Earth Day is April 22nd and this year marks the 50th Earth Day celebration. The first Earth Day was the brainchild of Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson who became inspired to create a grassroots movement after a 1969 oil spill. On that first Earth Day in 1970, 20 million Americans took to the streets to protest pollution. This led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency that same year. Later, Earth Day support led to amending the Clean Air Act and to passage of the Clean Water Act (1972) and the Endangered Species Act (1973). In 1990, Earth Day became a global effort with 200 million people celebrating in 114 countries. Earth Day 2010 saw the launching of a campaign to plant a billion trees. In 2016, it was on Earth Day that the Paris Climate Agreement opened for signature. It has now been ratified by 189 parties.
This year, due COVID-19, Earth Day is going digital. The theme this year is climate action. There are lots of ways to get involved. Visit the official website earthday.org to find out about Earth Challenge 2020, a global citizen science effort, and Earthrise, three days of planet activism. Also at the site, you can find pandemic specific information and much more:
Another site you may want to checkout is NASA. They have lots Earth Day activities planned for NASA TV and social media including videos and interactions with astronauts on the International Space Station. They’ll be showing how the science they are carrying out there relates back to Earth.
Of course, you can find all sorts of Earth and climate information at the MVCC library. Use the library catalog to look for books, ebooks, and videos on everything from climate change, and plant-based eating, to pollution and green energy and much more. You might also want to look for articles in our specialized database Greenfile. It focuses on the relationship between human beings and the environment.
And stay tuned. This whole week is Earth Week. So with the theme of climate action in mind, each day this week I’ll focus on a different topic and activity related to climate change.