Journal editorial pollutes Earth Day

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Earth Day has come and gone, but not before the editorial staff of the Wall Street Journal took a clumsy swing at it. To the surprise of no one who knows the Journal's political leanings, the real target was former Vice President Al Gore. He has always been a favorite punching bag of the Journal.

But Al Gore has been far more accurate on the perils of Earth warming than the head-in-the-sand folks at the Journal.

The latest editorial went up the hill to praise greens for contributing to clean air and water across the country. Game fish, it noted, had returned to lakes, rivers, and streams.

But then the Journal returned to form. Environmental activists, the paper charged, were looking for new catastrophes to reach beyond their successes. And, in a most ridiculous accusation, the paper said raising money was another reason for finding new causes.

To be sure, green organizations need money to survive. But they raise chump change compared with the big bucks drummed up by business groups to scare the wits out of their contributors who fear the greens.

Comparing the two would be similar to a high school football team playing the Pittsburgh Steelers.

No mention was made in the editorial of the founder of Earth Day, the late Sen. Gaylord Nelson, Democrat of Wisconsin. Nelson started Earth Day celebrations 36 years ago. And Al Gore, by the way, held the first hearings on global warming nearly 30 years ago.

Nelson and his followers were concerned about the rape of the land and the pollution of the air and water. A popular senator in both parties because of his integrity and good humor, Nelson kept the movement going; it continues today.

The cheap-shot reactionaries of the Journal may not have understood Nelson and his commitment to the cause. Besides, they would not have listened because their minds were made up: What's the problem?