Happy Earth Day!

Filed in National by on April 22, 2010

Today is the one day a year set aside to honor our host planet, Earth. Today is officially called Earth Day and it’s the 40th annual one. Here’s a short history, from our friends at the NRDC (National Resources Defense Council):

On April 22, 1970, some 20 million people across the country rallied to protest the state of the planet. Cleveland’s Cuyahoga River, a dump for steel mills and other industries, had caught fire. A massive oil spill swamped the coast off Santa Barbara, and concerns about smog, DDT and water pollution were rising. The very first Earth Day was a grassroots revolution that spurred Congress to create America’s core environmental protection laws, and continues to be a day of celebration and activism worldwide.

The city of Wilmington is hosting an Earth Day celebration in Rodney Square from 11 am – 2 pm.

The earthday.org website has lots of ideas on how to help the environment and information on events and activism activities.

The Cagle Cartoon blog at MSNBC has a round-up of Earth Day cartoons.

Joe at Climate Progress has a darkly humorous essay about renaming Earth Day:

Arguably, concern over the earth is elitist, something people can afford to spend their time on when every other need is met. But elitism is out these days. We need a new way to make people care about the nasty things we’re doing with our cars and power plants. At the very least, we need a new name.

How about Nature Day or Environment Day? Personally, I am not an environmentalist. I don’t think I’m ever going to see the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. I wouldn’t drill for oil there. But that’s not out of concern for the caribou but for my daughter and the planet’s next several billion people, who will need to see oil use cut sharply to avoid the worst of climate change.

I used to worry about the polar bear. But then some naturalists told me that once human-caused global warming has completely eliminated their feeding habitat — the polar ice, probably by 2020, possibly sooner — polar bears will just go about the business of coming inland and attacking humans and eating our food and maybe even us. That seems only fair, no?

So what, if anything, are you doing for Earth Day this year?

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Opinionated chemist, troublemaker, blogger on national and Delaware politics.

Comments (4)

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  1. P.Schwartz says:

    Obama and Biden to Celebrate Earth Day by Tying Up New York Air Traffic

    NYC Aviation ^ | 4/21/2010 | Matt Molnar
    On a day when many Americans will be reflecting upon how they can reduce their impact on the environment, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will board separate jets in Washington on Earth Day morning to fly 250 miles up the east coast to New York, where they will land at separate airports to attend separate events within a few miles of each other. The parallel visits of Air Force One (a 747/VC-25 aircraft) and Air Force Two (a 757/C-32A aircraft) will delay dozens, if not hundreds of commercial flights at Kennedy and LaGuardia and other nearby airports…

    Burning thousands of gallons of fuel for an earthday press stunt.
    I am sure the travelers trying to get home from ash-shrouded europe appreciate extra hurdle of closed airports in NYC.

  2. Another Mike says:

    I listened to part of Pierre Robert’s Earth Day work force block on WMMR. Good day, good citizens!

  3. P.Schwartz says:

    “The Planet is fine, the people are phucked.” George Carlin

    Happy Lennin’s Birthday!

  4. P.Schwartz says:

    NPR: Could Cleaner Air Actually Intensify Global Warming?
    NPR.org ^ | April 25, 2010 | NPR Staff

    As much of the world marked Earth Day this past week, the Environmental Protection Agency reported that air pollution has declined dramatically over the last 20 years. It sounds like good news, but science writer Eli Kintisch argues that there’s a surprising downside: Cleaner air might actually intensify global warming. “If we continue to cut back on smoke pouring forth from industrial smokestacks, the increase in global warming could be profound,” Kintisch writes in an opinion piece for the Los Angeles Times. “The problem is that we’re cutting the cooling pollution as we make our air cleaner,” he says. So…