Earth Day firs took place on April 22nd 1970 as a demonstration of 20 million Americans strong went to the parks, streets, coasts and auditoriums. The rallies fought for a number of things, which included the dumping of toxic waste, oil spills, pesticides, raw sewage, polluting factories, loss of wildlife and freeways. The protests led to the birth of the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Consequently, it created the endangered species, clean water and clean air acts.
Then in 1990 Dennis Harris was asked by a group of environmental leaders to put together another large demonstration. However, this time the event went global with up to 200 million people across 141 countries worldwide taking part. That day also had positive changes for the movement as it led to the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.
The Modern Earth Day
The rise of the internet has given more power to Earth Day as an excess of 5,000 environmental groups have been created to date. In 2010 the 40th anniversary of Earth Day planted 1 billion trees via its Earth Day Network. Earth Day is becoming increasingly important as the consumption of fossil fuels is only increasing on a daily basis – the single biggest factor that harms the environment.
Earth Day is a great reminder that people have the power to affect the state of the environment. As Yamaguchi, coordinator at the CoolClimate Network at the University of California, Berkeley’s Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory, says: “There are many, many things that any one person can do to manage their own environmental impacts, which I think makes it really different from worries like the national debt or U.S. foreign policy”.
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