DIANE’S CORNER .. Celebrate Earth Day
Earth, due to human activity, is in trouble. The ozone layer is depleting, ecosystems are being lost and people are starving and dying of dehydration. Endangered species are disappearing rapidly, our water and air is becoming increasingly polluted, and weather systems are being pushed to the extreme.
A scary picture indeed, but thankfully one we can all do something about! Earth Day, one of the first global initiatives to protect and conserve the earth, has become an annual event that strives for positive change on a global scale. It aims to inspire individuals, communities, businesses and governments all over the world to take action and help preserve the planet.
History of Earth Day
As the world’s largest environmental movement and the most widely celebrated secular occasion, with over 1 billion people and more than 75,000 partners involved each year across almost 200 countries, Earth Day has gone from strength to strength over the course of its history.
Founder Gaylord Nelson, a former US senator, thought of the idea after witnessing the 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. Inspired by the vigor of the student anti-war movement, he believed it was essential that energy was shifted to concerns about air and water pollution.
Originally envisioned as a campus teach-in event, Senator Nelson enlisted youth activist Denis Hayes to help organize the first Earth Day in 1970, and the pair opted for 22 April due to where it fell in the academic year, ensuring that the maximum number of students would be able to take part.
Nelson, Hayes and their team were able to spread the message far and wide, including to the national media, and promote events across the US. The occasion was a massive success, with 20 million Americans taking to the streets to celebrate the first Earth Day. They demonstrated in support of the cause, and groups that had previously been rallying around environmental issues separately came together on the day due to their shared values.
The first Earth Day helped put environmental protection on the political agenda and bring about change. That same year the United States Environmental Protection Agency was set up, and soon after various legislation was passed, including the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts.
It wasn’t until 1990 that Earth Day went global, spreading the message to 200 million people in over 140 countries. By the millennium it had reached more than 180 countries and involved hundreds of millions of participants worldwide. And of course the year 2020 marked the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.
2016’s Earth Day was a particularly special year, as it heralded the United Nations’ adoption of the Paris Agreement. Signed by 175 countries, this international treaty established legally binding targets for tackling the climate emergency, ensuring that as many nations as possible are working together to cut emissions and prevent global warming.
As a day of action, Earth Day aims to promote environmentalism through engagement, activism, education, policy changes and peaceful protest. It has focused on various themes over the years, such as climate change, trees, clean water and a healthy environment for children, and multiple organizations and venues host events that showcase the importance of caring for the environment.
This vital day teaches people about the consequences of their behavior on the places and ecosystems in which they live. And it’s not just about the damaging effects on the environment itself, but also about the impact on people’s health, access to food and water, safety and livelihoods. To get involved, people choose to make conscientious changes such as recycling more, using renewable fuel and conserving water.
IDIOM OF THE DAY
What does the saying ‘Bird’s eye view’ mean?
Meaning: If you have a bird’s eye view of something, you can see it perfectly clearly.
(Not So) TOTALLY USELESS FACTS OF THE DAY
A whale’s penis is called a dork.