The Wilderness Act of 1964 – 50th Anniversary

09/01/2014

lbj-signs-wilderness-act
The Wilderness Act of 1964 (Pub.L. 88–577) was written by Howard Zahniser of The Wilderness Society. It created the legal definition of wilderness in the United States, and protected 9.1 million acres (36,000 km²) of federal land. The result of a long effort to protect federal wilderness and to create a formal mechanism for designating wilderness, the Wilderness Act was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on September 3, 1964 after over sixty drafts and eight years of work. When Johnson signed the act, he made the following statement: “If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it.”

The Wilderness Act is well known for its succinct and poetic definition of wilderness:

“A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.”

When Congress passed and President Lyndon Johnson signed the Wilderness Act on September 3, 1964, it created the National Wilderness Preservation System. The initial statutory wilderness areas, designated in the Act, comprised 9.1 million acres (37,000 km²) of national forest wilderness areas in the United States of America previously protected by administrative orders.

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilderness_Act

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U.S. Forest Service to Mark 50th Anniversary of Wilderness Act

January 16, 2014 at 1:00 PM Posted by Tiffany Holloway, Office of Communication, U.S. Forest Service

Editor’s Note: Throughout the year, we will highlight Forest Service wilderness areas in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Wilderness Act of 1964.

It’s pretty amazing that you can be in the busy college town of Carbondale, Ill., one minute, then roughly an hour’s ride away be at the gateway to one of our wilderness areas.

This year is the golden anniversary of the Wilderness Act, signed on Sept. 3, 1964, by President Lyndon Johnson. The act established the country’s National Wilderness Preservation System. So, on Sept. 3, 2014, lovers of wildlands will celebrate the landmark event that made history.

Today, America boasts 758 wilderness areas covering almost 110 million acres. The Forest Service alone manages 440 wilderness areas. They make up a third of the entire National Forest System.

“This anniversary year provides a wonderful opportunity for us to re-affirm our commitment to wilderness stewardship and to engage the public, particularly youth, in opportunities for a better understanding and appreciation of wilderness benefits — clean air and water, natural settings, critical plant and wildlife habitat, solitude, recreation, spiritual renewal, and economic benefits,” said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell.

For more:   http://blogs.usda.gov/2014/01/16/u-s-forest-service-to-mark-50th-anniversary-of-wilderness-act/

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“Fifty years ago, a forward-thinking Nation came together, a President put pen to paper, and a great society secured an enduring gift for future generations. Signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson on September 3, 1964, the Wilderness Act and the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act began a new era of American conservation. Together, they set aside an initial 9.1 million acres of Federal land for the use and enjoyment of the American people and recognized our obligation to preserve a piece of our original and unspoiled splendor for posterity. For the first time, our Nation defined vast stretches of our continent as wilderness and codified the simple premise that when we take something from the earth, we have a responsibility to give something back. On the anniversary of this environmental milestone, we reflect on our rich tradition of stewardship, which has preserved the wild and scenic places we enjoy today, and renew our commitment to advancing our country’s legacy of conservation in our own time.

Our Nation’s wilderness shaped the growth of our country and the character and spirit of our people. Early pioneers explored its expanse as they pushed westward, and its natural bounty sustained settlers who found new land and new opportunities for prosperity. Today our vast wilderness — which has grown to more than 109 million protected acres — provides laboratories for our researchers and classrooms for our students pursuing new frontiers of science, medicine, and technology. This land is the habitat for our Nation’s diverse flora and fauna and refuge for Americans of all ages. And it supports recreation and tourism that strengthen our economy.

My Administration continues to pursue a conservation agenda for the 21st century. During my first year as President, I designated over 2 million acres of wilderness and more than 1,000 miles of rivers. And earlier this year, I established the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, marking the eleventh time I have used my Executive authority to protect our pristine landscapes and historic and cultural heritage.”

