Today is Earth Day
Today marks the 39th anniversary of the first Earth Day, a day designed to encourage appreciation for the Earth's environment. But being a good environmental citizen is a year-round effort, and we would like to express our appreciation to all of you who make environmental action an every day activity.
Earth Day organizers across the country have planned all sorts of great events for this week. Check out Planet Green's Earth Day activity guide.
To learn more about environmental protection activities throughout the year, check out Earth Day Network, founded by the organizers of the first Earth Day in 1970.
FACT: Earth Day was founded by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson (from WI) as an environmental teach-in in 1970 and is now observed in 175 countries every year.
COOL GLOBES OPENS IN LA
If you're in Southern California, please visit the Cool Globes exhibition, opening today in Los Angeles in Exposition Park, and running through July 23, 2009.
Cool Globes is public art with a purpose, featuring over 50 colorful, larger-than-life globes that showcase simple solutions to global warming.
FACT: April 22 is also the birthday of Julius Sterling Morton, the founder of Arbor Day, a national tree-planting holiday started in 1872.
EPA TAKES BIG STEP
Last week, after a thorough scientific review ordered in 2007 by the Supreme Court, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that greenhouse gases pose a threat to public health and welfare. As the finding states,
"In both magnitude and probability, climate change is an enormous problem. The greenhouse gases that are responsible for it endanger public health and welfare within the meaning of the Clean Air Act." In addition to threatening human health, the EPA also found that climate change also has serious national security implications.
The move is a big step for the EPA, which now finds itself on a track toward possible regulation under the Clean Air Act, which puts increased pressure on Congress to address the issue.
FACT: In addition to CO2, the EPA's finding covers 5 other greenhouse gases: methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6).
CONGRESS WEIGHS BILL
Lawmakers in Washington are beginning hearings on an energy and global warming bill that could reduce greenhouse gas pollution. "The EPA concluded that our health and our planet are in danger. Now it is time for Congress to create a clean energy cure," said Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., one of the sponsors of the American Clean Energy and Security Act.
As the Associated Press reported, "If passed, it would be the first major environmental protection law in almost two decades. In addition to attempting to solve a complex environmental problem associated with global warming, the bill also seeks to wean the nation off foreign oil imports and to create a new clean-energy economy."
FACT: The last major change in the Clean Air Act, the law that defines EPA's responsibilities for protecting and improving the nation's air quality, was enacted by Congress in 1990.
EARTH DAY ACTION TIP
Let's make every day Earth Day by making simple changes to lead a more eco-friendly life. And send a message to your elected officials that they need to be focused on global warming solutions and a cleaner energy future.
Happy Earth Day,