Today is the 45th anniversary of Earth Day.
The first one was in 1970. Senator Gaylord Nelson from Wisconsin was inspired after seeing the devastation of a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California in 1969.
He saw the great energy youth were bringing to the anti- war movement and decided to channel it to bring attention to the activities causing environmental damage.
Awareness of the pollution problem had been growing since the early 1960’s. Senator Nelson, a Democrat recruited Senator Pete McCloskey, a Republican and hired a national coordinator who provided information and organized events.
The day was a rousing success with many demonstrations across the United States. It brought together people from both sides of the politics, and all walks of life. Many people were concerned about specific issues such as oil spills, factory pollution, raw sewage dumping in water, toxic waste dumps, pesticide use, loss of wilderness and animals becoming extinct.
In 1990 it went global with 200 million people in 45 countries.
The focus has changed to recycling in 1990 and climate change in 2000, which is an ongoing issue.
Things have changed in 45 years. There is more consideration of the environment and laws to protect it.
More needs to be done.
A short paragraph labelled ‘The Danger Zone’ on the Bad News page of the February 2, 2015 Maclean’s magazine stated that according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, temperatures last year were the hottest every recorded. Researchers in the journal ‘Science’ say we have now crossed four of nine ‘planetary boundaries needed for people to thrive. They include changes to climate, oceans and biodiversity.
Every day needs to be Earth Day.