Earth Day was born during a time of leaded gas powered V-8 engines, industries pumping out black smoke and toxins without fear of consequences, and when the hippie-flower child culture encouraged the world to make love, not war. Few gave the environment much thought until the Spring of 1970.
The idea for Earth Day followed the devastating effects of a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. Organizers felt that they could capitalize on the energy of the anti-war (Viet Nam) protesters and stage a country wide teach-in about the importance of taking action to protect the deterioration of the environment.
On April 22nd, 1970, 20-million Americans gathered on the streets, in parks, and crowded auditoriums for coast-to-coast demonstrations. Lawmakers, both Republicans and Democrats, formed the United States Environmental Protection Agency and passed the The Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts.
This year, Earth Day is Tuesday, April 22nd. One of the major concerns facing our planet is climate change. Scientists are continuing to research the subject, but there is broad agreement that our weather patterns are changing and that green house gases and human activities are contributing to the problem. Regardless of what you believe about climate change, most of us can agree that it’s common-sense to reduce carbon pollution.
The EPA says research indicates that many people don’t see “environmentalism” as an important issue in their lives. Odd, when we consider having clean air to breath, water to drink, and a safe environment is important to everyone. In addition, some of our actions are threatening the survival of beneficial creatures such as bees, butterflies, and frogs. Try to imagine a world without them – hopefully that sets off an alarm.
Look around and take note of the many thing we can easily take for granted. Water, air to breathe, and the creatures dependent upon a clean habitat. Mindful and thoughtful choices can add up to big benefits today, and for our tomorrows. This Earth Day, let’s commit to do our part to promote a cleaner energy economy. This Earth Day, let’s all commit to living in harmony with our planet. If not now, when?