April 22nd marks Earth Day

Earth Day takes place each Year, 

and has done so since the first environmental movement in 1970, in America. This was the birth of our modern day movement against the way we treat the Earth, although there is still so much left to do.

Back in 1970

Simon & Garfunkel released the song ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’, America was at war in Vietnam, the last Beatles Album was made and it was the year of Jimi Hendrix death. Life was great, carefree and no-one thought of the Earth we inhabit.

Americans had massive V8 sedans, using up leaded fuel by the Gallon. Around the world industry threw out smoke and sludge with little, or no fear of legal consequences. Usually the smell in the air (pollution) was commonly accepted as the smell of industry moving forward and prosperity. The word “Environment” was a word that never appeared on the news, or in newspapers. It was a word that had none or little meaning to most fellow human beings!

Back in 1962,

a book was released in America called ‘Silent Spring’.  A bestseller, and represented a watershed moment, selling more than 500,000 copies in 24 countries. Silent Spring was the start in raising public awareness and concern for living organisms, the environment and links between pollution and public health. Silent Springs was released over 50 years ago,  the case for the environment has reached an urgency today, like never before.

From 1970,

protest movements against the Vietnam war started to channel more energy into environmental concerns. After the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, which caused widespread damage and water pollution, Gaylord Nelson and others decided with the help of the public, to put environmental and air pollution concerns on the national political agenda.

It was decided, on April 22nd, (Earth Day was born), there should be a National broadcast Teach-In day around America. April 22nd fell between the Spring Break and Final Exams, resulting in 20 million Americans taking to the streets, parks. Auditoriums were packed with people 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 realized they shared common values. Raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides and freeways became a huge topic. The loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly became important to many people around the globe. 

In 1990

Denis Hayes, a big environmental leader was asked  to organize another big campaign. This time, Earth Day went global, mobilizing 200 million people in 141 countries. It was lifting environmental issues onto the world stage. Earth Day 1990 gave a huge boost to recycling efforts worldwide and helped pave the way for the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.  President Bill Clinton, after prompting awarded Senator Nelson the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1995)—the highest honor given to civilians in the United States—for his role as Earth Day founder.

Earth Day Today

Today, the fight continues for a clean environment with an ever increasing urgency. Ocean mammals  die as a result of what humans are doing. Air pollution still affects our everyday lives and still many people don’t care or will not listen!

2020 marks the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day. Join in with us, on April 18th and help make a difference!

For more info, contact; Janet at DiveSMART Gozo

www.projectaware.org