2016-04-20 / Editorials

Earth Day: The Web Of Life

We have been celebrating Earth Day since March and April of 1970, organized by John McConnell, and US Senator Gaylord Nelson. They have since been merged into the April 22 Earth Day we now celebrate. The “roots” go back to San Francisco Mayor Joseph Alioto, who issued the first-ever Earth Day proclamation on March 21, 1970 inspired by McConnell, a publisher and peace activist who proposed an international holiday focused on environmental preservation and stewardship a year earlier at the UNESCO Conference on the Environment. The holiday is now observed by 175 countries around the world.

Without this observance, we may not have achieved landmark accomplishments such as the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency, and Clean Air, Clean Water, Endandered Species, Resource Conservation and Recovery Acts of the 1970s, and the Federal Occupational Health and Safety Act.

There are Earth Day fairs which include workshops and arts & crafts, rain barrel giveaways, and recycling events, all geared toward preserving our only home. Rainbarrels not only save homeowners the cost of tap water consumption for such things as gardening and car washing, they help prevent runoff during heavy rains which wash pollutants into our water supply and strain our water purification facilities. The rainwater is also much healthier for plants, as it is oxygenated, and free of the salts, flouride and chlorine that is in tap water. See our Community Calendar online for some listings.

We are all interrelated in the web of life. For example, the frog population is not only important because all living things have a right to live, but pragmatically they are important in that they keep the mosquito population down, to name one from an infinite number of examples. We do not need to explain why clean air and water are important – at least we hope we do not have to.

We have made huge progress since the first Earth Day, but the efforts should be ongoing.

We love our “spaceship” Earth, it is all we have, let us revere it and the legacy of a clean planet for our future generations. After all, as they say we do not own the Earth, but only borrow it from our descendants.

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