It struck me that the 2 of us, Earth Day and I, are basically the same age. I've got it beat by about 6 months, but we're both hanging out here in our 48th year.
It seems like we've both accomplished a lot in these 48 years... though this is where I think Earth Day has certainly gotten me beat.
I think in wake of the current political climate, we environmentalists have gotten a little distraught over the last couple years. We've become downtrodden by climate deniers getting equal footing to the 97% climate scientists who are concerned by the evidence of climate change. We're impassioned when we see budgetary cuts to the EPA under the leadership of Scott Pruitt and company. We can easily be disheartened as to what the future holds for our planet--the one and only one we have got.
But looking over this list in this updated 4-18-2018 National Geographics article ("48 Environmental Victories Since the First Earth Day" written by Brian Clark Howard) we all have a lot of wins of which we should be proud.
To see all 48 wins, read the article. But here are a handful of notables. We should definitely take note of the progress... which, in turn, opens the door to hope. We've come this far, we can continue to go in the right direction.
- DDT banned in 1972
- 1972 Clean Water Act
- 1973 Endangered Species Act
- 1974--1995 Phase-Out of Leaded Gasoline
- 1987 CFC's Banned, leading to the healing of the hole in the Ozone layer
- 1989 Phase-Out of Asbestos
- 1993 Green Building Council was founded
- 1995 Bald Eagle Recovery
- 2006 Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth came out
- Check out the article for the other 39!
- United Nations Development Program: Celebrating Optimism on Earth Day
- Smithsonian's Earth Optimism Movement: Changing the Conservation Conversation.
- Check out #EarthOptimism on Twitter
- Take the free online #EarthOptimism course through EdX (designed to be taken during Earth Week, but open and available to take anytime)
- Going Zero Waste's "50 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day (Even After It's Over)"
- EarthDay.net's Countdown to 2020 & Earth Day's 50th Anniversary
Images from https://earthoptimism.si.edu/; http://www.progressive-charlestown.com/2015/04/earth-day-2015-balancing-act-between.html, and http://riverlink.org/earth-day-2014-5-environmental-wins-celebrate/