Happy Earth Day 2018!!!

Today is Earth Day … the 48th anniversary of Earth Day, to be exact.  I am always surprised by people who say, “Yeah, so???” Or those who say “What the heck is Earth Day?”  So, please bear with me while I explain very briefly.

History – In The Beginning

The concept for Earth Day was conceived in the mind of then-Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, after witnessing the ravages of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. Senator Nelson recruited help from Republican Congressman Pete McCloskey and others, and on April 22,1970, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values.

Earth Day 2018-4Earth Day 1970 achieved a rare political alignment, enlisting support from Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, city slickers and farmers, tycoons and labor leaders. By the end of that year, the first Earth Day had led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.

In 1995, President Bill Clinton awarded Senator Nelson the Presidential Medal of Freedom—the highest honor given to civilians in the United States—for his role as Earth Day founder.

From Then To Now

Through the years, Earth Day has focused largely on global warming and a push for clean energy. Earth Day 2000 used the power of the Internet to organize activists, but also featured a drum chain that traveled from village to village in Gabon, Africa. Hundreds of thousands of people gathered on the National Mall in Washington, DC for a First Amendment Rally. Earth Day 2000 sent world leaders the loud and clear message that citizens around the world wanted quick and decisive action on global warming and clean energy.Earth Day 2018-3Earth Day 2010 saw new challenges:  Climate change deniers, well-funded oil lobbyists, reticent politicians, a disinterested public, and a divided environmental community all contributed to the narrative—cynicism versus activism.  Still, some 250,000 people showed up at the National Mall for a Climate Rally, launched the world’s largest environmental service project—A Billion Acts of Green®–introduced a global tree planting initiative that has since grown into The Canopy Project, and engaged 22,000 partners in 192 countries in observing Earth Day.

And In 2018???

Under the current administration, with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) having been nearly decimated under the auspices of Scott Pruitt, the United States stands alone among all nations in eschewing the science of global climate change, and I am inclined to say that we have no right to even celebrate Earth Day.  However, thankfully, the vast majority of people in this nation are more intelligent than our leaders and understand how critical our environment and our stewardship of the planet earth is.

The Plastics Crisis

A mound of plastics

This year’s Earth Day theme is a call to end plastic pollution.  This year, a six-ton sperm whale washed up on the shores of southern Spain with 64 pounds of plastic in its stomach!  The plastic crisis is a truly global one, and the numbers are staggering: A 2015 study found that between 4.8 and 12.7 million metric tons of plastic makes it into the ocean from land each year. By 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by weight.

Plastic is not biodegradable and does not break down in nature.  Some 32 percent of plastics end up in nature, where it often ends up in the bellies of fish, birds, and whales. 83 percent of drinking water samples all over the world were found to contain plastic fibers, even bottled water. Environmental activists are pushing to reduce or end the use of disposable plastics. Curbing plastic pollution is a key theme in this year’s Earth Day and there’s a high-profile campaign underway to ban plastic straws in particular. UK Prime Minister Theresa May called for a ban on plastic straws, swabs, and stirrers. Some researchers last year openly called for an international agreement to control plastic pollution.

Animal Extinctions

We failed to save the Northern White Rhino species, as the last male of the species died last month. His name was Sudan …

There are now only two Northern White Rhinos left in the world, both females.  Why did these animals become extinct?  Two main causes:  poaching and loss of habitat.  Humans must bear the blame for both.  In 1900, there were an estimated half-million of the rhinos.  By 1970, that number was reduced to 70,000.  And today the number is 2.

Global Warming

Earth’s polar regions are warming twice as fast as the average rate of the planet. NOAA scientists reported late last year that the Arctic losing ice at its fastest rate in at least 1,500 years. For the third year in a row. January saw the lowest extent of Arctic sea ice for the month on record. Researchers reported last year that a section of Greenland’s ice sheet suddenly started melting 80 percent faster. Another study found Greenland’s entire ice sheet is melting at its fastest rate in at least 400 years, and that the melt rate sped up drastically in 1990. If the entire Greenland ice sheet were to melt, it would raise global sea levels by more than 20 feet.

