Monday, April 22 2019 represents a very important day during the year, Earth Day. This day started in 1970 and it is now considered the birth of the modern environmental movement. This year Earth Day expects more than 1 billion people to participate in 192 countries.
“On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values.”
Despite this movement being started nearly 50 years ago, these problems are still very prevalent in today’s society. We are still dumping sewage and toxic substances into the ocean, pesticides are still be used on our crops every day and more than ever we are using huge amounts of electricity to power up all the devices we own. During spring break I went to a beach in Malibu only to walk away from the sand with (very smelly) tar stuck all over the bottom of my shoes. I was shocked to first off learn that my shoes had been ruined from a simple walk on the beach, but secondly to learn that tar was in the water and on the sand. How did this happen? And how was it effecting the not only the fish and ocean, but the birds? And what about dogs running along for their walk? The situation made me feel sick that there was obviously such a lack of respect.
Photo Courtesy of Unsplash
So why am I writing about Earth Day? Why does it matter that we still have environmental issues today compared to 1970? Here are 5 facts I think you should know…
The United States is the second largest contributor to CO2 in our atmosphere, though it is home to just 4.4 percent of the world’s population. If everyone in the world lived the way people do in the U.S., it would take four Earths to provide enough resources for everyone.
The current pace of global average temperature rise puts approximately half of all plants and animals at risk of extinction.
Rain forest destruction contributes to climate change. That's because trees store carbon dioxide as they grow. Clearing and burning forests releases large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
9 billion tons of plastic have been produced since 1950, and the majority of it is still on Earth.
27% of our coral reefs have been destoryed. If the rate continues, 60% will be gone in the next 30 years.
Photo Courtesy of Unsplash
These five facts are just a snippet of the problems and shocking statistics we currently have about the damage we have collectively done. There are plenty of more topics, such as the ice caps melting and sea levels rising, with statisitcs just as shocking as these that I didn't mention. I really encourage you that if you want to learn more about other problems to do some research and educate yourself on ways to help the environment and the world we live in.
On Friday April 19, 2019, rapper Lil Dicky released a song called "Earth" that included over 30 different song artists. *I have linked the clean version* He wrote it helping to raise awareness of the environmental problems we are currently facing with global warming, and as part of Earth Day. I highly suggest you take 10 minutes out of your day after reading this article to watch the animated video (that includes Leonardo DiCaprio on Titantic) and to look at his website to learn more. There you can find videos explaining the problems we are facing, and you can learn how make a difference. *Warning - there is cussing and possible offensive jokes*
Hopefuly, this article has got you thinking about the environment and the problematic situation we are currently in. We may have different cultures, different beliefs and different bodies, but we all share the same Earth. It is important we start to make changes to look after it, before it is too late.
Photo Courtesy of Theblemish