Happy EarthDay.org memories, plus Amanda Gorman’s “Earth Rise.” Reliving Biden’s Earth Day Summit, and more EarthDay.org cool stuff.
Earth Day Replay Featuring Amanda Gorman’s “Earth Rise”
Happy Earth Day!
In the last week, we’ve highlighted Earth Day/Earth Month happenings around North America, but for on-the-day celebrations, I like to go back to the roots–EarthDay.org. The mission of EarthDay.org is to diversify, educate and activate the environmental movement worldwide. Growing out of the first Earth Day in 1970, EARTHDAY.ORG is the world’s largest recruiter to the environmental movement, working with more than 75,000 partners in over 190 countries to drive positive action for our planet.
You could say that the genesis of Earth Day came from the publication of “Silent Spring,” by Rachel Carson in 1962. But it took until January 1969 when Senator Gaylord Nelson, a junior senator from Wisconsin, had long been concerned about the deteriorating environment in the United States, witnessed the ravages of a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California to turn concern into action. Senator Nelson announced the idea for a teach-in on college campuses to the national media, and persuaded Pete McCloskey, a conservation-minded Republican Congressman, to serve as his co-chair. They recruited Denis Hayes, a young activist, to organize the campus teach-ins and they choose April 22, a weekday falling between Spring Break and Final Exams, to maximize the greatest student participation.
Hayes is the inspiration behind the name Earth Day, which immediately sparked national media attention, and caught on across the country. Earth Day inspired 20 million Americans — at the time, 10% of the total population of the United States — to take to the streets, parks and auditoriums to demonstrate against the impacts of 150 years of industrial development which had left a growing legacy of serious human health impacts. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment and there were massive coast-to-coast rallies in cities, towns, and communities…and here we are.
AMANDA GORMAN’S TRIBUTE TO OUR PLANET
Positive action news about people and groups combating climate change is not limited to the geo-political, geographical, economical or scientific. It also includes people combating climate change through culture. That’s because CC affects us more than just physically. It also affects us emotionally, spiritually and culturally. That’s why I am excited to report about Amanda Gorman, the United States Youth Poet Laureate.
Ms. Gorman penned a poem in 2018 about the climate crisis, and the action she implores US to take to end it. Here’s an excerpt:
On Christmas Eve, 1968, astronaut Bill Anders
Snapped a photo of the earth
As Apollo 8 orbited the moon.
Those three guys
To see from their eyes
Our planet looked like an earthrise
A blue orb hovering over the moon’s gray horizon,
with deep oceans and silver skies.
It was our world’s first glance at itself
Our first chance to see a shared reality,
A declared stance and a commonality;
A glimpse into our planet’s mirror,
And as threats drew nearer,
Our own urgency became clearer,
As we realize that we hold nothing dearer
than this floating body we all call home.
To view a video of Amanda Gorman’s Earthrise poem recitation, click on the Episodes tab of theclimate.org and then click on the link in Deeper Dive at the bottom of this show’s transcript.
HAPPY EARTH DAY 2021
Earth Day 2021 also starts Day One of President Biden’s two-day Leaders Summit. He invited 40 world leaders to this historic event, which will be live streamed for public viewing.
The Leaders Summit will reconvene the U.S.-led Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, which brings together 17 countries responsible for approximately 80 percent of global emissions and global GDP. In addition, the President has invited the heads of other countries that are demonstrating strong climate leadership, are especially vulnerable to climate impacts, or are charting innovative pathways to a net-zero economy. A small number of business and civil society leaders will also participate in the Summit. In his invitation, the President urged leaders to use the Summit as an opportunity to outline how their countries also will contribute to stronger climate ambition.
The Leaders Summit on Climate will underscore the urgency – and the economic benefits – of stronger climate action. It will be a key milestone on the road to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) this November in Glasgow. “The summit will also highlight examples of how enhanced climate ambition will create good-paying jobs, advance innovative technologies, and help vulnerable countries adapt to climate impacts,” the White House said in a statement.
MORE EARTHDAY.ORG COOL STUFF
Many important environmental events have happened on Earth Day since 1970, including most recently the signing of the Paris Agreement. Earth Day continues to be a momentous and unifying day each and every year. We at The Climate Daily look forward to being a part of this historic climate summit and making active progress to restore our Earth. That’s why we’re encouraging you to circle back to EarthDay.org. It’s a rich resource of videos and seminars and other educational materials to explore on Earth Day. For example:
Women in Leadership: Fighting the Climate Crisis Through Climate Literacy; Earth Day Stories from around the world; a series of quizzes testing your knowledge of the Earth.
And a boatload of Science and Education toolkits to encourage and inspire local leaders to engage their communities in environmental activism.After all, as EarthDay.org president Kathleen Rogers says , “We need to build a global citizenry fluent in the concept of climate change and inspired by environmental education to act in defense of the planet.”
DEEPER DIVE: EarthDay.org