The climate change deniers can deny until they turn blue in the face, but facts speak louder than bullshit, and the facts tell us that we are losing this battle and will face our own extinction if we don’t take collective action soon.

In Summary

This is a post about Earth Day, but more to the point it is a post about the need for Earth Day.  It isn’t just about one day a year, about marches and articles such as this one, but it is about awareness.  The entire purpose of Earth Day is to raise awareness, to stir people to take action.  The U.S. government and Fox News will continue to deny the need to protect our environment, not because they are as stupid as they seem, but rather because they are as greedy as they seem.  But there is much that each and every one of us can do without the help of our elected officials.  Recycle, pick up trash when you see it on the streets or in your local parks, plant a tree, plant flowers to encourage pollination, turn the thermostat down, conserve water, reduce food waste, turn off lights, consolidate errands and trips in the car, walk more/drive less, take the bus … use some common sense and be a good steward of the planet.  And meanwhile, keep petitioning your elected officials at local, state and federal levels … let them know that a healthy environment is more important to you than the finances of the fossil fuel industry.  Please … my life and yours are at stake, but more importantly our children’s and grandchildren’s lives are at stake.

Happy Earth Day, my friends!  Why not celebrate by planting a sapling or a few flowers in the back yard?

41 thoughts on “Happy Earth Day 2018!!!

    • Thanks you … and a happy belated one to you, also. Every day NEEDS to be Earth Day … we simply must stop wearing blinders! I am thinking tonight, as i sit here sipping water from a plastic bottle, what are the alternatives. Our tap water tastes horrible, due to all the chemicals, but … perhaps buy it in gallon jugs and reuse the 12 ounce bottles to be refilled from the gallon jug? I’m not sure, but these are things we need to think about every day, not just on April 22nd.

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    • Thank you, my friend! Yes, I wanted this to be an upbeat, happy post about how we are doing so much, but … we aren’t and I just couldn’t bring much joy into it all. I hope, for all our sakes, that next year there will be more good news to report! Hugs!

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  1. Jill, excellent post. The growing plastic trash, water crisis and lack of support on addressing climate change are just three of the major challenges. When I see some folks say they hate Trump, but like his policies, my reaction is really? Tearing down environmental protections, pulling out of the Paris Climate Change accord, degrading the science and scientists doing something about climate change by themselves reveal huge concerns about this President, not to mention increasing the national debt and attack on our civil rights.

    Fortunately, these attacks are being overcome and one of the best things about Trump is he has galvanized folks to act against his poor stewardship. It would be nice if he and Congress helped more to fight these major concerns – he would rather give money to rich people and corporations. Keith

    Liked by 2 people

    • I can’t agree with you more, Keith! Thank you, Jill, for defending and speaking for the Earth, which I also celebrate on this occasion in a special and very long post at https://soundeagle.wordpress.com/2013/04/25/soundeagle-in-earth-day/ with the following mottos:

      Enlarge our purviews and extend our awareness, resolution and compassion to (include) other lifeforms and the environment.

      Be cogent, holistic and consilient on the universal, global and even planetary perspectives.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Keith! People ask me how Trump can do the things he is doing, rolling back and eliminating environmental protections. They ask if he doesn’t have a care for his children and grandchildren, not to mention future generations. The only answer I can find is that no, he cares for none but himself and doing whatever supports his own hedonistic life style … future generations be damned. And he is not alone, obviously. It is already to late to save some species, and as Hugh mentions, the honey bees are in serious danger of extinction from pesticides and chemicals. Once they are gone, earth will not be able to provide enough food to feed the billions of people who call this planet ‘home’. A friend recently told me to hush, that earth has been around for a long time and will survive just fine. Sure it will, but we will not … since the Industrial Revolution, man has been contributing to his own demise on a daily basis, and now he finds it nearly impossible to make the lifestyle changes required to save the planet. Or, rather, he finds it inconvenient. There is, of course, good news, but it does seem that the bad outweighs the good.

