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"On This Day" In Engineering History

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Happy Earth Day!

Posted April 22, 2009 12:00 AM by Sharkles

Today, April 22nd, is Earth Day – a day designed to inspire awareness and appreciation for the planet. Since 1970, the United Nations has celebrated Earth Day on the March equinox – during spring for the Northern hemisphere, and autumn in the southern hemisphere.


In 1969, United States senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin proposed an environmental protest "to shake up the political establishment and force this issue onto the national agenda." Nelson told the conference attendees that in the spring of 1970 there'd be a grassroots demonstration on behalf of the environment and welcomed them to participate.

Nelson described the response as being "electric", recalling the millions of telegrams, letters, and phone calls he'd received from all over the country. "The American people finally had a forum to express its concern about what was happening to the land, rivers, lakes, and air - and they did so with spectacular exuberance," wrote Nelson.

Approximately 20 million Americans celebrated the first Earth Day.


Earth Day 1970 had a huge effect – not just on citizens, but politically as well. It led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species acts.

In honor of founding Earth Day, Senator Nelson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom – the highest honor given to civilians in the U.S.

In 1990, Earth Day went global – recruiting 200 million people in 141 countries. It also another major milestone as it gave a boost to recycling efforts worldwide.

Today, Earth Day is observed in 175 countries and is coordinated by the nonprofit organization Earth Day Network.

Celebrating Earth Day

Earth day means different things to different people. To environmentalists, Earth Day may signify a public commitment to environmental action. The Earth Day Network encourages commitments like educating friends and family or through "green initiatives".

However, Earth day may not stand out significantly for everyone. Cassara of the World Resources Institute acknowledges this fact by saying, ""[Earth Day] doesn't raise awareness among the general public in the same way that it used to. But it still provides a benchmark for reflection among those of us in the environmental community."







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Re: Happy Earth Day!

04/22/2009 9:13 AM

I remember celebrating Earth Day in school. The quote about Earth Day not raising the same awareness seems to be right - you'd think with the big green initiatives of today Earth Day would be utilized to its full potential. I'm sure there's a lot going on, but you don't see or hear much about it unless you know where to look. Or maybe some people are just better about being Earth-conscious year round?

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Re: Happy Earth Day!

04/22/2009 12:34 PM

At my college, this week is 'face the waste'. They have several clear bins of recyclable waste: electronics, cans, bottles, and even food waste. It starts to really smell after a while, but it just goes to show that sometimes you need to face how harmful you are to the environment when you don't commit to responsible waste procedures.


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Re: Happy Earth Day!

04/23/2009 10:17 AM

welcome initiatives EARTH DAY

Amidst family centred living of humans and sentiments,the awareness initiatives bring a broader outlook into human lives and creates a sense of moral responsibility in living ways, that has a bearing and effect on totality of environment.Though not of immediate positive responses, no doubt it has ignited the concern,rethinking process and alternative outlooks among masses.Whereas the process is on,time could be the answer to see true developments.Let us all put our hands and visions of total support to the mission GREEN AND COOLER EARTH and make judicial use of resources.

Nature is so graceful and naked. Human possession is ridiculous.
Anonymous Poster

Re: Happy Earth Day!

04/24/2009 1:43 AM

The first earth day was originally envisioned for the spring equinox, around 21 March 1970. But they moved it to 22 April 1970, to coincide with the one hundredth anniversary of the birth of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin.

That is not a coincidence.

Anonymous Poster

Re: Happy Earth Day!

03/31/2010 8:20 PM

This year, help our children learn to cherish our sacred Mother Earth with a fun Earth Day Word Search Puzzle ...

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