Historical importance of Earth Day

April 22, 2021

April+22+marks+a+day+of+awareness+about+maintaining+our+environment.+

Melissa Vital ('23)

April 22 marks a day of awareness about maintaining our environment.

Celebrated annually on April 22, Earth Day holds great significance and historical importance worldwide. Earth Day sheds light on issues concerning pollution of the air, water and soil as well as the loss of biodiversity and even more environmental problems.

Founded by Senator Gaylord Nelson, Earth Day was first initiated in the year 1970. In fact, before the 1970s, there was a great lack of favorable environmental legislation. Industries and companies had the freedom to harm the environment with industrial waste and pollution across the world.

When US Senator Gaylord Nelson decided to take action and create Earth Day, approximately 20 million used this day to Americans protest in the streets against the population’s negligence of urgent environmental problems that affect people globally. Since then, people across the globe utilize April 22 as a day dedicated to activism for the environment. Also, the day began to spread across the globe and gain awareness and recognition.

Now in 2021, the theme for Earth Day is “Restore our Earth,” and to adhere to this theme, individuals can take part in restoring Earth’s natural processes and ecosystems. This year is about healing. The focal point of the theme is not necessarily about stopping global warming and preventing pollution, while that is imperative to our environment, but instead on restoring the harm that has already been done.

Compared to the history of Earth Day, climate change also poses a threat to the environment as it encompasses rising sea levels, shrinking mountain glaciers, accelerated ice melt in Greenland, Antarctica and the Arctic and so much more as it makes significant and long term changes to the global climate.


The Lifeline and Deadline on the Climate Clock inform us of our timeline on what action we need to take and by when. We still have time to avoid climate disaster, but this is only if we take effective action at the rate necessary. We must #ActInTime in the next ~7 years, which is our best window to initiate bold, transformational alterations in our global economy to avoid raising global temperature above 1.5ºC, a point of no return that science tells us will make the worst climate impacts likely inevitable.
The DEADLINE on the clock alerts us to the critical time window we have left to take effective action to combat this predicament
The new LIFELINE on the clock displays the global energy percentage coming from renewable sources — wind, water, solar, and bioenergy. Currently, the Renewable Energy Lifeline is at 12.2% and rising. However, it is not rising nearly fast enough to meet the deadline.
Celebrated annually on April 22, Earth Day holds great significance and historical importance worldwide. Earth Day sheds light on issues concerning pollution of the air, water and soil as well as the loss of biodiversity and even more environmental problems.

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