The very first Earth Day was April 22, 1970. It was the beginning of the modern environmental movement. In 1970 I was a sophomore in high school and I will always remember that first Earth Day. Our class walked along a highway and picked up all the trash that had been thrown out of car windows. I also remember reading Rachel Carson's book Silent Spring in biology class. At that time there was little concern about industry dumping waste into rivers or in the air. Smog was like a sign of prosperity.

How things have changed in 47 years. Today a clean environment is a sign of prosperity. Through science and technology we have figured out how to manufacture the chemicals and products we need but yet have clean air and water. In my world of agriculture, we have developed safer pesticides to control weeds and insects than the DDT that was written about in Silent Spring. Through research we have learned a lot about pest economic threshold levels and when treatments are needed eliminating overuse of pesticides. Can we do better? Of course we can as we develop new and better ways to control weeds and insects.

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