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  2. Under the leadership of Scott Pruitt, it should now be known as the Environmental Unprotection Agency! It will take decades to try to repair what is being done to our environment, and not all may be able to be reversed. The careless atrocities to Planet Earth must be stopped before the devastating effects become irreversible. We are running out of time and in many instances time has already run out. We can no longer depend on our government’s officials to do what is right and necessary. Upton Sinclair said : “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” It is up to us, each and every one of us…the future of the planet is in our hands. Dr. Jane Goodall says it better than I in today’s Google Doodle. Happy Earth Day and Thank-you for your post!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed the post and Dr. Goodall’s Google Doodle! Yes, we have taken our planet for granted for far too long, and especially since the Industrial Revolution. If we do not take some extreme measures very soon, change our lifestyles quickly, we may well be leading to our own extinction, as well as that of so many other species. Thank you for reading and for commenting!

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    • Many, many thanks, John! Sadly, all the posts and articles, all the activities, won’t change the minds of those who say that the earth will take care of itself. It will, of course, but it may well evict all of us … and who could blame it? It’s rather like those who drink heavily and do drugs all their lives … eventually the party has to end and the body wears out. Eventually our party will end, when we wear our home out.
      Hugs, dear friend!!!

      Liked by 1 person

        • That is my take, also. I think that … and I really don’t mean to sound negative here … but I think that humans in their greed and laziness, are going to make themselves extinct. It could be that they accomplish this through destruction of the earth because they are too lazy to alter their lifestyles to conserve. Or it could come about via an all-out nuclear war. I am not a psychic, so I cannot predict, but it seems that man lives in some world of rose-colooured glasses and simply believes that things will, somehow, take care of themselves without him/her doing anything. Some days it gets me down, but other days I say, “comme ci comme ça”. We do the best we can, we try to motivate and inspire others to do more, but at the end of the day … comme ci comme ça.

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  3. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    “Today is Earth Day … the 48th anniversary of Earth Day, to be exact.: … have we forgotten that there’s no Planet B? Have we forgotten that we are ALL together in this?
    Our responsibility is to protect Mother Earth … not to ravage and damage!
    It’s not only TODAY …. it’s EVERYDAY!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • You are so right … Earth Day is every day. But for far too many, Earth Day is considered a hoax, a joke. Fox News did a big story about how the liberal snowflakes use Earth Day to promote their agenda and that we are being alarmists and just trying to spoil everybody’s fun. I almost included bits of it on this post, but decided not to put a damper on the message I was trying to put forth. Hugs!!!

      Liked by 1 person

        • Yes, and let’s not leave out Huxley’s Brave New World. Somehow, though, this world doesn’t feel very ‘brave’ to me. But I think it has brought out the ‘brave’ in many of us average people, for we realize that if we don’t speak out, we are doomed, and we have nothing to lose by using our voices to protest the injustice of it all. Hugs … and more hugs!!! ❤

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Ironic that you would finish your piece with a shot of the honey bee whose demise seems assured and also seems to be directly connected with the widespread use of pesticides. We are doing some really stupid things to Mother Earth. Thanks for the reminder!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Anybody who denies global warming now is criminal in my eyes. The denial must be for their own selfish reasons like putting profit before people (yet again). Earth day is necessary and does a good job of enlightening people about problems the world faces. I hope enough people become involved and start making changes before it’s too late.
    Cwtch

    Liked by 2 people

    • I don’t think that most of the deniers actually believe what they say, but it enriches their coffers to deny it, so they do. There may be a few fools too ignorant to see what is happening right before their eyes, but I do truly believe that for most, the motive is $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$. People ask me, “don’t they care about the world they are leaving for their children, grandchildren, and future generations?” And the answer is ‘no’. They do not care, for they do not have the normal love and compassion for others that most of us have. They are but empty shells. I cannot help but wonder how much comfort all their millions or billions will bring them when they have no clean water to drink, must wear an oxygen mask in order to breath?
      xxx Cwtch xxx

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