Monday, April 20, 2020

50th Annual Earth Day

April 22 marks the 50th annual Earth Day. The first was envisioned by Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson as a teach-in about environmental degradation. You can read a good history of the event at the Earth Day 2020 website. Most importantly, a dozen or so strong environmental bills and agencies came from the awareness raised by this national wake-up call.

In 1970, the fear was poison in the air and water and pollution. If we stopped using DDT and lead, the environment could recover. If we started recycling plastic, it wouldn't end up in waterways and roadsides. We could change and change would make a difference.

This year, it's different. In addition to all the 1970 concerns, because gains against greed are never fully won, we have now to deal with mass extinction and the climate crisis

And we have the coronavirus so we must find different ways to continue our Earth advocacy. 

However, we have to find a way not just to commemorate Earth Day but to dedicate our efforts to making the major changes needed to reduce carbon emissions and slow the rise of global heating. We all need to get it this time. It's not just changing a light bulb. It's removing a natural gas heating system. It's replacing a fossil fueled vehicle. It's rethinking our meals, our work habits, our energy use, our vacations, our consumption, our use of plastics, our investments, our priorities. It's pushing for major changes in our city and in our state and in our country.
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Educate yourself and others
There is no perfect solution. But we have to try.
Public discourse has been polluted now for decades by corporate-funded disinformation - not just with climate change but with a host of health, environmental and societal threats. The implications for the planet are grim. Michael E. Mann

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