Where were you on the first Earth Day – April 22nd, 1970?
Ok, maybe you were just a child, maybe you weren’t even born yet. Maybe you are a baby boomer and kinda remember it! There was a time when the Baby Boomers were young and idealistic. Their protests of what was going on in the world were heard by many people. Environmental laws were passed that helped keep other rivers like the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland from burning and stop oil spills like the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill. 1969 was not a good year from the environments perspective!
Clevelands river history can be found in this link…
Wikipedia says this about EARTH DAY….
Earth Day is an annual day on which events are held worldwide to demonstrate support for environmental protection. Earth Day is observed on April 22 each year. The April 22 date was designated as International Mother Earth Day by a consensus resolution adopted by the United Nations in 2009. Earth Day is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network, and is celebrated in more than 192 countries every year.
This was the pivotal point in environmentalism
The April 22, 1970, Earth Day marked the beginning of the modern environmental movement. Approximately 20 million Americans participated. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, Freeway and expressway revolts, the loss of wilderness, and air pollution suddenly realized they shared common values.
Read on History Buffs…
2014 Perspective from Green Cities
Have we improved the world since the 1970’s?
Many think we have, otherwise wouldn’t there have been more protests and greater unrest?
Did we clean up our Rivers? Did we clean up our Lakes? Did we clean up our Air?
It took congressional action to form the EPA and to pass laws that did clean up the industries that were polluting the United States natural resources!
Here’s what Agencies and Acts were promulgated in the 1970’s…
The Environmental Protection Agency was formed in 1970
The 1970 Clean Air Act
The 1972 Clean Water Act-for Rivers and Lakes
NEPA – National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 started the way the United States looked at actions that could potentially have negative impacts on our natural resources.
A part of NEPA encompassed the formation of the Presidents Council on Environmental Quality
The Council on Environmental Quality
Congress established the Council on Environmental Quality within the Executive Office of the President as part of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA). In enacting NEPA, Congress recognized that nearly all federal activities affect the environment in some way and mandated that before federal agencies make decisions, they must consider the effects of their actions on the quality of the human environment.
Wikipedia gives a thorough examination of the Environmental Acts of the 1970’s
A Republican President Started it All
No matter what you may think of President Richard M. Nixon, he was the one who signed all these acts into law. The obvious need to improve the environment was seen by our government during this time!
What has happened since then to the Boomers? Are we complacent? What has Changed?
Well, like everyone, they (we!) grew up. They got married and got jobs. They became a part of the establishment. And now, they are the establishment.
I just wonder how life has changed them. I wonder how they taught their children. I wonder how their children are teaching their children. It’s worthy of thought in my opinion, because now we have another major hurdle in our way.
The problem with Climate Change is that it is insidious. It can’t be readily seen, it can’t be readily smelled, it can’t be easily explained to a lot of people in the world. Many look upon it as natural variation. Many of us don’t! Science backs up the fact that our planet is warming at a tremendous rate and it won’t stop any time soon.
When can we expect Environmental Action by our Politicians to begin that will make positive changes to the way our children and their children will live their lives?
What do we need to do to make a point?
How about getting politically active, how about learning more about climate change and how it will affect you or your children in the future. How about notifying your representatives that you want them to act how to reduce carbon emissions! How about learning new ways to do things so that we are a part of the solution and not a part of the problem. Think about it…