Remembering the first Earth Day in 1970

While discussing the current “Heat Apocalypse” currently sweeping our planet with my younger colleagues, I shared that I’m old enough to remember exactly where I was and what we talked about on the very first Earth Day on April 22, 1970. Looking back reminded me of the collaboration and successes once achieved between the Republicans and Democrats on climate action over fifty years ago.

Even before the first Earth Day, there was a lot of optimism across all political parties to protect the environment in the late 1960s and through the 1970s, in part because of the overwhelming public support and recognition that the planet was falling into serious disrepair. California was at the forefront of the environmental movement, but certainly wasn’t alone among the American states.

I find it quite strange to see what’s happening today and then look back at Earth Day 1970 and all of the bi-partisan support of federal and state legislation in the 1970s that set in motion the laws protecting the environment. Yes – both Republicans and Democrats worked tirelessly together to pass hallmark environmental legislation. 

As much as America’s youth in the 1970s were protesting “the man” on so many fronts, it’s seemed quite normal to see all the good that was passed by Democrats and Republicans, then signed into law by a very supportive and once popular Republican president, Richard Nixon, and his successor, Gerald Ford in the 1970s:

  • National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 was one of the first laws that established the legislative framework for protecting the environment 
  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was formed in December 1970 after President Nixon submitted a plan to Congress calling for the creation of the agency
  • The Clean Air Act Extension, written by Maine Sen. Edmund Muskie and signed into law by President Nixon in 1970 was arguably the most significant air pollution control bill in American history.
  • Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 was the first to protect marine mammals such as dolphins, whales, seals, walruses, manatees, sea otters and polar bears. 
  • The Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974 was a turning pointing in the effort to protect the nation’s lakes, streams, rivers, wetlands, and other bodies of water. 
  • The Endangered Species Act of 1973 was created to protect species in danger of extinction as a result of human activity.

Unfortunately, that the march towards our current state of noticeable climate change is deeply disappointing over fifty years later. America’s apparent political stalemate on climate change over the past decade is just astonishing, but perhaps not unexpected.

It’s amazing what problems can be tackled and what can be achieved when we work together. Can we do it again? It seems impossible today, but wouldn’t it be nice.

Bad Payment Experiences Case Study: Walmart

I stopped by #Walmart – something I generally loathe to do because of the hassle factor – to pick up groceries this morning. After loading my cart with about $150 of groceries, I went to checkout and there were no cash registers open. I was told by a store employee no cashiers were available, and I had to use self-checkout instead. I told the associate “no” because I had way too many items in my basket and didn’t want to hassle with dealing with their undersized self-checkout stations (more on that in a future post). Then, I abandoned my cart in the isle and left the store – finishing my shopping at their competitor down the street.

My experience with Walmart today is a reminder that most retailers get a failing grade when it comes to understanding the payment experience. The payment experience is as important as just about every other experience your customers have in your store. Don’t ignore the importance of doing it better than your competitors.

The payment experience is far more than that moment when customers interact with the payment terminal. The payment experience begins at home when people make a decision to go shopping (what am I going to buy, where am I going to go, and how am I going to pay) through paying at checkout (swiping, dipping, tapping, scanning, etc.), then getting out of the store and parking lot quickly. A bad payments experience means customers can and will go someplace else.

Retailers who understand that the payment experience is more than just what happens on a POS terminal or with an online shopping cart checkout will have a competitive advantage – it’s money in the bank.

‘nuf said.

Klarna’s potential valuation cut to $15B appears sufficiently steep — TechCrunch

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Klarna, a European buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) provider, is considering raising capital at a valuation of around $15 billion. The new figure is both a dramatic decline from Klarna’s mid-2021 valuation of more than $45 billion, and the $30 billion figure it was reported to be targeting earlier this year.…

Klarna’s potential valuation cut to $15B appears sufficiently steep — TechCrunch

Jury convicts Seattle woman in massive Capital One hack — The Denver Post

By GENE JOHNSON SEATTLE (AP) — A federal jury on Friday convicted a former Seattle tech worker of several charges related to a massive hack of Capital One bank and other companies in 2019. Paige Thompson, 36, a former Amazon software engineer who used the online handle “erratic,” obtained the personal information of the banks customers… read more:

Jury convicts Seattle woman in massive Capital One hack — The Denver Post

Lithium Is Key to the Electric Vehicle Transition. It’s Also in Short Supply — TIME

Lithium, an element that you may not have thought about since high school chemistry class, has been making headlines recently. This lightweight substance is a critical component in rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, which are used in most personal electronics and electric vehicles. And in the last year, it’s gotten expensive…

Lithium Is Key to the Electric Vehicle Transition. It’s Also in Short Supply — TIME

COVID was the best thing for Kitty, as insurance apps for pets boom — TechCrunch

Technology turned out to be a boon for pets during the pandemic. Without ready access to vets, pet owners turned to mobile apps to keep track on their pet’s health, often via educational content, and in some cases that was linked to insurance providers. The behavior has lit up the VC world as startups roll…

COVID was the best thing for Kitty, as insurance apps for pets boom — TechCrunch