What is Earth Day, and Why does it matter?

What is Earth Day, and Why does it matter?

Earth Day is an annual celebration that takes place on April 22nd all around the world. It honours Earth’s environmental diversity while also emphasising methods to safeguard our world.

It might be difficult to focus on the little activities that individuals and communities can do to address the climate catastrophe when we hear terminology like “code red for humanity” and “climate change.” Earth Day, on the other hand, aims to show how everyone can contribute to the change.

Continue reading to learn more about Earth Day, its significance, and how we can make a difference by taking simple steps or involving our community.

What is Earth Day?

According to the official Earth Day website, the yearly celebration began in 1970 when 20 million Americans — 10% of the country’s population at the time — came together to demonstrate the significance of strengthening environmental preservation.

According to the official Earth Day website, it now works with over 150,000 partners in 192 countries, involving over 1 billion people. Earth Day honours our world while also emphasising the importance of holding all sectors responsible for their contributions to the environmental issue.

EARTHDAY.ORG says, “Everyone accounted for, and everyone accountable.”

Climate change has become so severe and ubiquitous that scientists and environmental organisations agree that it is now more important than ever to confront it. Jane Goodall, a chimp researcher for the past 60 years, is one of the experts advocating for a whole-systems approach to climate protection.

“None of us can do it alone. It’s quite ridiculous. The problems are huge,” Goodall made the remarks during the 2021 Nature Conservancy in California Summit, which may be viewed on YouTube.

“We need every single organization that cares about the future of the planet to get together and to work out ways that we can share these small pools of money available, and find ways of lobbying those billionaires who have so much money to help us so that we don’t have to fight and squabble over funding,” Goodall added.

When Was Earth Day Created, And Why Was It Created?

For all of us, 1970 was a very different world, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency. There was no Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, or even an EPA at the time, according to the agency, and “there were no legal or regulatory mechanisms to protect our environment.”

Chemicals, on the other hand, were already having their toll on the environment, as Americans and others were well aware. According to History.com, events such as the publication of Rachel Carson’s book “Silent Spring” (1962), which demonstrated the environmental impact of chemicals, and a 1969 oil slick fire on Cleveland’s Cuyahoga River drew worldwide attention.

Senator Gaylord Nelson (D-Wis.) stole the notion of anti-Vietnam War “teach-ins,” or talks, on campuses around the United States in 1969, according to History.com. Nelson, an environmentalist, intended to take the same grassroots approach to environmental protection. Nelson was the one who first proposed the idea of an Earth Day in the fall of 1969, and the first Earth Day was held on April 22, 1970, thanks to widespread popular support.

“My primary objective in planning Earth Day was to show the political leadership of the nation that there was broad and deep support for the environmental movement,” Nelson, who died in 2005, remarked in 1980.

“While I was confident that a nationwide peaceful demonstration of concern would be impressive, I was not quite prepared for the overwhelming response that occurred on that day,” Nelson continued.

“Two thousand colleges and universities, 10,000 high schools and grade schools, and … more than 20 million Americans participated in one of the most exciting and significant grassroots efforts in the history of this country.”

Theme for Earth Day:

Each Earth Day has a different subject, such as “climate action” in 2020 and “Restore Our Earth” in 2021.

According to the official website, the topic for Earth Day 2022 is “Invest in Our Planet.” This issue is intended to discuss not only individual acts we can take to make the world a better place, but also how we spend our money on companies who care about the environment.

According to the website, “As individuals, we have the simple yet effective power to make our voices heard through our choices, our civic actions, and our personal interactions.” “What each of us does, and how we do it, has a huge ripple effect on our ecosystems, and on the pace of corporate and government action.”

Following up on conversations two years ago, EarthDay.org is urging businesses to adopt environmental social governance (ESG) guidelines seriously. 120 large corporations pledged to commit to four pillars of ESG — governance, planet, people, and prosperity — during the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland in 2020, with hundreds of KPIs to track across the pillars.

A report detailing particular metrics was also published by the forum. Companies can report on greenhouse gas emissions, land usage and ecological sensitivity, water consumption, air pollution, single-use plastics, and solid waste disposal, to name a few major indicators under the pillar “planet.”

According to a 2021 TED lecture moderated by former presidential candidate Al Gore, organisations who apply ESG indicators judiciously can still see a return on investment. Kerry, who is currently the United States’ Special Presidential Envoy on Climate Change, stated that enterprises such as Tesla (a major electric vehicle maker) are demonstrating the value of avoiding traditional alternatives.

“Most of the CEOs I am talking to, at least now, are increasingly aware of the potential of these [environmental] alternatives,” Kerry said. Of Tesla, Kerry said the company is “the most highly valued automobile company in the world, and it only makes one thing: electric cars. If that isn’t a message to people, I don’t know what is.”

Importance Of Earth Day:

While conserving the environment has long been a topic of Earth Day, the need for coverage grows with each passing year. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report, which examines the state of human-caused climate change, was released in August 2021 by a group of international experts.

The newest report was so alarming that UN Secretary-General António Guterres dubbed it “a code red for humanity.” The IPCC has been urging for years to restrict global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, according to Guterres. The average is already 1.2 degrees as of the 2021 report.

“The alarm bells are deafening, and the evidence is irrefutable: greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel burning and deforestation are choking our planet and putting billions of people at immediate risk,” Guterres said.

“Global heating is affecting every region on Earth, with many of the changes becoming irreversible … The only way to prevent exceeding this threshold is by urgently stepping up our efforts, and pursuing the most ambitious path.”

While experts debate on the extent of climate change, the fact that it is occurring and that it is being caused by humans is universally acknowledged by the climate community. The IPCC is one instrument used by experts to try to mitigate and control the negative consequences of climate change, which are expected to last at least another few decades.

Researchers can refer to the significance of Earth-observing satellites observing the consequences of climate change from space as an example of global change monitoring that feeds into IPCC reporting.

Wildfires, melting glaciers, seasonal warming or shifting, increased floods, and other effects of climate change can all be seen by satellites. Crop yields, sea levels, extreme weather like tornadoes, and other phenomena with direct implications on humans and the ecology are all predicted using satellites and artificial intelligence.

How Can You Participate In Earth Day?

Many countries throughout the world hold Earth Day celebrations. Check out the official map to discover what’s going on near you.

The official Earth Day website includes a list of 52 activities that you may conduct in small groups or from the comfort of your own home if that is how you choose to participate. To see materials, for example, you can use your computer instead of a printer. The website also recommends measures ranging from cleaning up rubbish while running to organising community cleanups or contacting your local government representative to discuss climate change or pollution mitigation strategies.

You can also volunteer with EARTHDAY.ORG, join Earth Day, and even create your own Earth Day event for others to participate in.

NASA, for example, has Earth Day activities that you may participate in in your neighbourhood or at home. Plant flowers to attract pollinating organisms like bees, quit using pesticides in your garden, and carefully manage your water consumption are just a few of the 10 mini-activities listed in the Old Farmer’s Almanac.

Share This Post