Millions of individuals from the world over commemorate Earth Day on the 22nd of April. They participate in activities, rallies, and more to make people aware of environmental concerns in a bid to safeguard the planet. Each earth day has a unique theme. Climate attention is the theme for Earth day 2020.
How did Earth Day start?
In the year of 1960s, a few environmentalists and scientists became worried about sewage, pesticides, and industrial chemicals destroying the environment. They considered them to be a threat to the Earth.
Gaylord Nelson, the Senator of Wisconsin at this time, became worried about the environmental state. He was also concerned with the disregard of the U.S. government towards it. He prompted the 11-state conservation trip of President John F. Kennedy in 1963. However, this campaign couldn’t bring this issue into the political limelight.
Nelson pursued this cause through speeches across the USA. The Vietnam War protests “teach-ins” prevalent on college campuses throughout the USA caught his attention. How? He considered organizing this sort of protest for the environment. Thus, “Earth Day” had become an idea.
Nelson roped in Denis Hayes, a student of Harvard Law School student and an environmental activist, to organize the events. The foremost Earth Day was on the 22nd of April 1970. Twenty million individuals across the USA gathered to support the environment on this day. The events that took place were greater than any protests of that time. Numerous universities paused their anti-war protests and joined in celebrations for this cause. The ultimate acknowledgment to the cause was the Congress taking a break on this day. In this way, Earth Day brought environmental issues into the political limelight and launched the environmental campaign in the USA.
The propagation of Earth Day
Earth Day developed into a global event in 1990. Millions of people worldwide showed environmental support with dramatic displays. An example was the human chain of 500 miles in France. Earth Day became an online phenomenon in 2000, and live events and emails encouraged participation.
Earth day has covered more ground than making people aware of environmental concerns.
Earth day has done more than making people aware of environmental issues. It paved the way for some initiatives. One such initiative was the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970. Another was the Endangered Species Act in 1973.
Earth day today
People across the world continue to celebrate Earth day. Through petitions, rallies, river clean-ups, and careful removals, they safeguard the environment. Volunteers encourage people worldwide to safeguard the environment by recycling, planting trees, reducing the emission of carbon dioxide, and more.
Earth day 2020
The 22nd of April 2020 is the 50th anniversary of this civic observance day. Just like on the previous occasions, millions of individuals worldwide will rally to safeguard the planet on Earth day 2020.
Kathleen Rogers is the president of EDN. In his own words, this observance day can’t shut down due to coronavirus and thus the need for new ways to spur the world into action.
However, he ensures the health and wellbeing of volunteers and partakers of the events on this day.
Thus, Earth day 2020 will be somewhat different in that organizers will encourage action online. Despite Social distancing, people can venture out and enjoy nature if they act responsibly. A great place to do so is the EDN website earthday.org. Other ways are social media websites, online chat, and the sort.
What does Earth day 2020 have in store?
On the 22nd of April 2020, the EDN website earthday.org will broadcast the “global digital mobilizations.” People can view live discussions. There will be environmental talks, video teach-ins, performances, calls to action, and more.
People can see hourly call to actions for 24 hours and decide on big and small actions for this day. People have several calls to action to choose from on this 50th anniversary of earth day.
Some activities for people on this earth day
- Publicly ringing bells is a call of solidarity. Linking videos of ringing bells to the global map on the EDN website will encourage others to do the same. Posting the video on a social media site will also encourage others.
- It’s vital to encourage schools and universities to sustain a healthy climate. The Campus Climate Project map on this site can be handy. Students can make this map more compelling by sharing it on social media sites.
- Green areas impact the community positively. People can encourage others to create green space by signing up on this site. They can also show what they have done about this on this day here!
- Plastic pollution has become a significant problem for the ecosystem. Routine actions are the solution. People can motivate others by signing up for the end plastic pollution campaign on this site. The Plastic Toolkit and plastic calculator on this site are great for encouraging others to help in this cause.
- The key to global food manufacture and nutritive security are pollinators. The pollinator garden worksheet and toolkit on this site are the right tools to encourage others to sustain pollinators.
- It’s important to know whether local representatives are taking actions based on established science. If they aren’t, people should tell them to do so and get more people involved in the same. They are likely to listen. An effective way of making them pay heed is by signing up for this pledge on this site.
There are so many other things that people can do on this day that will determine the future. The list is endless.
It’s not ironic that people are stuck at home on Earth day 2020. There is less pollution, fewer people are on the roads, and more animals are out. It’s the time to rejoice separately, together. How about starting a new garden that will feed us in the days to come? How about cleaning the neighborhood. People must share what they do on this day with others online. Everyone is eager to see the love that others have for what we know to be our home.
The Great Ice Age: Palaeoecologic and Natural Climatic Changes Following It
It is natural for us to forget how variable the earth’s climate has been centuries ago, across different geological time frames. The main reason behind it is the extent of such variability is beyond our imagination. Can you picture the earth as a big ball of ice, from the North Pole to the South Pole? No matter how difficult it is to imagine the earth shrouded in ice entirely, the truth is the oldest and longest period of glaciations existed for three hundred million years. Yes, we are talking about the Great Ice Age.
