“We need the tonic of wildness – to wade sometimes in marshes where the bittern and the meadow-hen lurk, and hear the booming of the snipe; to smell the whispering sedge where only some wilder and more solitary fowl builds her nest, and the mink crawls with its belly close to the ground. At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be infinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.”
I remember the establishment of this day. I took a summer class in college all about the environment in my country, Puerto Rico. I bought books, I read them all. I became aware of Bill McKibben (The End of Nature), Jeffrey Hollender (How To Make the World a Better Place), The Earthworks Group (50 Simple Things You Can Do series) and many more.
I was young, idealistic adult and a believer that my generation would change things.
As I look back today, it saddens me to see that I was wrong.
More than ever, there’s a lot of work to do today.
Earth Day 1970, an event to increase public awareness of the world’s environmental problems, is celebrated in the United States for the first time.
Millions of Americans, including students from thousands of colleges and universities, participated in rallies, marches, and educational programs.
Earth Day was the brainchild of Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, a staunch environmentalist who hoped to provide unity to the grassroots environmental movement and increase ecological awareness.
“The objective was to get a nationwide demonstration of concern for the environment so large that it would shake the political establishment out of its lethargy,” Senator Nelson said, “and, finally, force this issue permanently onto the national political agenda.”
Earth Day indeed increased environmental awareness in America, and in July of that year the Environmental Protection Agency was established by special executive order to regulate and enforce national pollution legislation.
I’ve been working with an amazing company called Neste for the past year as a futurologist on a project called #PreOrderTheFuture.
I teamed up with them because it really aligned with what I’m passionate about; which is helping improve the future through technology, sustainability, and education. This project allowed people to submit their ideas that can help improve the future and NESTE would fund it.
This was an ambitious project but nevertheless, I believe a successful one.
It’s no surprise – we are using tons of plastic, way more than we need, and the Earth cannot digest it.
Every single piece of plastic that has been created still exists somewhere on the Earth. It is poisoning our oceans, landfills and bodies. The production of plastic goods is polluting our atmosphere, and as a result of the oil extraction process to obtain the petroleum to make the plastic, our forests are being cut down and our rivers, lakes and oceans are being polluted. When will it be enough?
The fact of the matter is, we are using more plastic now than ever before, and because it is so (seemingly) easily disposed of, most of us are completely unaware of the waste we are helping to produce, especially on a mass scale.
Reflecting sunlight off silvery white clouds, opal blue oceans, and forest-tinged continents, it’s hard to imagine from this image that humanity is making any kind of imprint.
But we are making more than an imprint; we are stamping our metal feet into the Earth and spewing carbon by the ton into the atmosphere. In turn, we are leaving the Earth in much worse shape than we found it.
Haze has settled over cities.
Once green, fertile areas have become desert. Metal encroachments creep into the soil. All the while, NASA has photographed the progress from space. Here are seven jarring images of human impacts on Earth, as seen from space.
World Environment Day (WED) is observed every year on June 5 to raise global awareness to take positive environmental action to protect nature and the planet Earth.
It is run by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). “World Environment Day (WED) is the United Nations’ most important day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the protection of our environment.
Since it began in 1974, it has grown to become a global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated in over 100 countries.”
For more than 40 years, NASA (and, since 2013, the U.S. Geological Survey) has enlisted Landsat satellites to continuously document our home planet — kind of like an extreme, orbital version of the selfie stick. This unbroken record, consisting of millions of images of the earth’s surface, helps scientists track environmental changes over time.
The video by Vox strings together pictures taken from 1972 to 2014 to show how deforestation, water use, urban sprawl, electricity, and climate change have dramatically altered certain landscapes.
Though the footage focuses on just five areas on this big planet, human activity has had a visible impact on countless others — and the stories that emerge from the Landsat program’s data often aren’t pretty.
I think we can all agree that the earth deserves a better set of before-and-after shots.
“Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives.
The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.
Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.
It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”
Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space
~Five human activities you can see from space~~
~~Published on May 1, 2015~~
Satellites have been watching us for 40 years. Here’s what their images reveal.
I was 19 years old when the concept of celebrating a special day for Mother Earth was coming to be. I remember the joy and the respect that surrounded this concept. We we celebrating our home, our planet. Problems were identified.
The need to step up to this challenge was recognized because something had to be done to preserve our home, to save it for future generations.
I’m sitting here in my office and I’m looking up at my bookshelves. I see books there that I got during those early years:
The End Of Nature, EarthRight, The Green Consumer, Topical Nature, Save Our Planet, Spiritual Ecology, 50 Simple Things You Can Do To Save The Earth, 50 Simple Things Kids Can Do To Save The Earth, How to Make The World A Better Place, Two Minutes A Day For A Greater Planet, Silent Spring, The Reclycler’s Handbook …
and several more.
I took Ecology classes in college. I participated in activities and the spirit was there. Something would be done by my generation to make Earth a healthier, safer and cherished place.
I have become an adult, a senior citizen and I look back … “celebrating 45 years”.
I wonder …. what has been done? What has been accomplished? Is Mother Earth healthy? Will we be able to hand down a sustainable planet to the next generation as we planned?
Sadly, I think not. They will have the same challenges and even more so because of the way my generation has “conducted business” and failed at making this wonderful planet what it should be. We failed to reverse the damages done by “progress”. And these still continue to this day.
We hear it all the time: climate change, carbon emissions, fossil fuels, burning rain forests, disappearance of endangered species, plastic pollution, environmental protection and so much more ….. There’s a lot to do; so much more than what was needed in 1969.
Like Prince Ea says: “Sorry, future generations“. It is a beautiful world. Stand up and get the job done.
Earth Day is an annual event, celebrated on April 22, on which day events worldwide are held to demonstrate support for environmental protection. It was first celebrated in 1970, and is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network, and celebrated in more than 192 countries each year.
In 1969 at a UNESCO Conference in San Francisco, peace activist John McConnell proposed a day to honor the Earth and the concept of peace, to first be celebrated on March 21, 1970, the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere. This day of nature’s equipoise was later sanctioned in a Proclamation written by McConnell and signed by Secretary General U Thant at the United Nations.
A month later a separate Earth Day was founded by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in first held on April 22, 1970. Nelson was later awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award in recognition of his work. While this April 22 Earth Day was focused on the United States, an organization launched by Denis Hayes, who was the original national coordinator in 1970, took it international in 1990 and organized events in 141 nations. Numerous communities celebrate Earth Week, an entire week of activities focused on environmental issues.