Earth Day 2016

Happy Earth Day!

Inspired by the impact of the previous year’s Santa Barbara oil spill, which spread 3 million gallons of crude oil along 35 miles of California’s cost, Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin designated April 22, 1970 as Earth Day. He intended to capitalize on the building public awareness of air and water pollution by mobilizing citizens to attend demonstrations and events across the US on that day. Millions of people attended events held in most major cities in the country. That activity led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, 3 major pieces of environmental legislation that are still in place today, and a continued attention to environmental policy issues. Earth Day (designated by the United Nations as International Mother Earth Day in 2009) was celebrated globally in 1990 and the Day has been expanded to a Week in many locations. On Earth Day 2016, 150+ nations will come together at the United Nations to sign the Paris Climate Change Agreement, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and keep the global temperature increases to less than 2 degrees Celsius. Despite the doom and gloom about the consequences of climate change, National Geographic put together a list of what is going right in our environmental history, which is a good way to end the day.