8/29/14 President Obama 

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50th Anniversary of Wilderness Act Commemoration Events

Let’s Move! – Outside 

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2014 Pres Obama’s Year of Action vs GOP Abandoning the 99%

06/27/2014

Jon Stewart takes down GOP “warfare queens”

The GOP are starring in the play “A Streetcar Named We’re Always Wrong”

JUN 27, 2014 SARAH GRAY – SALON

Last night Jon Stewart destroyed the GOP’s hypocrisy when it comes to readily spending on nation building (military interventions everywhere), but their desire to block nation building when it is our own country (infrastructure, healthcare, gun control).

“I’m really worried about the Republicans,” Stewart explained. “Their inability to wean themselves off of military intervention. They have a culture of defendency, if you will. And I believe it’s turned them all into warfare queens. And I think we need to cut them off for their own good.”

After plenty of mocking of John McCain (“We are the party of hell no!”), Stewart turned his eyes to another GOP leader who could uses some serious weaning off the military industrial complex: Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama.

GOP_Elephant_WRONG_WAY_smallWHAT GOP CONGRESS HAS DONE in 2014 FOR 99% OF  AMERICANS

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2014 Year of Action

President Obama is Taking Action

In his 2014 State of the Union address, President Obama affirmed that this would be “A Year of Action” to help ensure opportunity for all Americans.

Since January, the President has taken more than 20 actions on his own to help build real, lasting economic security for the middle class and expand opportunities for every hardworking American to get ahead:

COMING SOON:

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VOTE SMART & VOTE DEMOCRAT 2014

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U.S. Using Trade Pacts to Fight Wildlife Poaching

06/23/2014

US Fight Against Ivory Poaching - 1US Fight Against Ivory Poaching - 2US Fight Against Ivory Poaching - 3

6 tons of seized ivory to be crushed in Denver

Federal wildlife officials plan to crush more than 6 tons of seized ivory in Denver next month

9/10/13 20 minutes ago Associated Press

DENVER (AP) — Federal wildlife officials plan to crush more than 6 tons of ivory in Denver as part of a new push by the United States to combat illegal wildlife trafficking worldwide.

The ivory that is being stored in a warehouse near Denver was seized around the country in an effort to block imports of tusks from elephants that have been slaughtered for their ivory.

The seized items include large balls of ivory delicately carved in layers and whole tusks that have been sculpted into pagodas and scenes from daily life.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said publicly crushing the expensive smuggled tusks and carvings is part of an effort to put an end to what has become a $10 billion illegal industry. Steve Oberholtzer, the agency’s Denver-based special agent in charge, is lining up rock-grinders to pulverize the ivory in October.

Governments cooperating with the efforts to stem the slaughter of elephants already have destroyed some of the ivory seized from poachers, U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said Monday at a White House forum where the initiative was launched.

“The U.S. supports these actions, and we want to make sure we are doing the same,” Jewell said.

President Barack Obama issued an order July 1 to fight the killing of protected wildlife, stop the trafficking, and reduce demand for illegal rhino horns and ivory. Members of a newly created advisory council sketched a broad approach of enlisting governments, companies and nonprofits worldwide, the Denver Post reported Tuesday (http://tinyurl.com/pzmcz9g).

U.S. officials said they will also give $10 million to help fight poaching in Africa and will try to persuade Asian governments to outlaw trinkets and other products made from elephant ivory.

Tactics being considered include using technology to monitor elephants, a social media campaign in China to stigmatize the industry, and cooperation with companies such as eBay to curb commerce.

The National Wildlife Property Repository at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge in Colorado holds smuggled wildlife parts seized at seaports, border crossings and airports nationwide. Other items seized include leopard and tiger heads, bear claws and crocodile boots.

For more: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/6-tons-seized-ivory-crushed-133249566.html

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What Ivory Crush Supporters are Saying:

“Rising demand for ivory is fueling a renewed and horrific slaughter of elephants in Africa, threatening remaining populations across the continent. We will continue to work aggressively with the Department of Justice and law enforcement agencies around the world to investigate, arrest and prosecute criminals who traffic in ivory. We encourage other nations to join us both in destroying confiscated ivory stockpiles and taking other actions to combat wildlife crime.”

