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Earth Day

Earth Day

Unofficial Earth Day flag, by John McConnell: the Blue Marble on a blue field. Earth Day, celebrated in the US on April 22, is a day designed to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth’s environment. It was founded by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in in 1970 and is celebrated in many countries every year. This date is Spring in the Northern Hemisphere and Autumn in the Southern Hemisphere. The United Nations celebrates an Earth Day each year on the March equinox, which is often March 20, a tradition which was founded by peace activist John McConnell in 1969.

Earth day symbol with the U.S. supporting it, took the position in Cairo in 1994 that every country was responsible for stabilizing its own population. It can be done. But in this country, it’s phony to say ’I’m for the environment but not for limiting immigration.’" Senator Nelson first proposed the nationwide environmental protest to thrust the environment onto the national agenda.” "It was a gamble," he recalls, "but it worked." Ron Cobb created an ecology symbol, which was later adopted as the Earth Day symbol, and was published on November 7th, 1969, in the Los Angeles Free Press and then placed it in the public domain. The symbol was a combination of the letters "E" and "O" taken from the words "Environment" and "Organism", respectively. Look magazine incorporated the symbol into a flag in their April 21, 1970 issue. The flag was patterned after the flag of the United States, and had thirteen stripes alternating green and white. Its canton was green with the ecology symbol where the stars would be in the United States flag.

History of the April 22 Day
In September 1969 at a conference in Seattle, Washington, U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin announced that in spring 1970 there would be a nationwide grassroots demonstration on the environment. This occurred during a time of great concern about overpopulation and when there was a strong movement towards "Zero Population Growth." Nelson viewed the stabilization of the nation’s population as an important aspect of environmentalism and later said: "The bigger the population gets, the more serious the problems become ... We have to address the population issue. The United Kingdom,

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Five months before the first April 22 Earth Day, on Sunday, November 30, 1969, The New York Times carried a lengthy article by Gladwin Hill reporting on the rising hysteria of "global cooling". "Rising concern about the environmental crisis is sweeping the nation’s campuses with an intensity that may be on its way to eclipsing student discontent over the war in Vietnam...a national day of observance of environmental problems...is being planned for next spring...when a nationwide environmental ’teachin’...coordinated from the office of Senator Gaylord Nelson is planned...." Senator Nelson also hired Denis Hayes as the coordinator. April 22, 1970, Earth Day marks the beginning of the modern environmental movement. Approximately 20 million Americans participated, with a goal of a healthy, sustainable environment. Denis Hayes, the national coordinator, and his old staff organized 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, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values. Mobilizing 200 million people in 141 countries and lifting the status of environmental issues onto the world stage, Earth Day on April 22 in 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. As the millennium approached, Hayes agreed to spearhead another campaign, this time focused on global warming and a push for clean energy. The April 22 Earth Day in 2000 combined the big-picture feistiness of the first Earth Day with the international grassroots activism of Earth Day 1990. For 2000, Earth Day had the Internet to help link activists around the world. By the time April 22 came around, 5,000 environmental groups around the world were on board, reaching out to hundreds of millions of people in a record 184 countries. Events varied: A talking

Earth Day
drum chain traveled from village to village in Gabon, Africa, for example, while hundreds of thousands of people gathered on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., USA. Earth Day 2007 was one of the largest Earth Days to date, with an estimated billion people participating in the activities in thousands of places like Kiev, Ukraine; Caracas, Venezuela; Tuvalu; Manila, Philippines; Togo; Madrid, Spain; London; and New York. Founded by the organizers of the first April 22 Earth Day in 1970, Earth Day Network promotes environmental citizenship and year round progressive action worldwide. Earth Day Network is a driving force steering environmental awareness around the world. Through Earth Day Network, activists connect change in local, national, and global policies. Earth Day Network’s international network reaches over 17,000 organizations in 174 countries, while the domestic program engages 5,000 groups and over 25,000 educators coordinating millions of community development and environmental protection activities throughout the year. Earth Day is the only event celebrated simultaneously around the globe by people of all backgrounds, faiths and nationalities. More than a half billion people participate in Earth Day Network campaigns every year. [1]

