project.
"It means that people are think-
ing about what they can do to
maintain the environment in-
stead of how to use it."
ENACT has also been at-
tempting to change attitudes of
business corporations. T h e
group gave enthusiastic support
to Campaign GM, an effort led
by associates of Ralph Nader to
force General Motors to be
more responsible to the public.
In April, representatives of
ENACT met with the Regents
and urged them to vote the Uni-
versity's share of GM stocks in
support of Campaign GM.
The Regents, stating they did

not want to take sides in a polit-
ical dispute, decided to do noth-
ing and the University's shares
were voted by management.
Following up this effort,
ENACT presented to the Regents
in June a plan for a committee
that would advise the Univer-
sity on the corporations in
which it invests.
The committee would guide
the University investment of-
fice away from owning stock in
corporations it feels contributes
to pollution and other social
problems. The committee would
also advise the University on
voting its shares during stock-
holders meetings.
The Regents took no action on
the proposal but asked the EN-
ACT representatives to s e n d
them further information on
corporations and their relation-
ship to environmental problems.
"This will be a continuing ef-
fort because things like this
take time," Kingwill says. "You
don't affect the Regents over-
night."
But with the deans of the law
T. RENTALS
$10.50/mo.
NEJAC T.V.
662-5671

a n d business administration
schools opposing the plan, in
addition to the business back-
ground of many of the Regents,
it is unlikely, there will be quick
changes in University invest-
ment policies.
Through graduation and loss of
interest, a number of the group's
top leaders have left. In addi-
tion, support from, the student
body has declined, especially
over the summer months, from
pre-teach-in levels.
ENACT leaders, however, are
confident that they can con-
tinue as an on-going organiza-
tion and predict an upswing in
student interest this fall. Two
paid full-time co-chairman and
two part-time secretaries are
helping with the task.
Support from the community,

especially from high school stu-
dents and housewives, remains
enthusiastic. A group of women
have recently formed an organ-
ization called Consumers for
ENACT and have held a number
of coffee meetings to discuss
the environment.
"Our basic concept is you go
through several steps before
taking environmental action,"
Kingwill says, explaining EN-
ACT's philosophy. "You have to
go through awareness to con-
cern and then leap the final
hurdle that leads from concern
to action."
"Our goal is to Bush for a
better world," he adds, summing
up the mission of ENACT and
the difficulties it faces in the
struggle for a decent environ-
ment.

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