Climate Action on Earth Day
By admin April 22, 2019

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Happy International Mother Earth Day where this year’s theme is “Protecting Our Species.” Peace activist John McConnell, US Senator Gaylord Nelson, and environmental activist Denis Hayes contributed to the creation and worldwide celebration of Earth Day. Numerous activities are taking place today to clean-up trash, plant trees and flowers, conserve energy, and use alternative modes of transportation.

Discussions about environmental issues generated by a chain of local events caused great concern prior to 1970. The industrial pollution in Ohio caused the Cuyahoga River to catch fire. Approximately 3.3 million gallons of oil spilled along the Santa Barbara coast killing thousands of birds, fish and sea mammals. Acid rain was damaging the Adirondack forest and every car in America at the time was emitting lead into the air. These crises precipitated 20 million Americans attending speeches, demonstrations and other community based-events in April 1970.

Fast forward to today, Earth Day is internationally celebrated where more countries are participating in agreements that recognize the urgent action needed to address harmful impacts on our planet. In February 2019 Newly elected Congress representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez with Senator Ed Markey released the Green New Deal. The Green New Deal includes bold action to fight global climate change, the creation of good-paying jobs, and advancing a more just and equitable society within a ten-year framework.

National awareness about climate change and climate action need to be elevated. What the media covers should reflect the urgent issues related to climate change and disaster preparedness. News stories about Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the spring floods in the Midwest, rarely mention climate change, though scientists have been drawing connections for decades. The denial of climate change by the current U.S. President is touted as a joke, but devastating effects of climate change are not comical. While the Trump administration is reversing environmental regulations, protections, and turning away from the Paris climate accord, more than 3,700 city, state, business, and academic leaders have pledged to put policies in place that support the aims of the Paris climate accord.

Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City rolled out a blueprint version of the Green New Deal. The $14 billion effort is aiming to cut greenhouse emission down by 30 percent by 2030 while creating “tens of thousands of good jobs.” An inventory of greenhouse gas emissions published in 2017 found that buildings account for 67 percent of the city’ emissions. The plan requires all large buildings of 25,000 square feet or more to lower their energy usage and emissions or pay a steep million dollar fine. New York City is known for its tall buildings and moving forward buildings should be recognized for their energy efficiency.

Climate action should be bringing nations together. It is an opportunity to bridge gaps between rural and urban settings because climate change affects everyone. Earth Day is the result of grassroots activism and half a century later we still need to listen to the people who are speaking out, especially people of color, low-income communities, and indigenous people, says Rhea Suh, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council.


For more information:

Three Earth Day lessons for Green New Deal activists

The media are complacent while the world burns

Mayor de Blasio rolls out New York City’s Green New Deal

Big Building Hurt the Climate. New York City Hopes to Change That.

Thanks for sharing !

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