History at the Equinox Earth Day
The equinoctial Earth Day is celebrated on the March equinox (around March 20) to mark the precise moment of astronomical mid-spring in the Northern Hemisphere, and of astronomical mid-autumn in the Southern Hemisphere. An equinox in astronomy is that moment in time (not a whole day) when the center of the Sun can be observed to be directly "above" the Earth’s equator, occurring around March 20 and September 23 each year. In most cultures the equinoxes and solstices are considered to start or separate the seasons. John McConnell [2] first introduced the idea of a global holiday called "Earth Day" at a UNESCO Conference on the Environment in 1969. The first Earth Day proclamation was issued by San Francisco Mayor Joseph Alioto on March 21, 1970. Celebrations were held in various cities including San Francisco, in Davis, California with a multi-day

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Earth Day
also the most ancient way – using the vernal Equinox, the time when the Sun crosses the equator making night and day of equal length in all parts of the Earth. To this point in the annual calendar, EARTH DAY attaches no local or divisive set of symbols, no statement of the truth or superiority of one way of life over another. But the selection of the March Equinox makes planetary observance of a shared event possible, and a flag which shows the Earth as seen from space appropriate." [4]

John McConnell in front of his home in Denver Colorado, USA with the Earth Flag he designed. street party, and elsewhere. UN SecretaryGeneral U Thant supported McConnell’s global initiative to celebrate this annual event, and on February 26, 1971, he signed a proclamation to that effect, saying: May there only be peaceful and cheerful Earth Days to come for our beautiful Spaceship Earth as it continues to spin and circle in frigid space with its warm and fragile cargo of animate life.[3] Secretary General Waldheim observed Earth Day with similar ceremonies on the March equinox in 1972, and the United Nations Earth Day ceremony has continued each year since on the day of the March equinox (the United Nations also works with organizers of the April 22 global event). Margaret Mead added her support for the equinox Earth Day, and in 1978 declared: "EARTH DAY is the first holy day which transcends all national borders, yet preserves all geographical integrities, spans mountains and oceans and time belts, and yet brings people all over the world into one resonating accord, is devoted to the preservation of the harmony in nature and yet draws upon the triumphs of technology, the measurement of time, and instantaneous communication through space. EARTH DAY draws on astronomical phenomena in a new way – which is

At the moment of the equinox, it is traditional to observe Earth Day by ringing the Japanese Peace Bell, a bell donated by Japan to the United Nations.[5] Over the years celebrations have occurred in various places worldwide at the same time as the celebration at the UN. On March 20, 2008, in addition to the ceremony at the United Nations, ceremonies were held in New Zealand, and bells were sounded in California, Vienna, Paris, Lithuania, Tokyo and many other locations. The equinox Earth Day at the UN is organized by the Earth Society Foundation [6]

April 22 observances
Growing eco-activism before Earth Day 1970
The 1960s had been a very dynamic period for ecology in the US, in both theory and practice. It was in the mid-1960s that Congress passed the sweeping Wilderness Act, and Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas asked, "Who speaks for the trees?" Pre-1960 grassroots activism against DDT in Nassau County, New York, had inspired Rachel Carson to write her shocking bestseller Silent Spring (1962). Ralph Nader began talking about the importance of ecology in 1970.

Earth Day 1970
Responding to widespread environmental degradation, Gaylord Nelson, a United States Senator from Wisconsin, called for an environmental teach-in, or Earth Day, to be held on April 22, 1970. Over 20 million people participated that year, and Earth Day is now observed each year on April 22 by more than

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Earth Day

Gaylord Nelson 500 million people and national governments in 175 countries. Senator Nelson, an environmental activist, took a leading role in organizing the celebration, hoping to demonstrate popular political support for an environmental agenda. He modeled it on the highly effective Vietnam War protests of the time.[7] The concept of Earth Day was first proposed in a memo to JFK written by Fred Dutton.[8] According to Santa Barbara, California Community Environmental Council: The story goes that Earth Day was conceived by Senator Gaylord Nelson after a trip he took to Santa Barbara right after that horrific oil spill off our coast in 1969. He was so outraged by what he saw that he went back to Washington and passed a bill designating April 22 as a national day to celebrate the earth.[9] Senator Nelson selected Denis Hayes, a Harvard University graduate student, as the national coordinator of activities. Hayes said he wanted Earth Day to "bypass the traditional political process."[10] Garrett DuBell compiled and edited The Environmental Handbook the first guide to the Environmental