What is an Ice Age?
We can define an Ice Age as a prolonged period of decrease in the Earth’s temperature, resulting in the expansion of ice sheets as well as alpine glaciers in polar regions. An ice age is characterized by the presence of huge sheets of ice or glaciers in the Southern Hemisphere and the Northern Hemisphere and extremely cold climate throughout the year. There are remains of glaciers from the previous ice age in places like Antarctica and Greenland.
What gives birth to an ice age?
An ice age is not something that happens overnight. These ages have shaped the geography and history, but what factors result in the formation of one such age?
If in the northern hemisphere, temperatures in summer remain below the freezing point for thousands of years, an ice age begins. The earth’s orbit and tilt affect which areas get minimum sun rays.
The previous ice age:
The Earth has witnessed at least five ages with glaciers covering significant portions of the planet over a period of 4.6 billion years. The Pleistocene Epoch started nearly 2.6 million years from now and has ended 11,700 years ago. Humans evolved in the Pleistocene Epoch and inhabited almost all regions of the planet towards the end of it. The stage that followed it is currently known as the Holocene Epoch.
How was the climate during the Great Ice Age?
The climate used to be drier and colder during the Great Ice Age. Since most areas were covered with enormous sheets of ice, the rainfall was at least fifty percent less than current times. There were summers and winters, but the cooler summers failed to melt the ice. The average temperature of the Earth was 12 degrees approximately, not enough to melt snow in northern regions. As the snow piled up on the snow, glaciers formed.
Life on earth in the Ice Age
Even if human beings evolved, several species of large mammals became extinct due to the harsh climate of the Ice Age. One of the primary sources of information about the existence of life during this period in Los Angeles’ La Brea Tar Pits. Remains of plant life, insects, animals, and human skeletons are preserved here. Some of the animals inhabiting the Earth at that time were woolly mammoths, giant ground sloths, saber-toothed cats, and mastodons. Other mammals such as macrauchenia, tenrecs, and moonrats thrived in this era.
The latest ice age did not witness any dinosaur as they became effaced from the face of the planet millions of years before that. Crocodiles, turtles, lizards, pythons, and various other reptiles could be found. Birds also flourished, including geese, eagles, hawks, and ducks.
When it comes to vegetation, there was limited vegetation in most areas. Conifers, cypress, yews, oaks, and beeches were among the plants that survived the cold weather conditions. Prairie grasses and flowering plants such as rose, lily, and orchid could be spotted on the ground.
Approximately 13,000 years from now, seventy-five percent of the large animals of the Ice Age died out. Scientists have tried to understand for years the causes of such mass extinction. Two big reasons are vast climate change and overhunting by humans. Natural disasters in selective portions have also been responsible for wiping out large populations of animals.
Can we experience an ice age again? After learning about the Great Ice Age, if you are wondering whether we are heading into another ice age, we’ll answer your question. Scientists have pointed out that there might be another ice age in the future. However, global warming is instrumental in delaying the process. So, researchers have predicted that humans might start experiencing another ice age after at least 100,000 years.
Environmental Justice: Definition, Principles, And Importance In Today’s World
At the beginning of the 1980s in the United States of America, environmental justice became popular as a concept. It emerged as a social movement to enable the fair allocation of environmental burdens and environmental benefits.
What do we understand by the term “environmental justice”?
We can define environmental justice as meaningful involvement and fair treatment of all human beings irrespective of their color, race, income, or national origin in matters of implementation, development, and application of environmental laws, policies, and regulations. So, it stresses the equitable distribution of benefits and environmental risks, as well as rights to individuals and communities to flourish and function in society.
Among groups most affected by environmental injustice are the racial minority and the high-poverty groups. Poor people report at least 20 percent of health problems due to industrial impure air releases.
A wide range of environmental justice matters has affected African-Americans. Cancer Alley is one infamous example. The place has offices of 125 companies producing petrochemical products, impacting the lives of residents.
Indigenous groups have suffered a lot due to environmental inequality. Native Americans have been subject to abuses because of mining activities for extracting uranium in Western America.
Environmental justice and its key principles:
- Environmental Justice promotes the holiness of Mother Earth, interdependence and coexistence of all life forms, ecological unity and freedom from environmental destruction.
- Environmental justice opines that public policies should be framed free from bias or discrimination of any kind, offering justice and respect to all humans.
- Environmental justice also affirms political, cultural, economic, and environmental rights to all. Environmental Justice gives the right to all communities to take part in decision making, planning, enforcement, implementation, and evaluation as equal partners.
- It demands universal protection against perils like nuclear testing, extraction, disposal, and production of hazardous or toxic elements as all have the inborn claim to clean land, food, air, and water.
- Environmental justice is there to safeguard the rights of victims who have been subjected to environmental lawlessness. Such people are eligible for receiving quality treatment and full compensation.
- Environmental justice points out the necessity of educating existing and future generations in ecological and social matters.
