Today is Earth Day and a time to volunteer to clean a park, or the beach or any other favorite place. It’s also a day to teach our children about caring for our beautiful planet and the awful effects of climate change.
The first Earth Day was held on April 22, 1970. According to http://www.earthday.org:
The idea came to Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, after witnessing the ravages of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. Inspired by the student anti-war movement, he realized that if he could infuse that energy with an emerging public consciousness about air and water pollution, it would force environmental protection onto the national political agenda. Senator Nelson announced the idea for a “national teach-in on the environment” to the national media; persuaded Pete McCloskey, a conservation-minded Republican Congressman, to serve as his co-chair; and recruited Denis Hayes as national coordinator. Hayes built a national staff of 85 to promote events across the land.
As a result, on the 22nd of April, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values.
Here’s a film clip from that day. Sorry about the quality.
Lastech and I try to use the lessons of Earth Day all year. When we go hiking, we pick up trash. It’s not only ugly, but it’s harmful to the wildlife. I encourage everyone to do the same. Every little bit helps and Mother Earth is more fragile than she appears.