The Earth Has Changed But Earth Day Remains the Same

Earth Day flag_PD
The Original Earth Day Flag as designed by John McConnell

 

Earth Day’s Popular Beginning

Earth Day was first proposed in a United Nations UNESCO meeting by John McConnell in the fall of 1969. By spring 1970, the American event had become a reality with Earth Day celebrations occurring across many US cities and campuses. The largest celebration occurred in NYC, where Mayor John Lindsey, closed several major thoroughfares and as a result over a million people flooded Central Park to partake in the festivities.

Earth Day was assigned to late April so as not to conflict with Easter, Passover or Spring Break
Earth Day was assigned to late April so as not to conflict with Easter, Passover or Spring Break

Why April 22? 

From the  U.N. meeting, the original concept was picked up by Gaylord Nelson of the U.S. Senate, who envisioned the holiday as an environmental teach-in on American campuses. The late April date was chosen, so as not to conflict with final exams, spring break or religious holidays. The first Earth Days were popular, well-attended public events that seemed like a carry-over from the sit-in demonstrations, which were so popular during the sixties. Although environmental awareness has increased dramatically, since the first Earth Day, environmental action has not kept pace. Much of the reason may be that environmental challenges are presenting themselves much faster, thus making immediate solutions difficult.

 

 

Polar bears investing the USS Honolulu near the North Pole, photo from wikipedia......credit Chief Yeoman Alphonso Braggs, US-Navy
Polar bears investing the USS Honolulu near the North Pole, photo from wikipedia……credit Chief Yeoman Alphonso Braggs, US-Navy

 

The Earth Is Changing

Even though most of the US is experiencing lower than normal temperatures for the 2013-2014 winter, it is generally believed by earth scientists that overall, the planet is slowly growing warmer. The reason for this paradox is complex, but it is generally believed among the scientific community that melting arctic ice has created a Pacific high, which is capable of redirecting weather systems through Canada before they drop into the United States. These unusual global events are prime material for an Earth Day teach-in, but co-ordinating community action to counter these problems is a much more difficult scenario.

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