- It clearly states that all workers should get a healthy and safe work environment and nobody can be forced to select unemployment or unsafe livelihood.
- It also prohibits military occupation, exploitation, and repression of peoples, cultures, lands, and other forms of life on Earth.
- Last, but not the least, environmental justice also requests us, the individuals, to make sensible choices when it comes to consumption of Mother Earth’s resources and produces less waste. We should make healthy lifestyle choices for the sake of future generations and the healing of the natural world.
Why do we need environmental justice?
- Our relationship with the environment- It defines the relationship of human beings with the environment. Empowerment makes us realize that preserving and protecting the environment is mandatory for protecting humans and other life forms.
- Sustainability- It is only through environmental justice that we can comprehend sustainability. Sustainability tells us that how to utilize renewable resources and reduce our dependence on non-renewable sources of energy.
- Conservation of resources- It also highlights the significance of fair usage and conservation of natural resources. Unfair distribution can lead to acute scarcity of resources in several areas.
- Fair distribution- It also increases awareness about the fair distribution of the resources of the planet. Justice applies whenever one group has more resources as opposed to another, also when one person attempts to take resources from the environment of another person.
- Strengthens environmental policies- Another positive aspect of environmental justice is that it reinforces environmental policies, regulations, and laws. Justice is of two types, namely, procedural justice and consequential justice. Environmental justice’s principles give strength to laws by advocating equal use of resources for all.
Environmental justice is of supreme importance in its struggle for maintenance and improvement of a healthy and clean environment for all, and especially for the weaker sections of the society who have been surviving closest to pollution sources. The Exxon Valdez disaster of 1989, 1972’s Pittston coal incident, and case against Chevron Refining in 1993 are notable instances from the past of environmental justice applied for the welfare of wronged citizens.
Canadian Environmental Policy: Workings And Impacts
Each government has its own way of dealing with things. However, almost all the governments of Canada invested equally in order to maintain the environmental harmony intact and keep the rich biodiversity of Canada alive. In order to deal with the serious concerns of climate change and maintain the air and water clean, Canada has taken aid from many global partnerships. Canadian Environmental Policy works on the basis of those contracts and deals.
Environmental Crisis of Canada:
There are various issues related to the environment that Canada is facing-
- Canada’s one of the biggest sources of income is the Oil and Gas industry. However, it contributes a lot to the harmful greenhouse gas emissions as well.
- The air in the cities is of really poor quality.
- There is plenty of fresh water available in Canada. However, the constant usage of that water has started ruining the biodiversity altogether.
All these problems have made Canada face the crisis of climate change more strongly than ever. That is why; the workings of Canadian Environmental Policy have become more than necessary with time.
There are many international agreements that have helped the Canadian government form the structure of Canadian Environmental Policy.
- UN Framework Convention on Climate Change:
UNFCC was formed in order to address the issues related to climate change. There are almost 195 parties involved in this treaty. Canada’s contribution here is to provide data related to greenhouse gas emissions. Canada also plays the part in properly by taking proper steps to reduce gas emission. It also helps other countries from the third world to fight climate change with the aid of resources.
- Paris Climate Agreement:
195 nations signed the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015 with the aim of keeping the issue of global warming under control. The goal was to limit the increase of temperature within 1.5 degrees Celsius from the earlier 2 degrees Celsius on a yearly basis.
- Climate and Clean Air Coalition:
This partnership was made between the government, the public, and the private sectors. The aim of this partnership is to replace the short-lived climate pollutants or better known as SLCP. These pollutants are extremely harmful to the health of the planet as they belong to the group of greenhouse gasses. Not only that, but they are also responsible for global warming and poor quality of air as well.
- Global Methane Initiative:
This international association seeks to reduce methane pollution. Another aim is to use methane as a source of energy. GMI takes special notice of all the production and consumption systems of oil and gas, agriculture, sewage system of the municipality, etc.
Apart from international partnerships, the Canadian government has taken several steps on its own as well.
- Clean Air and Climate Change Act:
This act is actually an amendment to the Environment Protection Act. According to this act, greenhouse gasses are a threat to both the environment and the health of human beings.
- Energy Efficiency Act:
The Energy Efficiency Act helps the government to regulate the import and export of products that consume energy. According to this Act, any product that consumes energy must be appropriate according to Canadian rules in order to get into Canada. Another aim of this Act is to use alternative sources of energy more and more.
- Regulatory Framework for Air Emissions:
The aim here is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants responsible for corrupting the air quality. The Industrial sector, transportation, consumer products, indoor air quality- these are the main four aspects for which this framework is dedicated to.
Canadian Environmental Protection Act:
This Act was established in 1999. This Act was immensely important for it made the government more empowered to use its full potential for protecting the health of both the environment and human beings. Canadian Environmental Protection Act established a proper standard for protecting the environment.
Apart from these, there are several other acts in work as well- The National Energy Board Act, Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, Environmental Assessment Act, Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act, and many more.
All these acts work together to create a proper environmental policy and help Canada deal with climate change issues and other problems associated with it.
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