Earth Day

Today it's Earth Day. You didn't know? Oh, no need to feel so bad about it.

Earth Day was founded in USA in September 1969. At a conference in Seattle, Washington, the US senator Gaylord Nelson announced that in the spring of next year there would be a nationwide grassroots demonstration for the environment.

Gaylord Nelson wanted the nationwide environmental protests to trigger such massive feedback that the political and national agenda would take environmental issues more seriously. "It was a gamble," he recalls, "but it worked."

On April 22 1970 the first Earth Day was here. Around 20 million Americans demonstrated for a greener and healthier environment. The people behind Earth Day, led by coordinator Denis Hayes, had organized massive coast-to-coast rallies. The first Earth Day turned out to be a huge success and a milestone for the green agenda in USA.

"Each year, the April 22 Earth Day marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970. Among other things, 1970 in the United States brought with it the Kent State shootings, the advent of fiber optics, "Bridge over Troubled Water," Apollo 13, the Beatles' last album, the death of Jimi Hendrix, and the meltdown of fuel rods in the Savannah River nuclear plant near Aiken, South Carolina -- an incident not acknowledged for 18 years. At the time, Americans were slurping leaded gas through massive V8 sedans. Industry belched out smoke and sludge with little fear of legal consequences or bad press. Air pollution was commonly accepted as the smell of prosperity. Environment was a word that appeared more often in spelling bees than on the evening news. But Earth Day 1970 turned that all around."

Since then Earth Day have been celebrated, mostly in USA, every year on April the 22.

Earth Day has mobilized 200 million people in 141 countries to help push for actions regarding environmental issues onto the world stage. For example, in 1990 Earth Day helped to improve recycling efforts around the world. And in 1992 it helped to pave the way for the United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.

Today Earth Day seem to have lost the worldwide recognition it once had. These days it seems that Earth Day has turned into a capitalistic publicity stunt.

Outside of USA there aren’t much celebrations or knowledge about Earth Day. If lucky it would be highlighted during a 30 second ending report on the evening news.

What do you think about Earth Day? Is it a day worth celebrating or is it a waste of time? Do we really need a special day to celebrate and put environmental issues in the spotlight?

Image Credit: Unofficial Earth Day flag, by John McConnell: the Blue Marble on a blue background. The above quote comes from Wikipedia.


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Simon Leufstedt
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Guest greengirl

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I think it's worth celebrating. Many people celebrate the earth and live green daily, but so many do not! Those people who don't think of helping the earth often need to be reminded every once in a while. They need to realize how much of an impact they can really make. This little interactive thing is a cool way to see how just a few people can change things: http://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/earth-day-credit-card-stories-1264.php

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Guest Flávio Vieira

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In Brazil there are already considerable demonstrations for Earth Day, and has been growing year after year. Let´s make our part!

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Guest Simon - presentations trainer

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I must admit I was disappointed to discover it'd been and gone here in the UK before I heard anything about it. Not only do I think it's worth celebrating, I think it should be bigger and better! S

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