Janet Atkinson: An Earth Day legacy
An Earth Day legacy
Fifty years ago, the first Earth Day was held in the U.S. on April 22, 1970. It was the result of a bipartisan concept between a Democratic Senator from Wisconsin and a conservative Republican Congressman from California.
Taking the shape of teach-ins on college campuses, the goal of Earth Day was to bring together people who shared common values to protect our land, water, and air. It also led to the creation of America’s Environmental Protection Agency and many environmental laws, including the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. These laws have protected millions of people from disease and death, and saved thousands of species from extinction.
As the years passed, Earth Day grew into a global event. To mark the millennium, organizers galvanized a message for action on global warming and clean energy. Later, in 2016, the Paris Climate Accord was signed on Earth Day, with the goal of slowing the increase of harmful greenhouse gases. Although this year people will be staying home due to COVID-19, Earth Day will still be drawing on the demand for a unified response to environmental issues such as loss of biodiversity, plastic pollution, and climate change. This year’s theme is climate action.
In the spirit of America’s first Earth Day, people from across the political spectrum are invited to attend a virtual event this Saturday, April 25, from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. PST.
In the comfort of home, people can listen to world-renowned climate scientist, Dr. Katherine Hayhoe, as she shares the connection between our health and the health of our planet. Register for this free event at UnitingFromHome.eventbrite.com. It is sponsored by the national nonprofits, Citizens’ Climate Lobby and Braver Angels, who work to advance depolarization of discussions on climate change and encourage common action.
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