Tag: Earth Day

Earth Day 2020

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Usually each year on Earth Day, I like to share the history of this annual event along with a link to find a local clean-up. Like almost every event on Earth, COVID-19 has caused most cleanup events to be postponed until later in the year. Some may move forward if they meet current safety criteria, and comply with local and federal health advisories. Practice social distancing and sanitary awareness at any cleanups deemed safe by authorities. 

Earth Day Network, the world’s largest recruiter to the environmental movement, is going digital with messages, performances, and calls-to-action from celebrities and activists. Check out www.earthday.org/earth-day-live/

And now, onto the history of Earth Day from www.earthday.org:

The first Earth Day in 1970 mobilized millions of Americans for the protection of the planet. On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans — 10% of the U.S. population at the time — took to the streets, college campuses and hundreds of cities to protest environmental ignorance and demand a new way forward for our planet. The first Earth Day is credited with launching the modern environmental movement and is now recognized as the planet’s largest civic event.

Earth Day led to passage of landmark environmental laws in the United States, including the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts. Many countries soon adopted similar laws, and in 2016, the United Nations chose Earth Day as the day to sign the Paris Climate Agreement into force.”

Unfortunately, 50 years after the first Earth Day our country appears to be regressing, with environmental protections being eased and erased in favor of corporate profits. Despite the actions of our government, Earth Day continues today and the principles it was founded on seem to be finding more of a following than ever among us citizens. People of all walks of life are making changes in their daily lives to save the planet. 

 

 

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Earth Day 2019

The original “Green” movement began in the 1970’s, when true environmental  advancements were made — pollution was slowed, lakes and streams were cleaned, air quality was improved, alternative energy development sources utilizing the sun and wind were built.  Unfortunately, nearly 50 years after the first Earth Day our country appears to be regressing, with environmental protections being eased and erased in favor of corporate profits.

Despite the actions of our government, Earth Day continues today and the principles it was founded on seem to be finding more of a following than ever among us citizens. People of all walks of life are making changes in their daily lives to save the planet. 

During the month of April 2019, Earth Day Network is coordinating volunteer cleanups across the US by working with grassroots organizations and community members to clean up green spaces, urban landscapes, and waterways. With cleanup locations in cities across the U.S., the Earth Day 2019 Cleanup will build an army of volunteers and make a tangible impact on waste in our environments.

To find a clean up in your city, visit https://cleanup.earthday.org/

For more local happenings, news, and events, follow ColumbiaCountyCurrent on Facebook, and twitter @CoCoCurrent

A Brief History of Earth Day

Did you see the PBS documentary, Earth Days,  that aired this week? It’s an inspiring history of the events and people who created Earth Day. I have to admit that before watching Earth Days, I really didn’t know anything about the origins of Earth Day. The documentary does an amazing job of pairing interviews and narration with video illustrating what is being discussed. I was surprised to learn how much of a positive impact Richard Nixon had on the environmental movement and the establishment of Earth Day. Nixon even gave a rebel-rousing speech extolling the advancement of energy sources that would decrease the country’s need on foreign oil. It was during Nixon’s presidency that OPEC nations began cutting off the supply of oil to the United States leading to the energy crisis of the 1970s.

This crisis continued to dominate the times into President Carter’s term and Carter responded with further initiatives to alleviate America’s dependance on oil including laws that forced Detroit to make cars that ran longer on less gas. Did you know that Carter had solar panels installed on the roof of the White House? I had no idea. These panels generated enough energy to heat all of the hot water within the building, which is fairly impressive considering the size of the White House and the limited solar technology available at the time.

This “Green” movement took place during the 1970’s and real advancements were made–pollution was slowed, lakes and streams were cleaned, air quality was improved, alternative energy development sources utilizing the sun and wind were built.  40 years after the first Earth Day we should all have affordable and easily acquired access to solar and wind energy. Gas guzzling automobiles should be as antiquated and odd-looking as Gremlins and Novas, the concept of “Green” should be so passe that we are already onto something better.

So what happened? Simply put, Ronald Reagan happened. Reagan campaigned on a notion that we are Americans and we shouldn’t have to conserve anything. He convinced people that alternative energy was a showing of weakness and set the Republican party, which had been an eco-conscious group, on it’s steroid-laden post industrial binge. After taking office, Reagan began systematically destroying almost everything the environmental movement had achieved. He started by cutting the funding to groups working to further reduce the oil dependency, repealed the strict automobile efficiency standards and, in a public display, tore down the White House’s solar panels erected by Carter.

Imagine what our world could be like today if Reagan furthered the environmental movement or, at the absolute least, left it alone.

Despite Reagan’s efforts, Earth Day continues today and the principles it was founded on seem to be finding more of a following than ever before. People of all walks of life (not just radical hippies) are making changes in their lives to reduce the destruction of the Earth.

If you haven’t watched Earth Days yet, I highly recommend it. You can watch it now on PBS.org by clicking here or check your TV’s guide channel for more showings.

A Brief History of Earth Day

Did you see the PBS documentary, Earth Days,  that aired this week? It’s an inspiring history of the events and people who created Earth Day. I have to admit that before watching Earth Days, I really didn’t know anything about the origins of Earth Day. The documentary does an amazing job of pairing interviews and narration with video illustrating what is being discussed. I was surprised to learn how much of a positive impact Richard Nixon had on the environmental movement and the establishment of Earth Day. Nixon even gave a rebel-rousing speech extolling the advancement of energy sources that would decrease the country’s need on foreign oil. It was during Nixon’s presidency that OPEC nations began cutting off the supply of oil to the United States leading to the energy crisis of the 1970s.

This crisis continued to dominate the times into President Carter’s term and Carter responded with further initiatives to alleviate America’s dependance on oil including laws that forced Detroit to make cars that ran longer on less gas. Did you know that Carter had solar panels installed on the roof of the White House? I had no idea. These panels generated enough energy to heat all of the hot water within the building, which is fairly impressive considering the size of the White House and the limited solar technology available at the time.

This “Green” movement took place during the 1970’s and real advancements were made–pollution was slowed, lakes and streams were cleaned, air quality was improved, alternative energy development sources utilizing the sun and wind were built.  40 years after the first Earth Day we should all have affordable and easily acquired access to solar and wind energy. Gas guzzling automobiles should be as antiquated and odd-looking as Gremlins and Novas, the concept of “Green” should be so passe that we are already onto something better.

So what happened? Simply put, Ronald Reagan happened. Reagan campaigned on a notion that we are Americans and we shouldn’t have to conserve anything. He convinced people that alternative energy was a showing of weakness and set the Republican party, which had been an eco-conscious group, on it’s steroid-laden post industrial binge. After taking office, Reagan began systematically destroying almost everything the environmental movement had achieved. He started by cutting the funding to groups working to further reduce the oil dependency, repealed the strict automobile efficiency standards and, in a public display, tore down the White House’s solar panels erected by Carter.

Imagine what our world could be like today if Reagan furthered the environmental movement or, at the absolute least, left it alone.

Despite Reagan’s efforts, Earth Day continues today and the principles it was founded on seem to be finding more of a following than ever before. People of all walks of life (not just radical hippies) are making changes in their lives to reduce the destruction of the Earth.

If you haven’t watched Earth Days yet, I highly recommend it. You can watch it now on PBS.org by clicking here or check your TV’s guide channel for more showings.