Sally Jewell, U.S. Secretary of the Interior

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“The United States is part of the problem, because much of the world’s trade in wild animal and plant species – both legal and illegal – is driven by U.S. consumers or passes through our ports on the way to other nations. We have to be part of the solution. The species and habitats of our planet support billions of people and drive the world’s economy. We all have a stake in ensuring their survival.

Similar demand for elephant ivory in the past led to devastating declines in the number of these giant animals, particularly in the 1970s and 1980s. Though many populations showed signs of recovery due to increased protections in the 1990s, rising global demand for ivory is erasing those hard-fought gains.”

Dan Ashe, Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

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“Our special agents and wildlife inspectors are on the frontlines in the fight to combat ivory trafficking here in the U.S. They took the ivory destroyed today out of the hands of criminals and out of the global marketplace.”

William C. Woody, Assistant Director for Law Enforcement, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

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“I hope the media and everyone who attends or hears about this “Ivory Crush” will spread the message far and wide: Elephants across their range are suffering horribly, and we are losing them at a terrifying rate. They could become extinct.

Do not buy ivory products. Support conservation efforts. We must all do what we can.

I commend the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for organizing this event and wish I could be there in person.”

Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, Founder, the Jane Goodall Institute & UN Messenger of Peace

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America is showing great leadership, and crushing the national ivory stockpile is of huge symbolic importance. By removing that ivory from the

market for ever, it will send a strong message to the world that ivory cannot be a commodity if elephants are to survive.

Ian Douglas-Hamilton, OBE, Founder and CEO, Save the Elephants

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“By destroying our domestic stocks of ivory, we send a very clear signal that these illegally- traded products should not be perceived as items of value. The terrible and criminal trade in these products is destroying wildlife species that are invaluable to us and to future generations; it is also undermining global security. The Justice Department views wildlife trafficking as a serious crime, and is committed to using every tool it has, under the Lacey Act, the Endangered Species Act, and other applicable laws, to stop this international criminal activity.”Robert G. Dreher Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division.

“Wildlife trafficking is not just a conservation problem. It is an economic problem, a health problem, and a security problem. The State Department applauds the Department of Interior’s ivory crush for sending a strong signal to the world of the U.S. commitment to ending this pernicious trade. We will continue lead international efforts to this end.”

Dr. Kerri-Ann Jones, Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs

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“By crushing its contraband ivory tusks and trinkets, the U.S. government sends a signal that it will not tolerate the senseless killing of elephants,” “Other countries need to join the United States, Gabon, Kenya and the Philippines to take a stand against the crime syndicates behind this slaughter.”

Carter Roberts, President and CEO, World Wildlife Fund

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“The destruction of the U.S. ivory stockpile speaks loud and clear to those who value ivory more than saving the elephant species from extinction. IFAW commends the government’s action that underscores the critical role the U.S. can play in ending the illegal ivory trade.”

Azzedine Downes, CEO, International Fund for Animal Welfare

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“In 1989 awareness around the international ivory ban cut demand and poaching fell immediately. Destroying seized ivory is one method of drawing attention to the current crisis. Laws and enforcement can only do so much. It is vital to reach consumers. Simply put, when the buying stops, the killing can too.”

Peter Knights, WildAid Executive Director

US Using Trade Pacts to Fight Wildlife Poaching

June 17, 2014 7:12 AM VOAnews

U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said wildlife poaching is funding terrorism and corruption.

For that reason, Froman said, the U.S. considers poaching a threat to global security because it’s driven by criminal elements, including terrorists using profits from items such as rhinoceros horns and elephant tusks to finance their activities.

To meet the threat, U.S. officials are emphasizing the environmental component of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement that the United States is negotiating with 11 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, Froman said in a Reuters report.

Similar efforts are also part of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership agreement with the European Union, Reuters reported.

Froman spoke at a news conference at Kennedy Airport in New York Monday, standing next to a table heaped with illegal wildlife goods seized by U.S. customs officials.

They included stuffed lion and leopard heads, animal skins and figurines carved out of ivory.

Froman said terrorists use money gained from the illegal wildlife trade in Africa and Asia to fund their deadly activities.

