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As a kid, I played Army with my G.I. Joes. All the time. In high school, I became both educated and repulsed by America's involvement in Vietnam, then was active with Boston high school students against the draft and the war.

Later it became personal, when I got a very low draft lottery number. Luckily for me, 1973 was the first year no Americans were drafted. I could easily have been an 18-year-old headed to Fort Carson and then Southeast Asia, rather than to Colorado College.

Which brings me to Earth Day. The first one in '70 was massive, with teach-ins at more than 250 schools in the Boston area alone. It was positive. And the concept that we could, and should, work to take better care of our world made such sense.

Incredibly, it was immediately effective, prodding President Richard Nixon to launch the Environmental Protection Agency on Dec. 2, 1970, and the Clean Water and Clean Air acts a little later. He saw the need to co-opt a movement that had the potential to create synergies with that era's anti-war, civil rights and feminism movements.

So when I learned that Denis Hayes, organizer of the first Earth Day, would be speaking at the Global New Energy Summit next week at The Broadmoor, I contacted him. To our good fortune, he agreed to enter into a dialogue with locals.

Read Matthew Schniper's interview with this amazing man (starting here), and then hear Denis on April 10 at CC.

  • As a kid, I played Army with my G.I. Joes. All the time.

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