Happy birthday, Earth Day. You are celebrating your 50th birthday this April 22, 2020. You’ve grown from humble beginnings to a day celebrated around the world.
This year we will have to celebrate in a different way. No golden anniversary party for you. The parades, fairs, exhibits, projects usually held to honor your day will be nonexistent or at the very least diminished. Why? Covid-19/the coronavirus has stopped gatherings across the globe. We will have to honor Earth Day this year at home, online, or some other way we don’t come in physical contact with each other.
Covid-19 Pandemic: An Environmental Issue?
Is this global pandemic an indirect outcome of the degradation of planet Earth? And is it ironic that it comes on a significant, 50th anniversary of the day we have designated as one that celebrates the Earth and asks everyone to take better care of the planet? One might think there is a connection. Little did they know back in 1970 how much worse things could get, despite the annual call to draw attention to environmental concerns.
First, let’s review Earth Day’s early beginnings.
How and When Did Earth Day Begin?
Earth Day started because of environmental activism that began during the hippy years of the late 1960’s. At that time young people on college campuses were very politically active and began protesting the Vietnam War. The peace movement then branched out to other global causes. One movement was to draw attention to the degradation and disasters humans were causing which threatened planet Earth. The first Earth Day was celebrated April 22, 1970. Grassroots local events took place to draw awareness to environmental issues. 20 million people took part on the first Earth Day held in the United States.
Earth Day 2020
According to the website EarthDay.org over 1 billion people in 190+ countries have been mobilized into action. The environmental movement has been growing once again with the youth of the 21st century leading the charge. Climate change, sea level rise, carbon emissions are causing a growing fear. We are being warned time and again that we are reaching the tipping point, beyond which there is no hope or repair for planet Earth. Besides being overwhelming, there are polar opposite political divides that exist now, throwing more confusion and contradictions about support for Earth Day and the environmental movement.
This years theme is Climate Action
Climate change represents the biggest challenge to the future of humanity and the life-support systems that make our world habitable. Unless every country in the world steps up – and steps up with urgency and ambition – we are consigning current and future generations to a dangerous future.
Earth Day 2020 Resources
Since most will be celebrating Earth Day at home, we have listed resources to celebrate Earth Day 2020.