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The fundamental responsibility of government is to protect the commons—resources that are not readily reduced to private property but by their nature belong to the community—on behalf of all the people. And, the best measure of how a democracy functions is how it distributes the goods of the land. Does it keep the public trust assets, the commons, in the hands of all the people, rich and poor alike, or does it allow them to be privatized and concentrated in the hands of a few wealthy or influential individuals?
If we want to meet our obligation as a generation, a nation, as a civilization to provide our children with the same opportunities for dignity and enrichment as our parents gave us, we must start by protecting our infrastructure, the air we breathe, the water we drink, the wildlife, the public lands that enrich us, that connect us to our past, to our history, that provide context to our communities, that are the source ultimately of our values, our virtues and our character as a people.
The commons are held in trust by the government for the people. They help define us as a community. They underpin our economy and culture and are the source of economic vitality. The first sign of tyranny is government’s complicity in privatizing the commons for private gain. Since the public trust is our community’s life support system, its theft is arguably the gravest threat to human rights.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Germany's target for renewable energy sources to deliver 65% of its consumed electricity by 2030 seemed on track Wednesday, with 52% of electricity coming from renewables in 2020's first quarter. Renewable energy advocates, however, warned the trend is imperiled by slowdowns in building new wind and solar plants.
Half the world is on lockdown. So, the constant hum of cars, trucks, trains and heavy machinery has stopped, drastically reducing the intensity of the vibrations rippling through the Earth's crust. Seismologists, who use highly sensitive equipment, have noticed a difference in the hum caused by human activity, according to Fast Company.