Protecting The Environment: A Family Dinner Table Talk

08/19/2011 02:09 pm ET | Updated Oct 19, 2011

This week's Family Dinner Table Talk, from HuffPost and The Family Dinner book:

As the 2012 presidential election campaign season starts up, one of the most common rallying calls coming from the field of presidential candidates is the vilification of the country's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a symbol of the reach of a too-powerful federal government. One candidate pledged to have the EPA's "doors locked and lights turned off" if she was elected and another candidate actually wants to suspend all of the government's environmental regulations and protections.

As Anthony Jerrod explains on HuffPost, until the early 1970s, air and water pollution were not priorities on the national agenda and were usually considered local concerns. But after numerous environmental catastrophes, the EPA was eventually created -- by Republican president Richard Nixon -- to maintain and enforce rules and regulations on toxic gas emissions, safe drinking water, hazardous waste and much more.

Do you think the environment is worth protecting? What are some consequences of failing to protect our land and waters? Why is the environment important? Can you name some environmental accidents that have happened in our country? What's your favorite outdoor destination? How would you feel if it was damaged or destroyed? What are some things you and your family can do to help protect the environment?

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