What is Earth Day?
April 22, A day designated to the support of environmental protection.
History of Earth Day
Every year on April 22 we celebrate Earth Day. It marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970.
In the time leading up to the first Earth Day, humans were consuming huge amounts of leaded gas through inefficient automobiles with no consequences from the law or bad press. Air pollution was commonly accepted and America remained ignorant of the impact on the environment.
Senator Gaylord Nelson, a junior senator from Wisconsin, inspired by the student anti-war movement, announced the idea for a teach-in on college campuses. They recruited Denis Hayes, a young activist, to organize the campus teach-ins and they choose April 22, a weekday falling between Spring Break and Final Exams, to maximize student participation.
Hayes broadened the movement to include a wide range of organizations, faith groups, and others. They changed the name to Earth Day, which sparked national media attention, and gained buy-in across the country.
Earth Day inspired 20 million Americans to demonstrate against the impacts of industrial development on the environment.
Groups that had been fighting individually against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness and the extinction of wildlife united on Earth Day around these shared common values.
Earth Day has led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of other first of their kind environmental laws, including the National Environmental Education Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act and the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. These laws have protected millions of men, women and children from disease and death and have protected hundreds of species from extinction.
2021 Earth Day
Earth Day 2021 increases momentum on climate awareness with an amazing 3-day 3-day Earth Day Live virtual event to advance climate action hosted by EarthDay.org! Uniting global partners and environmentalist leaders everywhere and tripling down on the call for environmental reform to combat global warming
Earth Uprising leads the Global Youth Climate Summit; a 4-hour digital summit with panels, discussions, and inspiring messages, featuring youth climate activists Greta Thunberg, Licypriya Kangujam, and Alexandria Villaseñor.
Later, the We Shall Breathe Virtual Summit, presented by the Hip Hop Caucus, will explore the connection between social, racial, and environmental (in)justice.
Education International will lead the “Teach for the Planet: Global Education Summit.”
The multilingual virtual summit will span several time zones and feature prominent activists from every continent, focused on the crucial role that educators play in combating climate change and why we need transformative climate education now.
April 22 | Earth Day
EarthDay.org will have its second Earth Day Live digital event beginning at 12 PM Eastern Time.
Workshops, panel discussions, and special performances will focus on Restore Our Earth™ — they’ll cover natural processes, emerging green technologies, and innovative thinking that can restore the world’s ecosystems.
Topics will include climate and environmental literacy, climate restoration technologies, reforestation efforts, regenerative agriculture, equity and environmental justice, citizen science, cleanups, and more.
World climate leaders, grassroots activists, nonprofit innovators, thought leaders, industry leaders, artists, musicians, influencers, and the leaders of tomorrow will come to push us towards a better world.
Earth Day? What About Earth Year?
Now here is the call to action. Take what you have learned during this three day event, along with your own research and do your part to support environmental protection.
Learn more at https://www.earthday.org/earth-day-2021/