Earth Day 1970- Earth Day 2023
Earth Day will be celebrating its 53rd anniversary this year on Saturday 22 April 2023
Photo credit: Columbia University
It is estimated that Earth Day is marked by an estimated one billion people across more than 190 countries.
But what actually is Earth Day and why should we celebrate and honour it?
Harmony arises when we seek wisdom and beauty...when we live with an open heart...stillness and space with sacred world...in sacredness arises hope...in hope arises the desire and imagination to build a better world...by touching the earth, combining our inner spiritual path with the goal of creating an environmentally sustainable and socially just human presence on this planet.
Earth Day encourages us to remember and to celebrate the beauty and the wonder of our sacred Mother Earth and consider the impact that we have on our environment. It is also a day for us to be reminded of how precious our mother earth and nature are as teachers and healers.
Every year, Earth Day is celebrated on 22nd April across the world. It was first commemorated on April 22, 1970 across the United States, to tackle environmental issues like climate change. It also marks the start of the modern environmental movement.
Recalling that Epic Day: the 1st Earth Day, April 22, 1970
Photo: New York Times – 23 April 1970
‘On 22 April 1970, 20 million people took to the streets across the United States to protest environmental destruction. The nation had recently witnessed the devastating impacts of the Santa Barbara oil spill and seen the first photographs of the Earth taken by astronauts. The beauty of that blue marble pictured from space contrasted bleakly with the lamentable state of the Earth that they knew from the ground…’-The BBC
‘Earth Day was the brainchild of Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, a staunch environmentalist who hoped to provide unity to the grassroots environmental movement and increase ecological awareness. “The objective was to get a nationwide demonstration of concern for the environment so large that it would shake the political establishment out of its lethargy,” Senator Nelson said, “and, finally, force this issue permanently onto the national political agenda.”-The first Earth Day
See also: Earth Day
‘Rivers on fire, acid rain falling from the sky, species going extinct, oil spills, polluted air, and undrinkable water. For so long, we didn't think of our planet as a place to preserve. And then in the 1960's and 70's that changed…’
Photo credit: 1960-1970 Environmental Movement
This is how Alistair Cooke (1908-2004) who was the Guardian's chief US correspondent from 1947 to 1972 and broadcaster of the BBC radio series, Letter From America, told us about this historical day:
‘New York, April 23
In every big and little city of America yesterday, vast throngs of people, the young, the old, the brash, the solemn, and the bland packed the avenues and malls and main streets in a celebration, half gay, half ghoulish, of Earth Day, the first mass reminder of our decaying and polluted planet.
From the crow’s nest of a skyscraper or the window of a helicopter, the crowds looked very like the populations that trooped silently to their doom in the film version of On the Beach. But close up they were uniformly gay and relaxed, ambling around the traffic-free roadways as if some blessed Newton or Paul Ehrlich had produced a miraculous cure for the chlorinated hydrocarbons that threaten to poison the earth and the oceans in the next decade. It was a day of warning but it was carried off like a day of thanksgiving. Nowhere was there any reported violence.
Nothing like it in war or peace has been seen in this country. Victory parades, Fourth of July marches. and VE night orgies have been more feverish, but as visible expressions of mass sentiment they paled beside the continental scale of this demonstration…’- Continue to read
How true and prophetic those words were and indeed, more so, they are today. We now know that climate change is very real, and it's happening right before our eyes.
‘The story of the first Earth Day is inspiring: it had a power, a freshness, and a seriousness of purpose that is difficult to imagine today. Earth Day 1970 created an entire green generation. Thousands of Earth Day organizers and participants decided to devote their lives to the environmental cause. Earth Day 1970 helped to build a lasting eco-infrastructure—lobbying organizations, environmental beats at newspapers, environmental-studies programs, ecology sections in bookstores, community ecology centers…’- Adam Rome, Author of The Genius of Earth Day
We must never forget that, the first Earth Day ignited a movement to stop polluting and plundering our planet. Today, we are called to respond to this timeless legacy.
However, as it seems, we, the older generation, the over 60s, have lost that beacon of hope that the 1st Earth Day was projecting. We have allowed the evil forces, the values-less vested interests, those who have destroyed the world in their greedy designs and are denying their moral and spiritual responsibilities in global warming and ecological degradation and destruction to numb our vision, thoughts and memories.
Thus, this Earth Day, join us in our commitment to realizing a just and sustainable future for our planet.
We must, once again, regain our moral and spiritual courage and begin the journey of loving, nurturing, nourishing,healing, and saving our mother earth and nature, defeating the evil forces of denial. In short, let us be inspired by the example of concerned citizens, such as senator Gaylord Nelson.
This is why, I believe, once again, in the spirit of the founders of the 1st Earth Day, all those decades ago, we, the parents, grandparents, teachers, healers, storytellers, philosophers of love, and more come together and begin to lead with courage, light, hope and wisdom to rescue our mother nature for generations to come.
Below, I have chosen a sample from our GCGI archive on how we may decide to proceed. Firstly, please consider joining me and board our Ark of Light and Hope: Co-creating our Future Together.
Secondly, I hope the links below will cement your thoughts that we should urgently take action to save our only home, our sacred earth.
Mother Earth as Healer and Teacher
Rhythms of Nature Ushering in a Better World
Photo: Mystic Investigations
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