More than four decades after Jimi Hendrix died and Simon & Garfunkel released ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’, Earth Day remains one of the world’s major environmental campaigns.
International Business Times shares the history of Earth Day, an idea launched by Gaylord Nelson, then a Democratic senator from Wisconsin. Earth Day was born in the aftermath of the 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara, Ca — then the largest oil spill in America’s water.
The Environmental Protection Agency was created, along with passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts.
Earth Day went global two decades later with a massive campaign mobilizing 200 million people in 141 countries. It kickstarted recycling programs worldwide and paved the way for the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.
This year’s campaign is called ‘The Face of Climate Change’, and it will “unite the myriad Earth Day events around the world into one call to action at a critical time,” Franklin Russell, director of Earth Day, at Earth Day Network, said.
The World Meteorological Organization announced last year that the first decade of the 21st century was the hottest on record for the entire planet. Organizers have asked participants in Earth Day 2013 to use Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (#FaceOfClimate) to spread awareness.
Will the Redwoods Rise Again?
In celebration of Earth Day, ceremonial plantings of two dozen clones from California’s mighty coastal redwoods will take place in seven nations: Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, Ireland, Canada, Germany and the US.
“This is a first step toward mass production,” said David Milarch, co-founder of Archangel Ancient Tree Archive, a nonprofit group spearheading the project. “We need to reforest the planet; it’s imperative. To do that, it just makes sense to use the largest, oldest, most iconic trees that ever lived.”
Tiny Goes Big: InsideClimate News Wins Pulitizer Prize
Dwarfed by earlier winners, online publications ProPublica and Huffington Post, InsideClimate News with an editorial staff of just seven, won a Pulitzer Prize in journalism last week. Lisa Song, Elizabeth McGowan and David Hasemeyer led the investigative story about an undercovered oil spill in Michigan.
InsideClimate News particularly covers news as it relates to climate change, which executive editor Susan White calls “the biggest story of our time.” But in a year that the New York Times and other major newspapers are closing their environmental desks, it is also a coverage area that is increasingly neglected by conventional news organizations. “We may be the largest environmental desk in the country,” says publisher David Sassoon.
In the committee’s words, InsideClimate won for its “rigorous reports on flawed regulation of the nation’s oil pipelines, focusing on potential ecological dangers posed by diluted bitumen (or “dilbit”), a controversial form of oil,” – a topic no doubt newsworthy, considering the debate over the Keystone XL pipeline.