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Tipping point

cover_April2013mediumIn April we celebrate Earth Day, and April LPM issues traditionally highlight stories about environmental concerns and programs and projects created to address them.

Progressive social movements usually gain popularity gradually over time until a “tipping point” is reached when the majority of society seems to be in sympathy with their ideals and, seemingly suddenly, great strides are made in a relatively short time. The environmental movement seems to have followed this pattern, and, indeed, the present decade may represent the historical “tipping point” at which mainstream opinion leans green.

Just consider our cover story on La Orquesta de Instrumentos reciclados de Cateura. Its seems inconceivable that twenty years ago, a world-class museum could have had a major exhibit of musical instruments made from trash-heap discards, holding them up as objects of cultural significance, not because they are quaint folkloric oddities, but because they are symbols of the future – a future in which waste and excess are frowned upon and in which conservation of both natural AND man-made resources are recognized as critical. It is most appropriate, then, that children are the players in this orchestra.

April’s Entrepreneur, Steven Lopez, provides solid testimony via the resounding success of his Clean Air Cab company that the average consumer is more than eager to make deliberate choices for greener alternatives. Ruben Hernandez’ coverage of changes in K-12 curricula in public schools in the LP Journal indicates that “sustainability” might soon take its place beside “phonics” in the list of core education courses. 

While these are very encouraging reports of our society’s growing desire to embrace environmentalism, Rep. Grijalva’s commentary in My Perspective provides a more somber reminder that the battle is far from won when our policy-makers are seriously considering the re-opening of uranium mines whose operation overtly threatens environmental quality. The clash of environmental values with those of commercial gain is certainly one of the most contentious issues requiring resolution through public consensus.

LPM is proud to take a role in providing a forum for the dissemination of information about environmental issues so that a knowledgeable public can also take a role in influencing decision-making at the local, state, national and international levels. 

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This Article appears on the April 2013 issue of LPM under From the Editor

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