U.S. officials have said they are working to reduce demand for illegal animal products at home and abroad, including Asia, where some believe such goods as powdered rhinoceros have medicinal benefits.

“The high demand for wildlife products is having a devastating impact, with iconic species like elephants and rhinos facing the risk of significant decline or even extinction,” Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell said in a statement reported by Reuters.

“The president’s strategy to combat wildlife trafficking, including decreasing demand at home and abroad, is important to strengthen our nation’s leadership on countering the global security threat posed by the criminal markets that encourage poaching and illegal trade,” Jewell said.


President Obama Creates The World’s Largest Ocean Preserve

06/19/2014

Pacific_Remote_Islands_Marine_National_Monument

On June 17, 2014 President Obama annouced a Presidential Memorandum that increases the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument  ocean preserve to 782,000 square miles (2,030,000 km2), making it the largest ocean preserve in the world while banning drilling, fishing and other activities. On September 25, 2014 President Obama signed a proclamation designating  Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument off-limits to development

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June 17, 2014

FACT SHEET: Leading at Home and Internationally to Protect Our Ocean and Coasts

“We’ve already shown that when we work together, we can protect our oceans for future generations. So let’s redouble our efforts. Let’s make sure that years from now we can look our children in the eye and tell them that, yes, we did our part, we took action, and we led the way toward a safer, more stable world.”

President Barack Obama, June 17, 2014

President Obama is committed to protecting the ocean and its marine ecosystems. Americans all over the country depend on the ocean for food, jobs, and recreation. But the health of our ocean is under threat on multiple fronts, from overfishing to carbon pollution. The recently released National Climate Assessment confirms that climate change is causing sea levels and ocean temperatures to rise. Changing temperatures can harm coral reefs and force certain species to migrate. In addition, carbon pollution is being absorbed by the oceans, causing them to acidify, which can damage coastal shellfish beds and reefs, altering entire marine ecosystems. In fact, the acidity of our ocean is changing 50 times faster than any known change in millions of years. And black market fishing—fishing that is illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU)—continues to pose a major threat to the sustainability of our world’s fisheries, economies and to global security.

Recognizing these significant challenges, President Obama launched the National Ocean Policy early in his first term. The National Ocean Policy seeks to streamline more than 100 laws that govern our oceans and create a coordinated, science-based approach to managing the many resources and uses of our coasts and oceans. National Ocean Policy initiatives range from voluntary marine planning to releasing more federal data to supporting offshore renewable energy projects to making our ports more resilient to sea level rise.

This week, the State Department is hosting the “Our Ocean” conference, an international conference on sustainable fisheries, marine pollution, and ocean acidification that concludes today. Secretary Kerry has also issued a global call to action to protect the oceans. As part of the conference, the President is announcing several steps that the United States is taking to answer that call. During the closing events of the conference, the State Department will announce additional steps and commitments it has secured to protect our oceans.

New Actions to Protect and Preserve the Ocean

Today, in a video message to conference participants, President Obama is announcing new executive actions to preserve and protect the oceans.

* New protections for world-class marine areas
* Combating black market fishing and supporting fishermen
* Establishing a pathway to new marine sanctuaries
* Meeting diverse coastal needs with regional marine planning
* Understanding the impacts of ocean acidification
* $102 million to build resilience in coastal communities
* Bolstering domestic shellfish aquaculture
* National Strategic Plan for Federal Aquaculture Research

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/06/17/fact-sheet-leading-home-and-internationally-protect-our-ocean-and-coasts

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6/17/14 Presidential Memorandum Comprehensive Framework to Combat Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing and Seafood Fraud

 Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument

SCIENCE FOR AN OCEAN NATION: UPDATE OF THE OCEAN RESEARCH PRIORITIES PLAN

NATIONAL OCEAN POLICY IMPLEMENTATION PLAN APPENDIX

PBO Ocean Statement

Reaction to President Obama’s Presidential Memorandum 

President Obama Announces Plan to Create the Largest Marine Protected Area in the World with Help from Marine Conservation Institute Marine Conservation Institute 

UPDATE: Secretary Kerry and President Obama Show Deep Commitment to Blue Legacy Ocean Conservancy/

