Earth Day: An SOS for Survival: April 22, 1970

Earth Day activities take place in major cities across the nation.
23:49 | 04/17/20

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:

{{nextVideo.title}}

{{nextVideo.description}}

Skip to this video now

Now Playing:

{{currentVideo.title}}

Comments
Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for Earth Day: An SOS for Survival: April 22, 1970
ABC news presents. SOS scored survival. Here in New York this program. Good evening on this Earth Day millions of Americans in the communities would stop this map have taken the first step to survival. But if this day of teach ins mock funerals rallies marches speeches and songs. Does not convince enough of us that the threat to our life on earth is clear and present. And we may have cast a vote but that. That's the symbolism in this ecology flag. The term ecology confirms again that the Greeks had a word part of preparing the Greek word cycles means house. Ecology is the study of our earthly house our environment. This ecology flag contains the Greek letter think. Once used as a vote for death in judging one man's right. At stake now is every man's fate or there is there will be pure symbolized by The White Stripes. Whether his land will be unspoiled. Symbolized by the green stripes. Everything that makes living better also broadens our life. Jet planes the move as quickly if all volunteers. Help move our fair and one bit about may affect our. Cloud cover and our climate. Birthday in Boston was not altogether trampled as demonstrators focused on Logan Airport we're. The demonstration itself was completely peaceful fewer than 100 young people having attended a rally in Boston came to Logan Airport to protest development of the SST the supersonic transport. Trans world airlines the target of the demonstrators have put in preliminary orders for the aircraft which the protesters claim will be a death producing vehicles. Their concern is not with the safety of the plane itself but with the sonic boom it will create with the air pollution will produce and with the threat they say it will propose to the climate I dispersing tons of water vapor. In the stratosphere. Some of the young people were lying in the symbolic coffins they brought to the terminal. When after half an hour the airport authority and the state police decided enough was enough. On the contention that a public hallway was being blocked the police ordered the demonstrators to disburse or be arrested. After the warning was repeated several times the demonstrators began to leave but apparently not quickly enough to satisfy the state policemen. Heated words were exchanged when shopping again. Under violent circumstances. The tumultuous nature of the arrest seemed to take the demonstrators by surprise they've given no evidence of wanting anything other than a peaceful demonstrations their participation in Earth Day. That's not the way it ended twelve were taken into custody. The others dispersed evidently I'm satisfied with the outcome of their role in today's birthday active it. Many people in Boston and all big cities think of places like Albuquerque, New Mexico. As a good place to escape from foul air polluted water and slobs. But even Albuquerque on this Earth Day sent an SOS for survival. The air in the shanty slums the Barrios is not yet as deadly as it is in our cities. But there is water pollution and Albuquerque. And some citizens who live near a sewage disposal plant use this day to show there are concerned. Yeah. Good day out of style 200 young man in America you gonna marching through the yeah. A protest in more than just the smell the sewage plant they're protesting life in the ghetto the pollution of the inner city. The world can't help some say the white establishment doesn't cares so many believe he moved to Plano community is nothing beyond. The good Albuquerque is polluting the city and some armed those who is only open ditches and into canals of the Rio Grande. And some homes are still using out houses. Thanks to the ghetto there's a sewage plant that doesn't work too well. The city of Albuquerque has tried to improve conditions here but replacing the old plant. The pick more than six million dollars. It. So in the largest city and New Mexico this is what the protest is all about the ghetto the unpaved street. Ramshackle homes this bench. Of the nearby sewage plant. Many of the young people here believe they can save the earth if they start by stating a little bit of Albuquerque first. Ecology as a non controversial issue no one is against survival. Birthday began as the idea of one United States senator now some Democrats and some Republicans are maneuvering through. Make the environment issue their party's private possession. The nation's capital is as polluted as any other big city. This time of year when the cherry blossoms delicately frame the Potomac River. The frustrating irony of our lifestyle is clearly revealed that freeze ossetian cubicles. The river has brown and ugly she just smells. It was as if Washington knew what was a special event and turned on springs bright his son for the celebration of Earth Day and on March on the Interior Department. I interior secretary Walter Hickel was away making an Earth Day speech in Alaska. And no other administration official in Washington took formal notice of their demonstration. Following a green and white mock up of the American flagged to the Washington monument grounds. The 2000 original marchers at swelled to perhaps. 