As Others See It: Earth Day’s markForty years ago today, the first Earth Day launched an environmental movement in the United States that helped improve our world.
By: West Central Tribune , Worthington Daily Globe
Forty years ago today, the first Earth Day launched an environmental movement in the United States that helped improve our world.
An awareness of the earth as viewed from a trip to the moon in 1968 helped spark a growing interest in awareness concerning our planet.
The grassroots efforts of the Vietnam war opposition and as well as the Beautify America campaign of Lady Bird Johnson also helped fuel Earth Day interest.
On the first Earth Day in 1970, most Americans were becoming concerned about growing garbage and other environmental concerns. Efforts that day were as simple as Motley High School students led by a young teacher named Mr. Baker picking up garbage along a highway.
The danger signs of environmental damage were visible across Minnesota and the country.
Birds and fish were dying due to chemical poisoning. The nation’s highways were full of garbage thrown from cars. Air pollution turned into smog in many metro cities. Some neighborhoods, like Love Canal, faced deadly pollution.
In the past four decades, America has responded to various environmental challenges. New laws at both the federal and state levels have protected the air and water as well as many endangered species.
We have come a long way.
America’s bald eagles once again fly in the Minnesota sky and around the nation. This occurred primarily due to the DDT ban of 1972. Bald eagles’ eggshells had thinned due to DDT exposure to the point of not hatching.
Earth Day is now a worldwide event to celebrate our planet Earth. Former Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson, Earth Day’s founder, would be proud.
It became a movement that grew one person at a time. Today concern for the environment has become the norm — on our farms, across our prairies, in our forests and throughout the cities of our land.
While we have made significant environmental progress over the past four decades, our work to protect our earth is not complete.
West Central Tribune