Obama also vowed to combat seafood fraud, illegal fishing, and black market fish in his announcement today, directing federal agencies to work together to tackle this issue. Oceana

 “We applaud President Obama’s proposal to create the world’s largest marine sanctuary in the central Pacific Ocean and therefore double the area of protected ocean globally; the establishment of a new trust fund dedicated to ensuring reliable and long-term funding for protected areas management in the Bahamas; the Coral Triangle Initiative and the many other commitments. The Nature Conservancy

President Obama announced that he will expand the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument. This Monument contains some of the most pristine tropical ecosystems in the world, but is vulnerable to ocean acidification and climate change. The Associated Press

Obama to create world’s largest ocean preserve Yahoo News

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Pres Obama in Indian Country & @ UC Irvine 2014 Commencement

06/12/2014

North Dakota - T. Roosevelt Natl Park

http://youtu.be/70wsOvkZUMA?t=4s

On My Upcoming Trip to Indian Country

6/5/14 President Barack Obama – indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com

Six years ago, I made my first trip to Indian Country. I visited the Crow Nation in Montana – an experience I’ll never forget. I left with a new Crow name, an adoptive Crow family, and an even stronger commitment to build a future that honors old traditions and welcomes every Native American into the American Dream.

Next week, I’ll return to Indian Country, when Michelle and I visit the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in Cannonball, N.D. We’re eager to visit this reservation, which holds a special place in American history as the home of Chief Sitting Bull. And while we’re there, I’ll announce the next steps my Administration will take to support jobs, education, and self-determination in Indian Country.

As President, I’ve worked closely with tribal leaders, and I’ve benefited greatly from their knowledge and guidance. That’s why I created the White House Council on Native American Affairs – to make sure that kind of partnership is happening across the federal government. And every year, I host the White House Tribal Nations Conference, where leaders from every federally recognized tribe are invited to meet with members of my Administration. Today, honoring the nation-to-nation relationship with Indian Country isn’t the exception; it’s the rule. And we have a lot to show for it.

Read more at https://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2014/06/05/my-upcoming-trip-indian-country@

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President Obama and First Lady Michelle visit
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Cannonball, N.D

President Obama, Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault II, First Lady Michelle Obama and Nicole Archambault  @  Standing Rock Sioux Tribe

President Obama, Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault II, First Lady Michelle Obama and Nicole Archambault @
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe

Presidential Visit Live Stream: http://www.kfyrtv.com/category/284151/presidential-visit?clienttype=generic&mobilecgbypass

Native American Heritage

Native American Tribes A-Z

 National Museum of the American Indian

US Department of the Interior: Indian Affairs

US Environmental Agency Tribal Portal

National Congress of American Indians

Tribal Leaders Directory

Native American Heritage

Trace Indian Ancestry

 US Govt & Indigenous Peoples Timeline 1819-2014 (ProPresObama.org Civil Rights Timelines ™)

Discover Indian Country

Travel Destinations – Exploration in Indian Country

Information provided by Ms. Johnson at ictmn.com

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The history of the European settlement of North America and the fate of the indigenous people is a tragic one, which cannot be ignored at any national holiday. In recent years, however, the government has taken steps to acknowledge past grievances. One of these steps has been to commemorate ancient and existing Native American heritage sites as National Parks and Monuments.

All the sites on this list are of cultural or historical importance to different indigenous peoples. There are many, many more – a whole continent’s worth – just as important and beautiful, but we hope this sampling will motivate you to learn more about the Native heritage of the United States. 