101000 or more by nightfall. It's about as close those Woodstock New York probably will ever get to the District of Columbia. Obviously the ball the environmental claims they were protesting today police do believe it was noise pollution. It's. It's. Yeah. Its first night. Now what the Washington monument to protest leaders say it won't stop here because. The air the sky on the water will continue to get dirtier and dirtier. Action to clean things up may have begun in Washington on this earth today a house commerce subcommittee approved the bill. That would set national standards for our air. And would regulate what comes out of chimneys cars. I'm plane exhaust. They ecology hawks believe death is about to descend on our or affirmed all of us. But those who feel we are not quite that close to catastrophe. That is nevertheless the judgment that we are rapidly killing much of our good earth. In Miami nature's bounty of white sand tropical sun and blue water is the reason that city exists. I've environment that's what made next door Miami Beach crowd from the sand the goal of Florida's Gulf Coast has been to keep itself clean and appealing. Now some young people in Miami are sounding. A warning. A. It's called them back at the dead orange parade that was an obvious priority of the Orange -- comfortable with genuinely celebrates nature's gift of Florida. And floats displayed the words market expressed concern that Florida's not who have yet have already been ravaged by pollution. I want my children my grandchildren and myself involvement clean healthy environment I want the other woman a beach. I wanna be overcome outside a brief brush and I think they county and Miami Beach thanks I wanna try to improve. Prize for the most polluted float went to this display featuring a statue of liberty in an anti pollution masks. Outdoor rally climax the parade and here spectators assembled a rock bands Brando noise pollution. Then came the crowning a bit here at this. That orange queen. It is in the big city and of our sins against our environment most obvious. In New York City there are too many automobiles. Too many people. And there is too much noise. Yeah. America's big cities says people are the real polluters on this Earth Day you tried to convince people that life can be beautiful that big city. New York can be a nice place to live in as well as to visit. This was Manhattan's famed Fifth Avenue this morning choked with carbon monoxide fumes from cars buses and taxis. I've known by its a. You have ordered of mayor John Lindsay Fifth Avenue became a vast sidewalk and thousands left their offices to enjoy the sunny weather on Earth Day. Ironically the air resources administration would later report that air pollution rose two on satisfactorily. High levels in New York today because of wind conditions during the morning hours. A shade tree a symbol of life was planted in union square. Ecology buff and surgical face masks and various protest signs were used by many demonstrators. To get across their message. Birthdays. Solid records heard several speakers appealed today for greater environmental controls. Including marriage on Wednesday. Let me really pace. Is not air or water pollution. And the illusion of night in south. And there is Earth Day. Testifies to the sudden don't know realization. That we must end this out poison or it ends. And this is the man who represents the second congressional district in Missouri Saint Louis company. James Wadsworth symington is the 43 year old son of senator Stuart Symington. In 1970 terms his thing is folk singing he has performed in public or pay. Recently combined is performing talent with is interest in the environment. To express how he feels about this plan. We have a great country. It takes a little time to get to know it. And that's why I wrote this so it can. It takes time. Oh look I'm me. Time to receive. Rule in my days I need people who who nine days Hindu pundits. We. In the know your neighborhood. Mom and others are saying then. That in mind. Hands anyway and in the opinion. In his Borough. That is really a game room where the wrong. And many other and bad news. The bank to. Ours aren't. We. Absolutely. We know it's not listening. It's all long game and then. And then next. I'm alive and doing a lot behind me. I am tomb. There. There. Yeah. But is there a time in the country that symington note because I'm run offenses in the heartland of America Iran's central game his family went on this Earth Day. To tell the young people that government is concerned. About pollution. This is Saint Louis gateway to the west. You can't miss it just looked but the thick blanket of industrial haze and auto exhaust the covers over 2500 square miles. More than two million people live there one of them is James symington. Bloomberg. And the Saint Louis area. Perhaps second only to Los Angeles in the problems we center. Under our air shed. People differ on the percent. That is attributable to automobiles that's distinct from industry but let's face it we've got a lot of broad. Symington spent the day speaking at local high schools and universities. The young people whose most recent concerns have been the Vietnam War and the struggle for black equality and justice. Social justice is not much consolation to people who can't grade or drink the water. He average American. Commuter. Valid it gets in his car and drive bumper to bumper to work. Spends 13% of it working day breathing in the fumes. Of the automobile. Ahead of him. If Henry Ford. Had known that the internal combustion engine in fifty years time. Would be suffocating. His grandchildren. I'm sure he would have sought an alternative mode of propulsion. But we today do not have that lead time between the mistakes we make and the realization of them. When. And yeah. It. At bon bon college one of symington six stop and ecological mass was celebrated to dramatize God's creation of the natural environment. And asked forgiveness for man's east boiling up. And that the university of Saint Louis students gave up their noon hour to a litter pick up march the produced more than 500 pounds of trash in a ten block area. A mock factory was running at the University of Missouri at Saint Louis symington last stop to show how industry discharges waste into the nearest body of water. And a butane powered auto was on display to prove that high octane leaded gasoline can be replaced. They're discreetly relegated to get an idea that. Clara eight environment is more than. Land air and water. It's attitude. And it begins at home it begins in every single one. The person who is getting ready to challenge a major interstate. Or expect that. It likely at the same time to be cropping up paper. Talking on the ground or beer and out of this. Our window. I think we ought to recognize that. While we look to government. Or reasonable laws and strong enforcement of them. It is probably no carry out American life or any other night for that matter. In witnessed Edison the products hasn't played a more crucial. Role. We've seen Earth Day in Saint Louis New York Miami Washington Albuquerque. And Boston. And now we must be aware