Happy Earth Day!
It can be quite distressing to view the impact humans have had on Earth. There is no need to spell it out: we all know the negative effects of human industrialization on our home planet, ranging from global warming to pollution to wildlife extinction. However, our Mother Earth is caring. She has taken care of us for thousands upon thousands of generations. Now it is our turn to restore and reverse the negative effects that we have caused, one step at a time.
The first observance of Earth Day was during April 1970, when a junior senator from Wisconsin named Gaylord Nelson took advantage of the growing awareness of human effects on the environment. Although it is hard to believe now, laws that prevent certain harmful effects on the environment such as the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act were not yet in place during that time, which meant that pollution was much greater. General awareness grew when environmental leaders such as Rachel Carson began to delve into the harmful effects of human industrialization on the environment, in addition to major environmental disasters due to human error such as the 1969 Santa Barbara Oil Spill, which was estimated to kill a staggering 3,500 sea birds, as well as many groups of sea animals. Sen. Nelson, with help from Congressmen Pete McCloskey and young activist Denis Hayes launched the first Earth Day in American history. Over 20 million Americans, 10% of the entire population of the United States at that time, joined together in protests and rallies to fight for a cleaner, healthier environment.
Today, more than a billion people worldwide celebrate Earth Day as a way to grow and spread awareness about our environment and the effects we have on it. Earth Day is also about appreciating the beauty of nature and the world around us, and figuring how we may be able to reverse the negative effects of our own actions on the environment. Please enjoy and cherish the great wonders the natural world has to offer. Happy Earth Day!
You can learn more about the history of Earth Day at this link: The History of Earth Day