27 Native American Heritage Sites

Northern Baja’s Indian Country

The Verdant Fist That Is the Mescalero Apache Reservation

Travel Destination! Majestic Mountain Loop Wins Prestigious 2014 Poppy Award

Swamp Rides and History Lessons Make for Unique South Florida Winter Vacay

Indian Casino Closest to Yellowstone Park Wins TripAdvisor Award

Burned Out: Huge AZ Wildfire Slows Navajo Jewelry, Pottery Sales in Sedona

The Never-ending Wonder of It All—The Iconic Foxwoods Resort Casino: Past, Present & Future

Tribe’s Marina Offers Docks to Boaters, Waterfront Homes to Seasonal Residents

Tribe Breaks Ground on $80M Cherokee Casino Roland to Replace Existing Facility

Bingo! Viejas Tribe Brings Gaming to Shopping Center Near San Diego

Hearts and Diamonds in the Rough: Quechan Tribe’s Casinos Draw Gamers Across Borders

Tohono O’Odham Party Time: Celebrating Three Decades of Gaming and Progress

The Buzz About Arizona’s Newest Casino Resort

Tortoise Rock Casino in Twentynine Palms Preps for Grand Opening

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President Obama to speak at UC Irvine commencement celebration

Event marks 50th anniversary of President Johnson’s dedication of campus land

Irvine, Calif., March 20, 2014 –President Barack Obama will speak to UC Irvine’s class of 2014 in a commencement ceremony set for Saturday, June 14, in Angel Stadium of Anaheim, the White House confirmed today.

The historic appearance honors the accomplishments of the more than 8,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional school students of the graduating class of 2014 and kicks off the campus’s 50th anniversary celebration. In June 1964 President Lyndon B. Johnson landed in a barren pasture to dedicate the land that would become UC Irvine. Johnson had only recently unveiled his Great Society agenda; groundbreaking civil rights legislation was passed by the Senate just a day earlier.

“I have come to California to ask you to throw off your doubts about America,” Johnson said from the podium that day. “Help us demonstrate to the world that people of compassion and commitment can free their fellow citizens from the bonds of injustice, the prisons of poverty and the chains of ignorance.”

Completing a historic circle, President Obama will speak to a diverse class in which nearly 50 percent are first-generation university graduates.

“We are thrilled that the President has accepted our invitation to deliver the keynote address at our commencement exercises this June,” said Chancellor Michael V. Drake. “We will be commemorating the 50th anniversary of the groundbreaking and dedication ceremonies of our campus. We are proud of the progress we have made during our first half century, and are looking forward to even greater achievements in the years to come.”

For more: http://news.uci.edu/press-releases/president-obama-to-speak-at-uc-irvine-commencement-celebration/

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University of California, Irvine Commencement 2014
President Obama- Commencement Speaker
Saturday, June 14 @ 1:30 PM ET
Angel Stadium of Anaheim, Irvine, California

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Live Stream: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/uc-irvine-2014-commencement

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First-Ever Carbon Pollution Protections

05/31/2014

Carbon Pollution Standards

President’s Climate Action Plan

On June 25, 2013, President Obama announced a series of executive actions to reduce carbon pollution, prepare the U.S. for the impacts of climate change and lead international efforts to address global climate change. As part of the Climate Action Plan, President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum directing the EPA to work expeditiously to complete carbon pollution standards for the power sector. You can learn more about the President’s Climate Action plan on the White House web site.

Learn more: http://www2.epa.gov/carbon-pollution-standards

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May 31, 2014

Weekly Address: Reducing Carbon Pollution in Our Power Plants

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
May 31, 2014

Hi, everybody. I’m here at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., visiting with some kids being treated here all the time for asthma and other breathing problems. Often, these illnesses are aggravated by air pollution – pollution from the same sources that release carbon and contribute to climate change. And for the sake of all our kids, we’ve got to do more to reduce it.

Earlier this month, hundreds of scientists declared that climate change is no longer a distant threat – it “has moved firmly into the present.” Its costs can be measured in lost lives and livelihoods, lost homes and businesses; and higher prices for food, insurance, and rebuilding.

That’s why, last year, I put forward America’s first climate action plan. This plan cuts carbon pollution by building a clean energy economy – using more clean energy, less dirty energy, and wasting less energy throughout our economy.

One of the best things we can do for our economy, our health, and our environment is to lead the world in producing cleaner, safer energy – and we’re already generating more clean energy than ever before. Thanks in part to the investments we made in the Recovery Act, the electricity America generates from wind has tripled. And from the sun, it’s increased more than tenfold. In fact, every four minutes, another American home or business goes solar – and every panel is pounded into place by a worker whose job cannot be shipped overseas.

