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Earth Day, April 22, 2017

Earth Day

Earth Day 2017

Today is April 22, recognized around the globe as Earth Day……………here is a brief history and cause for this beautiful day we call, Earth Day!

On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans hit the streets to protest the environmental effects of more than 100 years of uncontrolled fossil-fueled industrial development. It was the first Earth Day.

What was intended to be a college campus teach-in soon spread to every community and city across the United States. It was and remains the single largest secular event in history. The sheer size of the protest—along with increasing visual evidence of dire health threats associated with air and toxic pollution—soon forced Congress to pass some of the world’s toughest environmental laws, most of which include community right-to-know provisions and allow citizens to sue their government if it fails to enforce the law.

Citizens’ rights have been enshrined in every major environmental law from that point on. These laws spawned others around the world—many more stringent than those in the U.S.—and most recognize the role of citizens in the enforcement of environmental laws.

Nearly 50 years later, Earth Day remains a day of reckoning, and now more than 1 billion people take action each year in almost every country on Earth. Some protest, many clean up their communities and plant trees, and millions more have their first exposure to environmentalism through educational programs at schools and universities. Governments large and small make commitments and meet with their constituents, while corporations make pledges to be more sustainable and responsible for the pollution they create.

 

Earth Day 2017’s Campaign is Environmental & Climate Literacy

Education is the foundation for progress. We need to build a global citizenry fluent in the concepts of climate change and aware of its unprecedented threat to our planet. We need to empower everyone with the knowledge to inspire action in defense of environmental protection.

Environmental and climate literacy is the engine not only for creating green voters and advancing environmental and climate laws and policies but also for accelerating green technologies and jobs.

This Earth Day, gather with your community for an Environmental & Climate Literacy Teach-In or another project focused on education. We are launching Earth Day and Teach-In toolkits that will lay out the steps for holding a successful event. Register your event with us and we will support you with promotion and advice.

About The Author

Ecowatch and Earth Day Network are contributors to this article.

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