Denis Hayes Teach-In. Its symbol was a green Greek letter theta, "the dead theta". One of the organizers of the event said: "We’re going to be focusing an enormous amount of public interest on a whole, wide range of environmental events, hopefully in such a manner that it’s going to be drawing the interrelationships between them and, and getting people to look at the whole thing as one consistent kind of picture, a picture of a society that’s rapidly going in the wrong direction that has to be stopped and turned around. "It’s going to be an enormous affair, I think. We have groups operating now in about 12,000 high schools, 2,000 colleges and universities and a couple of thousand other community groups. It’s safe to say I think that the number of people who will be participating in one way or another is going to be ranging in the millions."[11] The nationwide event included opposition to the Vietnam War on the agenda, but this was thought to detract for the environmental

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message. Pete Seeger was a keynote speaker and performer at the event held in Washington DC. Paul Newman and Ali McGraw attended the event held in New York City.[12] The most notable organization to protest the event was the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Earth Day
crude oil at such a rate…that there won’t be any more crude oil." Later, these quotes, and others like them, would be highlighted by skeptics such as Glenn Beck with the suggestion that they undermined other predictions by environmentalists.[14]

Concerns at the time of Earth Day 1970
In 2000, Ron Bailey, the scientific editor of Reason Magazine, wrote an article considering predictions and warnings made at the time of the inaugural Earth Day and progress that had been made since then, suggesting that much of the alarmism of the environmental movement was unfounded. In particular, he mentioned these quotes:[13] Denis Hayes, the chief organizer for the first Earth Day, wrote, "It is already too late to avoid mass starvation." Senator Gaylord Nelson, the founder of Earth Day, stated, "Dr. S. Dillon Ripley, secretary of the Smithsonian Institute, believes that in 25 years, somewhere between 75 and 80 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct." Peter Gunter, a professor at North Texas State University, stated, "... by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions.... By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine." Paul Ehrlich, author of The Population Bomb, predicted that between 1980 and 1989, 4 billion people, including 65 million Americans, would starve to death. Life Magazine wrote, "... by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half." Ecologist Kenneth Watt stated, "The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age." Watt also stated, "By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up

The results of Earth Day 1970

Earth Day 2007 at San Diego City College in San Diego, California. Earth Day proved popular in the United States and around the world. The first Earth Day had participants and celebrants in two thousand colleges and universities, roughly ten thousand primary and secondary schools, and hundreds of communities across the United States. More importantly, it "brought 20 million Americans out into the spring sunshine for peaceful demonstrations in favor of environmental reform."[15] Senator Nelson stated when that Earth Day "worked" because of the spontaneous response at the grassroots level. Twenty-million demonstrators and thousands of schools and local communities participated.[16] He directly credited the first Earth Day with persuading U.S. politicians that environmental legislation had a substantial, lasting constituency. Many important laws were passed by the Congress in the wake of the 1970 Earth Day, including the Clean Air Act, wild lands and the ocean, and the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency.[17] It is now observed in 175 countries, and coordinated by the nonprofit Earth Day Network, according to whom Earth Day is now "the largest secular holiday in the world, celebrated by more than a half billion people every year."[18] Environmental groups have sought to make Earth Day into a day of action

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which changes human behavior and provokes policy changes. [17]

Earth Day
• April 22 is also the birthday of Julius Sterling Morton, the founder of Arbor Day, a national tree-planting holiday started in 1872. Arbor Day became a legal holiday in Nebraska in 1885, to be permanently observed on April 22. According to the National Arbor Day Foundation "the most common day for the state observances is the last Friday in April . . . but a number of state Arbor Days are at other times to coincide with the best tree planting weather."[23] It has since been largely eclipsed by the more widely observed Earth Day, except in Nebraska, where it originated.

