Each year, we stop to remember the humble beginnings of Earth Day and how the movement has grown over the past forty-four years since its inception. Back in the early days, the Vietnam War nearly consumed the American conscious. Not much room remained for environmental causes.
Then in 1969, a massive California oil spill, spurred Gaylord Nelson, a U.S. senator from Wisconsin to create a bi-partisan awareness movement focusing on the fragile nature of our ecology. Earth Day was born.
What followed, where some very attention getting events that helped bolster the cause. The gas crises in the 1970s, helped make American consumers more aware of the impact of the large, inefficient vehicles. Then President Richard Nixon also supported the formation of the Environmental Protection Agency, which was tasked with monitoring our air and water quality. New environmental legislation was passed, among them the Clean Air Act, the Water Quality Improvement Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Toxic Substances Control Act and the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act.
Today, Earth Day is recognized throughout the world as a powerful focal point for creating lasting improvements in our planet's environment. Each year, Earth day has a theme: this year the theme is Green Cities.
Here’s is an overview of the Green Cities campaign from the Earth day Website.
“Earth Day Network launched the Green Cities campaign in the fall of 2013 to help cities around the world become more sustainable and reduce their carbon footprint. Focused on three key elements – buildings, energy, and transportation – the campaign aims to help cities accelerate their transition to a cleaner, healthier, and more economically viable future through improvements in efficiency, investments in renewable technology, and regulation reform.
Most of the world currently relies on outdated electric generation structures that are extremely inefficient and dirty. To help cities become more sustainable, we need to redesign the current system, transition to renewable energy sources, and implement 21st century solutions.
Buildings account for nearly one third of all global greenhouse gas emissions. Through simple efficiency and design improvements to buildings, we can reduce those emissions drastically. To realize that vision, cities need to update ordinances, switch to performance based building codes, and improve financing options.
Transportation is the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, three quarters of which comes directly from road vehicles. To reduce these emissions and the resulting smog, we need to improve standards, increase public transportation options, invest in alternative transportation, and improve city walkability and bikeability.
Through an informative website and a series of in-depth toolkits, the campaign will educate the public about each element of green cities and spur individuals to take civic action by signing petitions, sending letters, and organizing events. In addition, Earth Day Network will work with partners on the ground in strategically placed cities and towns to organize grassroots efforts to improve local codes, ordinances, and policies that will help cities become model green cities.
Spanning Earth Day 2014 and 2015, the campaign will work with an international team of partners, including local organizers, non-profits, businesses, and governments to help increase public awareness, mobilize support for appropriate policies, and generate concrete commitments for innovative and replicable initiatives”
You can find out more about the Green cities initiative by visiting the website at http://www.earthday.org/greencities/ and viewing the video link below.
With spring in the air, our Rodon Group family thought today would be a good time to remind everyone, what a Wonderful World in which we live. It is worth protecting for future generations.