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Earth Day Turns Fifty!

On the fiftieth anniversary of Earth Day, Ralph welcomes environmental historian, Adam Rome, author of “The Genius of Earth Day: How a 1970 Teach-In Unexpectedly Made the First Green Generation.” And the Green Cowboy, S. David Freeman returns to talk about the state of the environment today. Plus, we debut a special song in honor of Earth Day.

Adam Rome is an environmental historian and professor at the University at Buffalo. Dr.Rome has focused his research on the environmental movement in the U.S., Earth Day, sustainable business, and suburban sprawl. He wrote the books, “The Genius of Earth Day: How a 1970 Teach- In Unexpectedly Made the First Green Generation and “The Bulldozer in the Countryside: Suburban Sprawl and the Rise of American Environmentalism”.

“In 1970 Earth Day was bipartisan; red states, blue states, purple states it was celebrated everywhere. Birmingham Alabama had this incredible week long Right To Live protest that was all about the brown air, the pollution… It got a lot of things done. We need to figure out how to do things like that now. Reach beyond the already committed firmly anti-Trump bastion and find ways to get the people in the Birminghams of today to say these are serious issues.”

Adam Rome, author of “The Genius of Earth Day: How a 1970 Teach- In Unexpectedly Made the First Green Generation”

David Freeman is an engineer, an attorney, and an author, who has been called an“ecopioneer” for his environmentally conscious leadership of both the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District. He is a noted anti-nuclear activist and the author of a number of books on energy policy, including “Winning Our Energy Independence” and his latest “All Electric America”.

“We talk about green jobs. The green jobs are in building. Once you’ve built a windmill, a wind farm, or a solar farm you have virtually zero upkeep and zero fuel costs… If we went to public power, we would dramatically reduce the price of energy as well as save our planet.”

David Freeman, author of “All Electric America”

Zander Bleck is a third-generation musician and was discovered by illustrious record CEO & Mogul, Jimmy Iovine of Interscope Records, and American Idol fame.  Zander has recorded tunes with a variety of top producer’s from Lady Gaga producer RedOne, (quoted in USA Today saying, “Zander’s voice is a mixture of Jim Morrison, Bono, and Freddie Mercury, there is no singer out there like that now”) to the legendary Mutt Lange of Foreigner and ACDC fame.

Tom Bleck (signed with another Jimmy, 40 years earlier, Jimmy Ienner, CEO of RCA/Millenium Records, who produced albums for John Lennon and many others.  Tom, a fervent environmentalist was struck by something Ralph Nader said to him years ago when he asked Nader when he thought America would embrace solar energy, and Ralph replied without a smile or hint of sarcasm, “When Exxon owns the Sun”.  Tom admits that he wrote the tune in frustration with the lack of progress in 50 years of Earth Days and during this lockdown, when paying attention to real science seems more critical than ever.  This was a genuine father son collaboration with Tom & Zander enlisting a few friends in remote locations across the country to come up with My World”/”Our World.” Please Enjoy!

Ralph Nader Radio Hour Ep 320 Transcript (Right click to download)


  1. Bruce K. says:

    Earth Day …. the best thing I’ve seen for Earth Day is Michael Moore’s release of “The Planet Of The Humans” documentary which shows the hype of what recycling, solar, wind and the whole Green consumer movement. I’d love to see Michael Moore on your Radio Hour, and some commentary on this documentary.

    Very sad about the nurses, doctors, etc who are denied protective equipment. At Stanford University they were even going to cut salaries of already low-paid workers who can barely afford to live in this area by 20%. It seems the over-riding issue is that the best way to make money and set up permanent abilities to exploit is by tearing down the system, causing a crisis or letting a crisis explode and then charge huge profits for just regular things or threaten people’s lives. This is a new form of slavery where the system itself is against the people and used to manipulate and exploit them.

    Entertaining radio shows for all the time they have been on the air do not seem to be doing what needs to be done.

    • Tara L Carreon says:

      This is a very moving film, the best Jeff Gibbs/Michael Moore movie ever.

      • Bruce K. says:

        Really a lot of kick back from the “establishment”.
        POTH was pulled by YouTube for some stupid minor clips used as an excuse to claim copyright infringement.

    • GXS says:

      Michael Moore and company totally against renewable energy? And by implication in support of fossil fuels? I feel like I have lost a good friend.

      • Jim Dennis says:

        “A documentary that dares to say what no one else will — that we are losing the battle to stop climate change on planet earth because we are following leaders who have taken us down the wrong road — selling out the green movement to wealthy interests and corporate America. This film is the wake-up call to the reality we are afraid to face: that in the midst of a human-caused extinction event, the environmental movement’s answer is to push for techno-fixes and band-aids. It’s too little, too late.”

      • Bruce K. says:

        GXS, it is not that MM and company are against Green Energy. When they investigated it they found out that it was neither Green, sustainable or effective. The public really needs to be educated, and then provided with real data and facts … more corporate transparency.

  2. Afdal Shahanshah says:

    Ralph’s irrational fear of the internet is disappointing as always. I can personally vouch that I am massively more informed than people who occupy themselves solely with print media, and it’s all thanks to the internet.

    Here’s a great book to check out for this year’s earth day. What It Will Take: Rejecting Dead-Ends and False Friends in the Fight for the Earth by Carol Dansereau. It’s a very sobering analysis of the actual gains and continued losses of the environmental movement. Read this book and you too will come to understand why liberal activism and legalism has been a losing battle against an economic system that fundamentally cannot coexist with a sustainable environment. It’s time for workers to re-engage with the class war.

  3. gary schnakenberg says:

    The only way things will change is voting third party..and that is almost impossible now…why?..we don’t hurt enough ..wait…As a member of Veterans For take on 5G is the corrupt government.will use it to control protest ….obey or anti war rant..

  4. Enjoyed the “Earth Day Turns Fifty” segment. Nader may not embrace the digital age but let’s take the time to thank these patriots for their fifty years of selfless work. They’ll be passing the torch to a new order of activists with new strategies and technologies but armed with a rock solid foundation layed down by these environmental luminaries.
    Ralph Nader is a true American Hero who’s been in the good fight longer than anyone I know. His resilience and perserverance continues to amaze, as well as Adam Rome and David Freeman.
    Also, glad I clicked on the Zander Bleck Earth Day song at the bottom of the webpage with cameo’s from Ralph & Greta Thunberg. Sets the tone for the new way forward. Great show! Happy Earth Day Everyone!

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