“The battle to restore a proper relationship between man and his environment, and between man and other living creatures, will require a long sustained political, moral, ethical, and financial commitment far beyond any commitment ever made by any society in the history of man. Are we able? Yes. Are we willing? That’s the unanswered question.” – Gaylord Nelson, founder of Earth Day.
When Earth Day was born 40 years ago, there were “spumes of pollution pouring out of smokestacks, people spraying children in parking lots and at picnics with DDT, air pollution in major cities that was basically unbreathable, rivers catching on fire, lakes dying,” says one of Earth Day’s original organizers, Denis Hayes, in this Washington Post video. “It was just deteriorating very rapidly, but what addressed those problems was a wave of legislation immediately after Earth Day.” (For more on Earth Day’s storied history, read this.)
As we celebrate 40 years of Earth Day, we’re also celebrating 40 years of Earthjustice victories – check out 40 of our favorite victories along with stunning photos in this new slideshow made for Earth Day 2010.
We’re also celebrating our army of supporters, activist members, and concerned citizens. We have you to thank for each of these major victories, and the many victories and wins in between.
Without the voices and actions of caring parents and grandparents, fired-up students and youth, conscientious consumers, farmers, scientists, outdoors lovers, politically engaged citizens, community and faith leaders, campers, hikers, bikers, and countless others, none of this would have been possible.
We know that for you, today is an occasion for reflection and celebration, too. So to help you spread the joy, we’ve created our special TwittEarthDay page. We’ve filled the page with a host of ideas for how to live greener and celebrate Earth Day today and all days. And we’d love for you to ReTweet these ideas for celebrating the Earth for all your friends and followers to see, or better yet, Tweet your own crazy, creative, 140 character ideas! Include the #twittearthday hashtag and the http://twittearthday.com link so that others can jump in!
And remember that today, as we celebrate and spread the word, our collective fight continues. Our hard-fought battles are against some invisible enemies – climate change, carcinogenic toxins in our air and water, mercury levels in our fisheries, ocean acidification, and ground-level ozone pollution in our air, to name a few. We also are taking on some highly visible ones, too – mining companies dumping harmful waste directly into our streams and lakes, development paving roads into once-pristine and untouched national forests, power plants dumping coal ash that leeches into our groundwater supplies, ships and commercial fishing boats threatening and killing endangered whales and turtles, and so many more.
No matter the battle, we pledge to keep fighting. Likewise, we’ll continue to rely on that healthy mix of everyday people, concerned citizens, and dedicated activists demanding better for your families, friends, and future generations.
Happy Earth Day, friends! Thanks so much for all you’ve done.