Social Media Editor
Today, April 22, is Earth Day; but many people don’t seem to know why we celebrate it. Earth Day marks the anniversary of the beginning of the modern environmental movement in 1970.
At this time, Americans used a lot of gas, the air was polluted, and more times you’d hear “environment” in a spelling bee than on the news. The world was getting more and more polluted by the day and it was all accepted.
Rachel Carson wrote a New York Times bestseller named “Silent Spring” in 1962, and it was beginning to raise public awareness and concern for the conditions that were considered okay and normal. It helped to link pollution and public health. The idea behind celebrating this day, is to open your eyes to your environment and to spend the day trying to help out the environment, even if it means walking to where you want to go for one day.
The day became a national day to focus on the environment after the U.S. Senator from Wisconsin at the time, Gaylord Nelson, witnessed the aftermath of the 1969 massive oil spill in California. He helped to bring awareness to air and water pollution. It’s celebrated on April 22, which conveniently falls between Spring Break and Final Exams.
On April 22, 1970, over 15 million people demonstrated for a healthy environment by partaking in rallies from coast to coast, going in streets, parks, and auditoriums.
Colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment, fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife.
Earth Day today tends to focus on global warming and pushing for clean energy. Along with the new focus however, there’s a whole new group of anti-protesters. These are the climate change deniers, well-funded oil lobbyists, some politicians, disinterested people, and a divided community for environmental issues.
So this Earth Day, go out. Plant some trees. Ride that bike. Help your environment because we only have one Earth and we need to take care of it together.