- Most Earth Day occasions this 12 months might be on-line due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.
- On the primary Earth Day, April 22, 1970, 20 million folks got here out onto the streets throughout the U.S.
- Now, local weather change has change into one of many central problems with the environmental motion.
Our planet’s very personal vacation is coming later this week.
And in a 12 months by which a lethal pandemic has had the globe in its grip and local weather change helped spark a cascade of calamities from raging wildfires to a ferocious hurricane season, the main target of this 12 months’s Earth Day could not be extra well timed.
“On the coronary heart of Earth Day’s 2021 theme, Restore Our Earth, is optimism, a critically wanted sentiment in a world ravaged by each local weather change and the pandemic,” mentioned Kathleen Rogers, president of EarthDay.org.
The theme of “Restore Our Earth” focuses on restoring the world’s ecosystems by pure processes, rising inexperienced applied sciences and modern pondering. “This 12 months, we’re additionally supporting native communities and areas which can be disproportionately affected by environmental points,” in response to EarthDay.org.
Earth Day, which takes place annually on April 22, is the most-widely noticed secular vacation throughout the globe. It is an occasion “celebrated around the globe when folks take time to understand humankind’s connection to the Earth and to boost consciousness of our environmental challenges,” in response to the Earth Day Initiative. a New York Metropolis-based non-profit group.
John Oppermann, govt director of the Earth Day Initiative, mentioned that “with every passing day, the urgency for local weather motion grows, and we’re operating out of time. It is a pivotal 12 months for our international neighborhood to acknowledge and respect the science of local weather and COVID.”
Like final 12 months, most Earth Day occasions this 12 months might be on-line due to the pandemic.
“Most of our Earth Day occasions might be digital except particular person and small group cleanups by our ‘Nice World Cleanup’ program,” mentioned Olivia Altman of EarthDay.org, previously the Earth Day Community.
Regardless of the pandemic, “there’s plenty of pleasure round this Earth Day,” Rogers instructed USA TODAY. Total, greater than 1 billion folks in 192 international locations take part in every Earth Day “to construct environmental democracy and advocate for sustainability,” in response to EarthDay.org.
“Final 12 months, we have been in a position to attain thousands and thousands by our digital Earth Day Stay occasion,” Altman mentioned. “This 12 months, with our second-annual Earth Day Stay digital occasion, we consider we will develop even additional.”
The worldwide present begins at midday ET on Thursday and can run parallel to the Biden administration’s international local weather summit, additionally set for Earth Day.
“Our four-hour occasion might be action-packed,” she promised. “Our panels, workshops, movies and performances, will embrace world local weather leaders, activists, educators, musicians, influencers and extra.”
Earth Day turns 51 this 12 months. On the primary Earth Day, April 22, 1970, 20 million folks got here out onto the streets throughout the U.S., an occasion that to this present day stays the biggest civic occasion in human historical past, in response to Rogers.
The last decade that adopted noticed a few of America’s hottest and highly effective environmental laws, EarthDay.org says, together with updates to the Clear Air Act and creation of the Clear Water Act, the Endangered Species Act and the institution of the Environmental Safety Company.
Now, local weather change has change into one of many central problems with the environmental motion, and local weather and environmental literacy is vital to that, Rogers mentioned.
“Mixed with civic schooling, local weather and environmental literacy will create jobs, construct a inexperienced client market and permit residents to have interaction with their governments in a significant technique to remedy local weather change,” Rogers mentioned. “EarthDay.org believes each faculty on the planet should have obligatory, assessed local weather and environmental schooling with a powerful civic engagement element.”