Celebrating Earth Day

This Saturday, April 22, an estimated 20 million people in more than 190 countries are expected to participate in Earth Day events. In 1970, Earth Day was founded as an initiative of a few thousand colleges and K-12 schools that sought to teach our youth the value of the environment. Over the past 47 years, this day has become a time for all of us to reflect on the challenges of environmental degradation and to renew our drive toward positive change.

As we pause this year and celebrate this planet we call home, we must remember that we are beyond fortunate that this ideal climate we have has allowed human life to advance and thrive on earth. Science has shown us that our planet has supported a lush playground, outlived a world of water and ice, and existed in most every state in between. As the conditions on earth have changed, so too have the life forms that inhabit its surface. With each climate change, life on our planet is forced to evolve in order to survive; species must learn new ways to adapt so that they can thrive in the conditions our world offers.

We are now entering the next chapter in earth’s history called the Anthropocene. We recognize that the climate is warming more rapidly than ever and scientist believe, that unlike other naturally occurring climate shifts, this dramatic change is due to human activity. While we don’t know all of the repercussions of this climate change, we know humanity’s ability to adapt and mitigate this warming trend will be paramount to our ability to thrive in our planet’s next era.

As we celebrate Earth Day this year, we think it’s important to reflect that the earth has been here long before us and will endure irrespective of us. The earth does not need our saving for earth’s sake; it will continue to spin lazily around our sun for at least another 4 billion years and will do so with or without us on board. However we desperately need this earth now and for our future and need to mend it for our sake and the sake of our critical eco-structures upon which we rely. The question that we need to be asking on this day is how must we adapt and regenerate this planet so that we can continue to enjoy the ride and call this wonderful place home.

Contributed By

Robert Phinney and Jill Kurtz