35 years ago, Earth Day was born here in Wisconsin. Friday, chants of protest echoed from Bascom Hill on the UW campus to Charter Street, as protesters call for changes to save the environment.
In 1970, former Wisconsin governor and United States Senator Gaylord Nelson founded the first Earth Day. Friday, students gathered to say more needs to be done to protect our natural resources.
Students and environmental groups demand alternatives for coal–fired power plants. They say old plants pollute the air and water we breath with soot, smoke and mercury. One main target, the Charter Street Heating Plant.
“We all need to be able to turn on our lights,” says Jennifer Feyerherm of the Sierra Club. “We need to figure out the best way to do it, and there are certainly cleaner ways and dirtier ways to do so. Here in Wisconsin, we get the bulk of our electricity from dirty coal.”
The University says it has spent $12 million to get the coal fired plant up to federal and state emission standards.