Significance of April 22
• Senator Nelson chose the date as the one that could maximize participation on college campuses for what he conceived as an environmental teach-in. He determined that the week of April 19-25 was the best bet. It did not fall during exams or spring breaks, did not conflict with religious holidays such as Easter or Passover, and was late enough in spring to have decent weather. More students were likely to be in class, and there would be less competition with other events midweek, so he chose Wednesday, April 22. Asked whether he had purposely chosen Lenin’s 100th birthday, Nelson explained that with only 365 days a year and 3.7 billion people in the world, every day was the birthday of ten million living people. “On any given day, a lot of both good and bad people were born,” he said. “A person many consider the world’s first environmentalist, Saint Francis of Assisi, was born on April 22.“[19] • April 21 was the birthday of John Muir, who founded the Sierra Club. This was not lost on organizers who thought that April 22 was Muir’s birthday. • April 22, 1970 was the 100th birthday of Vladimir Lenin. Time reported that some suspected the date was not a coincidence, but a clue that the event was "a Communist trick," and quoted a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution saying, "Subversive elements plan to make American children live in an environment that is good for them."[10] J. Edgar Hoover, director of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, may have found the Lenin connection intriguing; it was alleged the FBI conducted surveillance at the 1970 demonstrations.[20] The idea that the date was chosen to celebrate Lenin’s centenary still persists in some quarters,[21][22] although Lenin was never noted as an environmentalist. Some far left groups have also stated that they ’influenced’ Nelson to pick April 22 during the initial organizing period, but it seems not to have been a conscious descision of his.

Earth Week
Many cities extend the schedule of Earth Day observance events to be an entire week, usually starting on April 16, and ending on Earth Day, April 22.[24] These events are designed to encourage environmentally aware behaviors, including increased recycling, improved energy-efficiency, and reduction in disposable items.[25] April 22 continues to be the date of the Annual Iowahawk "Virtual Cruise". Attended by millions worldwode.

Earth Day Ecology Flag

Ecology Flag with theta According to Flags of the World, the Ecology Flag was created by cartoonist Ron Cobb, and was published on November 7th, 1969, in the Los Angeles Free Press and then placed it in the public domain. The symbol was a combination of the letters "E" and "O" taken from the words "Environment" and "Organism", respectively. The flag was patterned after the flag of the United States, and had thirteen stripes alternating green and white. Its canton was green with a yellow theta. Later flags used either a theta because of its historic use as a warning symbol, or the

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peace symbol. Theta would later become associated with Earth Day. As a 16-year-old high school student, Betsy Vogel, an environmental advocate and social activist that enjoyed sewing costumes and unique gifts, made a 4 x 6-foot (1.8 m) green and white "theta" ecology flag to commemorate the first Earth Day. Initially denied permission to fly the flag at C. E. Byrd High School in Shreveport, Louisiana, Vogel sought and received authorization from the Louisiana State Legislature and Louisiana Governor John McKeithen in time to display the flag for Earth Day.

Earth Day
• Earth Hour • Green Apple Music & Arts Festival (GAMAF) • Green Office Week • List of environmental dates • Ozone Action Day • Procession of the Species • Sun-Earth Day • World Environment Day • World Party Day

References
[1] "Earth Day :: Cleaning Up Our Planet" Kidzworld.com. Retrieved on 2009-03-25. [2] "EarthSite" [3] "2004 Earth Day". United Nations "Cyberschoolbus". [4] Margaret Mead, "Earth Day," EPA Journal, March 1978. [5] "Japanese Peace Bell" United Nations "Cyberschoolbus". Accessed April 25, 2006. [6] "Earth Society Foundation" [7] Brown, Tim (April 11, 2005). "What is Earth Day?". United States Department of State. Accessed April 25, 2006. [8] "Fred Dutton 1923-2005". http://www.freddutton.com. [9] "Earth Day". Santa Barbara Community Environmental Council. Accessed April 25, 2006. [10] ^ ""A Memento Mori to the Earth"". Time. 1970-05-04. http://www.time.com/ time/magazine/article/ 0,9171,943782,00.html. [11] http://www.upi.com/Audio/ Year_in_Review/Events-of-1970/ Apollo-13/12303235577467-2/#title "Ecology: 1970 Year in Review, UPI.com" [12] "Environment". United States Embassy, Wellington, New Zealand. Accessed April 25, 2006. [13] Earth Day, Then and Now, Reason Magazine, May 2000 [14] Glenn Beck: The green hype list [15] Lewis, Jack (November 1985). "The Birth of EPA". United States Environmental Protection Agency. Accessed April 25, 2006. [16] Nelson, Gaylord. "How the First Earth Day Came About". Envirolink.org. Accessed April 22, 2007 [17] ^ "History of Earth Day". Earth Day Network. Accessed April 25, 2006.

