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Earth day events planned for Sunday

By Neil J. Ross

This Sunday is National Earth Day. Conceived as a revival of the landmark 1970 Earth Day, which helped to create the atmosphere in which the Environmental Protection Agency was formed and in which the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts were passed, Sunday's events are intended to help heighten public awareness of environmental issues.

While Earth Day 1970 was speaking to an environmentally naive public, this week's events can afford to confront the public with more of the complexities of environmental issues. With the local Cambridge events involving 42 environmental groups, national, global and local issues will be covered.

Among the more basic issues represented will be recycling, while the larger concerns will range from global warming to the destruction of forests.

The Cambridge events will run between 10 am and 2 pm along the banks of the Charles between JFK Street and Western Avenue near Harvard. Like the afternoon events in Boston on the esplanade, the Cambridge events will include a variety of music, including a Japanese folk singer who is an advocate of the cause of the survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. There will be over 20 "roving performers" including magicians, jugglers, dancers and clowns, and also displays of children's "earth wishes" collected by Britt Howe.

One of the speakers at MIT's Wednesday colloquium, Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature, will give the keynote address, and Cambridge Mayor Alice Wolf will attend the event.

Unusual exhibits at the event will include a 20-foot tall statue of recycled Cambridge plastic entitled "Trash Goddess" by Cambridge artist Jenifer Moore, and a 10-foot video screen running footage of the environment by Cathy Davis.

The Cambridge events will be part of an environmental weekend, as the University of Massachusetts, Harbor Campus, will be holding an environmental day on Saturday.