Environment Forum

This Earth Day, call for clean energy


– Michael Brune is Executive Director of the Sierra Club, the largest grassroots environmental organization in the United States and author of Coming Clean: Breaking America’s Addiction to Oil and Coal. –

This year marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, and people are looking back at an amazing 40 years of environmental successes. Americans have come together in their neighborhoods, cities, states and nationally to demand cleaner air and water – and they have been successful.

This should serve as an inspiration for the current and future work to help our planet and the challenges we face along the way. While our rivers were at one time catching fire, it is now our rapidly warming planet we turn the focus to.

Our country is chained to outdated, dirty energy sources such as coal and oil, which are in turn causing global warming. Burning coal for power creates 30 percent of our country’s global warming pollution – not to mention the health impacts it has on people and our land and water.

Pollution from coal plants adds $62 billion a year to health care costs, according to the National Academy of Sciences. Research from the American Lung Association shows that coal pollution causes more than 12,000 hospitalizations, 38,000 heart attacks and 24,000 deaths each year.

from MediaFile:

Disney Stores get face lift for Earth Day

 The Walt Disney Co rolled out a new look and mission for its North American Disney Stores in an Earth Day celebration designed to reposition the chain it bought back from The Children's Place last year as a "light education" destination, Jim Fielding, president of Disney Stores Worldwide said.

 Disney reacquired the 225 stores after Children's Place fell behind on a pledge to invest millions to fix up the outlets. Disney had a tough time making the stores profitable before it handed them off to Children's Place, but Fielding said he just completed the chain's five-year plan and is "optimistic" about its prospects, even in one of the worst retail environments in living memory.

In addition to a new store design to be rolled out over the next year, the chain is looking for new digs in cities where bankruptcies and foreclosures have reshaped communities and the commercial real estate surrounding them.  "We are still repositioning that portfolio to make sure we are in the right malls, in the right cities, and the right states," Fielding said.