that the problem affects us all young and old north south east west. Big city and small new York and Astor Beulah Ohio population 24000 to 487. Chemicals from industrial plants along the banks strain into the river where today dead trees rocked. Ash to Beulah the Indians call the river of many fish has no fish that live today and it carries its pollution into Lake Erie which died long ago. Today and asked to be about the concern was for the living. The young people here use the symbol of death to dramatize the dangers to life. They placed a child like plastic doll in an empty casket. They said it represented the death of generations yet unborn. My horse drawn hearse the pollution protesters turned to the past complete the future. The small town movement was led by local teenagers jungle it was ninety his father's occupation pest control. And bombing campaign also ninety he was born here she remembers when the air was fresh from the water clean. We we want people to project themselves not. Governments want them to feel it. There are responsible for putting putting that that child in that casket. People ask me. Do you think you can stop the pollution problem without violence. I think you may see a great militancy growing. Especially. During during the next ten years with the youth. A game saving ethanol than having kids and you want and be able to take a hike from the web site. In nature nothing. Life nature has to be around while flowers and Brooks and things that everything. If pollution keeps going on there won't believe it clear books in my view you bet you'd have to cope violated the in the new plant right here for your. We pollute a little bit people say well tolerated because it's for progress. Then little bit more pollution. A little bit more they keep tolerating it tolerating it. Until it gets to the point where it's no longer tolerable. Perhaps to bill. It's getting very near that point. Around in this area. You don't have to go very far before and find choking smoke. And you can see streams that flow like ribbons and death underneath highways. We're the industry support materials into the water. This is what shocks me is the fact that. When noticed something can be seem like this that people don't do anything about it. I only say what it's too bad something has to be done and that's where it sounds. We're gonna. Yeah. They. I'm a half mile procession ended at the Kent State University campus. And dedicated and the merely curious joined in an old song with a new meaning. Okay. They students admit that the conducting a funeral service to put up the problems of pollution may be overstating the case. But they also point out that pollution like beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And it is also in the ear nose throat and bloodstream. And that is why today the people listed below are mourning the deaths of children yet on board. We're all agreed the far left and the far right and the vocal and silent metal there is a serious and perhaps a deadly problem. We do not all agree on who was to blame. Howard K Smith and Washington has some thoughts on the identity of the bell and Howard. Every advice is nothing but a very chew carried to block the concern today about environment does all virtue. But nestled within it is a potential vice. That is the tendency to satisfy the need for scapegoats by seeking out some evil people who caused a doll like the allegedly greedy industrialists. Well the truth certainly is that if blame is to be put on people all of us share it with admirable democracy. The greatest event in the pollution of water it was the invention of the flush toilet. Before that waste went into holes in the ground. Now it gushes from every home I've been to the river are the lake if guilt there must be then each of us who uses that convenience is guilty. The greatest event in the pollution of the air was the invention of the internal combustion motor. 60% of air pollution must be attributed to us who buy cars. Drive to work and take innocent joy arrives. Detergents probably come next and the use of them is still an individual choice you can choose to wash things and so if you wish. But you don't. Detergents are easier so up they go into the river. Overheating allergy to it rocks amid stench and sinks to the bottom and fish killing slut. You and I did it. I suggest that the real villain is not evil people it has been simple lack of awareness of the problem. If today means anything it means the villain is dead are at least die people are way. Let us forget scapegoats and get on to the technical and political work doing something effective about it. Last week at this time as the Apollo thirteen astronauts struggled back to worthless seldom used the word became almost a conversational standby consumables. We added up there oxygen and water supplies and measure the total against the number of hours left in the mission. And there was no doubt unless they got back before their consumables vanished so well today. Well the ecologists tell us the spaceship earth is in much the same specs with not unlimited supplies of consumables. And the cutoff point before splashed down man may be paid out for all of us. A crisis may not be as dramatic as that of Apollo thirteen perhaps not as immediate but the experts say it is no less real. A few weeks ago I saw a boy of about ten stand up and a public meeting ambassador speaker what's the solution to pollution. The answer was you are. But of course it should have been way off for all of us are polluters. And if we are the problem we are also its solution. The cost will be high as a man of Apollo thirteen we'll tell you the Europe is worth it at any price. Some youngsters in Washington today expressed they're feelings on this first birthday. With new words to music we all know. We'll let their song be our good night. OK. And he. And I okay. Mean hand. Well I had Asian. OK. Yeah. OK. OK. And we need. Yeah. Diet. Okay. Eight he. And. This has been a presentation of ABC news. In and.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"duration":"23:49","description":"Earth Day activities take place in major cities across the nation.","mediaType":"default","section":"ABCNews/US","id":"70196072","title":"Earth Day: An SOS for Survival: April 22, 1970","url":"/US/video/earth-day-sos-survival-april-22-1970-70196072"}