Rick Van De Poll: Saying “Yes” to Taking Action

Rick Van De Poll

There hasn’t been a moment in my 64-year life when I haven’t been directly connected to the environment.

I believe my first march for the environment was on the first Earth Day where a bunch of us were part of a celebration at our high school. I’ve since marched all over the country, mostly during the ’60s and ’70s, but was inspired to do so again this year because of the obvious and direct peril we are all in relative to the health of our planet.

We can only use up and reconfigure our material waste for so long before it disrupts the very basis and stability of our world’s ecosystems.

The question therefore remains, what are we going to do about it?

I, for one, intend to march, speak out, state the scientific truth of our actions, and educate people about alternatives—how to live a less consumptive life, lessen our footprint on the planet, and carry on with the full knowledge and responsibility of our role in the web of life on earth.

I have also included EDF in my estate plans since I first formulated them at the age of 50 in 2003. I did so because of the fact that among all of the several dozen environmental organizations out there, Environmental Defense Fund has stood for solutions rather than just fighting against problems.

Anyone who has worked in government knows that the only solution to political subversion of our natural environment is through a well-coordinated, well-funded, incentive-based campaign of reasonable alternatives. Special interest lobbies being what they are, very little gets done without an economic platform of success to offer up.

As a consulting professional, I have worked for more than four decades in the regulatory world where “No” is both the perceived and operative response to change. EDF has more “Yes” answers to environmental issues and concerns than any other organization I know of.

This year alone, we see progress from the adoption of groundbreaking methane emission reduction standards in California to protecting the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) budget to the innovative restoration of habitat for monarch butterflies. I want to ensure that EDF is able to continue to work on the important environmental issues of the future.

Osprey Legacy Society Member since 2003

EDF Member since 1990


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