We’re wasting less energy, too. We’ve doubled how far our cars and trucks will go on a gallon of gas by the middle of the next decade, saving you money at the pump – and we’re helping families and businesses save billions with more efficient homes, buildings, and appliances.

This strategy has created jobs, grown our economy, and helped make America more energy independent than we’ve been in decades – all while holding our carbon emissions to levels not seen in about 20 years. It’s a good start. But for the sake of our children, we have to do more.

This week, we will. Today, about 40% of America’s carbon pollution comes from power plants. But right now, there are no national limits to the amount of carbon pollution that existing plants can pump into the air we breathe. None. We limit the amount of toxic chemicals like mercury, sulfur, and arsenic that power plants put in our air and water. But they can dump unlimited amounts of carbon pollution into the air. It’s not smart, it’s not safe, and it doesn’t make sense.

That’s why, a year ago, I directed the Environmental Protection Agency to build on the efforts of many states, cities, and companies, and come up with commonsense guidelines for reducing dangerous carbon pollution from our power plants. This week, we’re unveiling these proposed guidelines, which will cut down on the carbon pollution, smog, and soot that threaten the health of the most vulnerable Americans, including children and the elderly. In just the first year that these standards go into effect, up to 100,000 asthma attacks and 2,100 heart attacks will be avoided – and those numbers will go up from there.

These standards were created in an open and transparent way, with input from the business community. States and local governments weighed in, too. In fact, nearly a dozen states are already implementing their own market-based programs to reduce carbon pollution. And over 1,000 mayors have signed agreements to cut their cities’ carbon pollution.

So the idea of setting higher standards to cut pollution at our power plants is not new. It’s just time for Washington to catch up with the rest of the country.

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/05/31/weekly-address-reducing-carbon-pollution-our-power-plants

Learn About Carbon Pollution

EPA Action

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June 2, 2014

  • 10:30 AM ET- EPA’s Administrator Gina McCarthy announces the new Carbon Pollution Protections’ Clean Power Plan
  • 2:00 PM ET – President Obama hosts a telephone briefing with the American Lung Association and other national health groups and health professionals from across the country to discuss the EPA’s proposal of carbon pollution limits from existing power plants, expected health benefits, and opportunities

5/31/14 In response, Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune released the following statement:

“The President promised he would act to tackle the climate crisis and protect the health of our children and grandchildren — and he is keeping his word. These aren’t just the first-ever protections to clean up carbon pollution from power plants, they represent the largest single step any President has ever taken to fight climate disruption. While we anticipate the official unveiling of this rule on Monday, the Sierra Club’s 2.4 million members and supporters proudly applaud this powerful initiative to protect American communities, grow clean energy jobs, and safeguard the health of future generations.”

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5/31/14 NRDC: “The Right Solution at the Right Time”

As the Obama Administration prepares to take the first steps in U.S. history to limit carbon pollution from power plants, the primary cause of climate change, Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, issued this statement:

“Setting carbon pollution limits will put America on a new course – toward a cleaner energy future, greater energy efficiency, a healthier population and a more prosperous economy. That’s the right solution at the right time. Climate change is here and now. We must limit carbon pollution – just as we do for mercury, soot and other harmful pollutants.’’

 

New Carbon Pollution Standards Can Create 274,000 Jobs, Save $37 Billion on Energy Bills

May 30, 2014 nrdc.org

Common-sense carbon pollution standards for power plants—like the proposed standards that President Obama will unveil next week–can protect our pocketbooks as well as our health, according to a new study. By fueling a surge in energy efficiency, standards that would reduce carbon pollution 25 percent by 2020 could create 274,000 new jobs and save Americans more than $37 billion on energy bills.

NRDC asked ICF International, an independent firm that analyzes electricity markets for industry and government, to study the economic impacts of our innovative plan to cut power plant pollution, which is widely expected to influence the EPA’s upcoming standards. The analysts found that NRDC’s plan to cut carbon pollution nearly 25 percent by 2020 (from 2012 levels) would lower household electric bills for the average American by $103 each year. The annual savings for homes and businesses nationwide would reach $37.4 billion in 2020. And by driving the growth of energy efficiency, carbon pollution standards would also create 274,000 new efficiency-related jobs.