Criticisms of Earth Day

Earth Day Canada logo Some environmentalists have become critical of Earth Day, particularly those in the bright green environmentalism camp. They charge that Earth Day has come to symbolize the marginalization of environmental sustainability, and that the celebration itself has outlived its usefulness.[26] A May 5, 2009 editorial in The Washington Times compared Arbor Day to Earth Day, claiming that Arbor Day was a happy, nonpolitical celebration of trees, whereas Earth Day was a pessimistic, political ideology that portrayed humans in a negative light. [27]

See also
• • • • Chemists Celebrate Earth Day Earth Charter Earth Day Sunday Earth flag

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Earth Day

[18] "About Earth Day Network". [27] Arbor vs. Earth Day, The Washington www.earthday.org. Accessed April 22, Times, May 5, 2009 2007 [19] Christofferson, Bill, "The Man from Clear Lake: Earth Day Founder Gaylord April 22 Earth Day Nelson",University of Wisconsin Press, • Earth Day Network - Coordinating Madison, 2004, p. 310 worldwide events for Earth Day. [20] Finney, John W. "MUSKIE SAYS F.B.I. • Earth Day Event Calendar at the SPIED AT RALLIES ON ’70 EARTH EnviroLink Network DAY". The New York Times, April 15, • Celebrate Earth Day How to Celebrate 1971. p. 1. Earth Day from WikiHow [21] "Of Leo and Lenin: Happy Earth Day • United States Earth Day - The U.S. from the Religious Right", Church & government’s Earth Day site. State 53 (5): 20, May 2000 • Earth Day Canada - The Canadian Official [22] Marriott, Alexander (2004-04-21). "This Site for Earth Day Earth Day Celebrate Vladimir Lenin’s • Keep America Beautiful - Keep America Birthday!". Capitalism Magazine. Beautiful holds Earth Day cleanup http://www.capmag.com/ activities in communities nationwide. The article.asp?ID=3382. Retrieved on organization launched the famous Crying 2007-04-22. Indian campaign on Earth Day, 1971. [23] "Arbor Day’s Beginnings". The National • Gurgaon Kids on EarthDay Arbor Day Foundation. • Earth Day at Dhammakaya Temple http://www.arborday.org/arborday/ • Earth Day at The Nature Conservancy history.cfm. Retrieved on 2007-04-22. • Earth Day Lesson Plans and Learning [24] "City Celebrates Earth Week". City of Resources Chicago. 2007. Equinoctal Earth Day http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/ • International Earth Day - The Official Site webportal/ - Spring/Vernal Equinox portalContentItemAction.do?topChannelName=HomePage&contentOID=536937837&Failed_Reason= • Earth Society Foundation - Official Retrieved on 2008-04-01. organization arranging annual equinox [25] E.g., "Earth Day :: Cleaning Up Our Earth Day celebration at the United Planet" Kidzworld.com. Retrieved on Nations 2009-03-25. [26] WorldChanging: Tools, Models and Ideas for Building a Bright Green Future: Make This Earth Day Your Last!

External links

Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth_Day" Categories: March observances, April observances, Environmental awareness days, History of environmentalism, Secular holidays, United Nations days, Recurring events established in 1970 This page was last modified on 17 May 2009, at 13:51 (UTC). All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. (See Copyrights for details.) Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a U.S. registered 501(c)(3) taxdeductible nonprofit charity. Privacy policy About Wikipedia Disclaimers

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