Kennedy Packs Full House on Environmental Advocacy

Posted at: 11/09/2012 10:36 PM
Updated at: 11/09/2012 10:56 PM
By: Dayna Landgrebe

A Kennedy brought his passion for environmental advocacy to Duluth, talking to a packed house at UMD.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., nephew to President Kennedy, was speaking from the vantage point of his organization, Riverkeeper. Kennedy, a nationally-recognized environmental advocate, is the vice chair and chief prosecuting attorney.

He said big polluters and lobbyists will always tell the American public that we must choose between economic prosperity and environmental protection, something he calls that a false choice.

"In 100 percent of those situations, good environmental policy is identical to good economic policy," Kennedy said.

He said without a serious change of course, it will be our children who pay for "our joyride."

"They're going to pay for it with denuded landscapes, and poor health and huge clean up costs that are going to amplify over time that they'll never be able to pay."

A large crowd packed an auditorium at the university to hear him speak. He said he developed an interest in rivers because his father and uncle were environmentalists.

In a 2012 interview, Kennedy said, "We have very good environmental laws in this country. If we enforced them, we probably wouldn't have environmental problems."

Kennedy has been fighting for water and fisheries and working for fisherman for over two decades.