Tomorrow is Earth Day #50. I recall the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970. I was a high school student and one of the 20 million Americans (10% of the U.S. population at the time) who took to the streets, met on school campuses and held events in hundreds of cities to demand a new way forward for our planet. That first Earth Day is credited with launching the modern environmental movement and is now recognized as the planet’s largest civic event.
Much of that will not happen this year. That is partly because of the global pandemic we are experiencing, but part of it because too many people just don’t care.
The theme for Earth Day 2020 is taking on an enormous challenge — climate action. Action on climate change is seen as the most pressing topic for the 50th anniversary and the biggest challenge to the future of humanity and the life-support systems that make our world habitable.
There are some efforts to make Earth Day into a time for digital activities and education and that is good in his time of students learning digitally and at home. But for real change, we need to get out and make changes locally and think and act as best we can globally.