For more: http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/plehner/new_carbon_pollution_standards.html

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The Great Society

05/22/2014

Great Society Chart May 22, 1964 – The U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson (D) announces the goals of his Great Society social reforms to bring an “end to poverty and racial injustice” in America.

The Great Society program, with its name coined from one of Johnson’s speeches, became Johnson’s agenda for Congress in January 1965: aid to education, attack on disease, Medicare, Medicaid, urban renewal, beautification, conservation, development of depressed regions, a wide-scale fight against poverty, control and prevention of crime, and removal of obstacles to the right to vote. Congress, at times augmenting or amending, enacted most of Johnson’s recommendations. Johnson’s achievements in social policy were made possible by liberal strength, especially after the Democratic landslide of 1964.

After the Great Society legislation of the 1960s, for the first time, a person who was not elderly or disabled could receive need-based aid from the U.S. government.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyndon_B._Johnson#Great_Society

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President Lyndon B. Johnson’s
Remarks at the University of Michigan

May 22, 1964

President Hatcher, Governor Romney, Senators McNamara and Hart, Congressmen Meader and Staebler, and other members of the fine Michigan delegation, members of the graduating class, my fellow Americans:

It is a great pleasure to be here today. This university has been coeducational since 1870, but I do not believe it was on the basis of your accomplishments that a Detroit high school girl said, “In choosing a college, you first have to decide whether you want a coeducational school or an educational school.”

Well, we can find both here at Michigan, although perhaps at different hours.

I came out here today very anxious to meet the Michigan student whose father told a friend of mine that his son’s education had been a real value. It stopped his mother from bragging about him.

I have come today from the turmoil of your Capital to the tranquility of your campus to speak about the future of your country.

The purpose of protecting the life of our Nation and preserving the liberty of our citizens is to pursue the happiness of our people. Our success in that pursuit is the test of our success as a Nation.

For a century we labored to settle and to subdue a continent. For half a century we called upon unbounded invention and untiring industry to create an order of plenty for all of our people.

The challenge of the next half century is whether we have the wisdom to use that wealth to enrich and elevate our national life, and to advance the quality of our American civilization.

Your imagination, your initiative, and your indignation will determine whether we build a society where progress is the servant of our needs, or a society where old values and new visions are buried under unbridled growth. For in your time we have the opportunity to move not only toward the rich society and the powerful society, but upward to the Great Society.

The Great Society rests on abundance and liberty for all. It demands an end to poverty and racial injustice, to which we are totally committed in our time. But that is just the beginning.

For entire speech: http://www.lbjlib.utexas.edu/johnson/archives.hom/speeches.hom/640522.asp

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The Great Society at 50

May 19, 2014 by Karen Tumulty Washington Post

One day shortly after starting his new job as presidential adviser and speechwriter, Richard N. Goodwin was summoned to see the boss. Not to the Oval Office, but to the White House swimming pool, where Lyndon B. Johnson often went to ruminate.

Goodwin found the leader of the free world naked, doing a languorous sidestroke. Johnson invited him and top aide Bill Moyers to doff their own clothes: “Come on in, boys. It’ll do you good.”

It was an un­or­tho­dox manner of conducting official business. As they bobbed in the tepid water, the president “began to talk as if he were addressing some larger, imagined audience of the mind,” Goodwin later wrote in his memoir. The 32-year-old speechwriter forgot his chagrin as he was drawn by “the powerful flow of Johnson’s will, exhorting, explaining, trying to tell me something about himself, seeking not agreement — he knew he had that — but belief.”

This happened in early April 1964, just a little more than four months after a tragedy in Dallas had made Johnson the 36th president of the United States.

“I never thought I’d have the power,” Johnson told Goodwin and Moyers. “I wanted power to use it. And I’m going to use it.”

For more at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/national/2014/05/17/the-great-society-at-50/ http://youtu.be/kx0K637mBVE?t=1m51s

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