Every year on April 22, billions of people around the world join together to raise awareness for environmental protection. This global event is known as Earth Day. It was first celebrated in the United States on April 22, 1970. Today, about 1 billion people in 193 countries participate in Earth Day and resolve to protect the environment and biodiversity.
1970, The First Ever Earth Day : 20 million Americans protest in the streets for more environmental protections.
1990, Earth Day becomes Globally Popular : 200 million people are now organizing and united, fighting for climate protections across 141 countries.
2018, School Strikes for Climate Change : Young people begin to strike for climate change, led by Greta Thunberg in Sweden, with around 2,200 strikes organized in 125 countries from 2018 - 2019.
2019, Green New Deal is presented : A “Green New Deal” Resolution is presented to the United States Congress for 100% renewable, zero-emission energy sources.
5 Facts about Earth day
1. Record high carbon dioxide.
According to the National Geographic society, the carbon dioxide in our atmosphere has never been higher, in part potentially due to nature, and in part due to the advances we as humans have made in industrialization across the globe, since the 1700’s.
2. Less food waste means less greenhouse gas.
Many people may not know this, but the more food we waste and do not consume, the more greenhouse gasses are emitted to transport and biodegrade the waste.
3. Climate change effects temperatures and weather.
According to the U.S. Global Change Research Program, the temperature in the U.S. has increased by 2 degrees in the last 50 years and precipitation has increased by 5%. More extreme weather phenomenons have been occuring in the past 50 years .
4. It’s a politically debated topic
Even though 97 percent or more of climate scientists agree that climate change is likely due to human activity (according to the Earth Day Network), and nearly 200 scientific organizations globally have issued statements that agree with this view.
5. The top emitter of carbondioxide
China, with their human population of 1.4 Billion, is currently the top emitter of carbon dioxide, accounting for 30% of global carbon emissions, according to Earth Day Network. However, the United States, with a population around 328 Million, comes in second under China as a top emitter, at 15% of carbon emissions worldwide.
The idea of continuing to celebrate Earth Day is based on people working together to achieve a better future for all. Each and everyone can do something small to make a difference for our planet. You don't have to plant a forest to enjoy Earth Day. Even if you feel that reusing your metal water bottle instead of buying a plastic one or using a Styrofoam coffee mug doesn't make much difference, your small acts can change and improve the world we live in. Earth Day is about making us aware of how fragile our ecosystem is and how our actions can positively or negatively impact the world we live in. We just need to be aware of the damage we've already done to our world. Not everyone needs to take to the streets and protest, but we all need to be reminded to keep the right attitude - not to live in constant fear of the world burning down and flooding, but also not to live in ignorance.