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Get Into Earth Day: 22 April 2010

40 Years On: Earth Day 2010

Earth Day 2010 LogoThe year 2010 sees the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, when Earth Day Network and Carbon War Room are combining to connect public and private sectors and provoke discussion on the roles of government and industry in the fight against climate change, with talks by major industry leaders.

Projects include “A Billion Acts of Green”, when hundreds of thousands will participate in schemes or exhibitions on subjects including tree planting, water protection and forest restoration in 180 countries.

A Global Day of Action will take place on April 22nd 2010 when conversations will take place throughout the world on climate action in 500 communities.

Celebrations will culminate in A Global Day of Celebration on April 24th 2010, when 40 major city events are organised around the globe in venues like London, Mumbai, Sydney, Barcelona and of course, Washington DC.

To become part of this united effort to bring about historic changes and preserve the world for generations to come, prospective participants can find events and register at www.earthday.net.


Earth Day: 22 April 2010

Forty years ago people had a very different attitude towards the earth: the verb “recycle” meant to repeat the same route on a bike; green was a colour, not an issue; environmental was a description that related more to geography than health, and the greenhouse effect was a means of using a glass house to cultivate non-hardy plants.

Earth Day 2010 Hands Around the WorldIn 1970 huge, gas guzzling cars were preferred as a status symbol, nuclear energy was shrouded in mystery, the Apollo space mission was still being launched to the moon and the US was preoccupied with the conflict in Vietnam. In comparison, many politicians regarded environmental issues as a less pressing concern.

In actual fact, a grassroots movement was gaining momentum across the country, as groups of students and workers united in an attempt to alert the government to the idea that voters were equally concerned about ecological matters.

The result was Earth Day, first celebrated in America on the 22nd April 1970 and founded by the US Senator Gaylord Nelson to “shake up the political establishment and force this issue on to the national agenda.”


United Nations Unite for Earth Day

Senator Nelson’s initial concept of a national “teach-in” in universities, colleges and schools across the country was conceived after his observation of the oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara in 1969 and subsequent outrage at the political indifference.

Earth Day 2010 Adopt MeCoordinated by the Harvard student Denis Hayes, the idea received a boost when the help of the New York Mayor Lindsay was enlisted in shutting down 5th Avenue for the event: on April 22nd 1970, the day marked a landmark in history as twenty million campaigners fighting for various related issues united on streets, parks and auditoriums in a common cause to highlight concern over the environmental crisis.

Inspired by Senator Nelson’s words, the peace activist John McConnell had called for a global holiday called Earth Day at the UNESCO Conference, and a proclamation was signed and Earth Day subsequently became a UN tradition.

With its logo of an ecology symbol combining the letters E and O, taken from the words Environment and Organism, and green and white striped flag, the movement began to be celebrated worldwide. The coming of the new millennium brought a change in direction as the campaign began to focus on global warming, the phasing out of fossil fuels and finding alternative, clean sources of energy.

In 2007 one of the largest Earth Days ever took place, with an estimated one billion participants.

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