By Ann Nye —
Theme — Climate Change and More–
The 1st Earth Day April 22nd, 1970, 50 years ago – March on Washington
People gathered together to respond to an environment in crisis faced by oil spills, smog, and polluted rivers. The climate action led to the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts Act under President Nixon as well as the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). NOTE: It was a strong Congress that passed the Clean Water Act; Nixon vetoed the bill in October 1972, but Congress overrode the veto, making the bill federal law.
The bad news: during the COVID-19 national emergency, the Trump Administration has loosened auto-emissions standards, and has proposed easing the controls on mercury released by power plants; further weakening our response to Climate Change. And, with protesters no longer able to gather, construction on the controversial Keystone Pipelines has resumed.
The good news: this pandemic may remind the public to take scientific fact seriously. Earth Day is more than a day; it’s a united call for us to tackle climate change and listen to the science to protect people and our planet. COVID-19 is teaching us how dangerous denial is and how important science and preparedness are. COVID-19 has shown we can change our behavior to protect the health and safety of our families and we can see how our environment can heal when we take action.