Happy Earth Day, everyone! So what’s the title all about? I went on a walk and hit some small nature trails and reserves. Now mind you, these are very tiny areas tucked away in local parks, so they are tread by humans quite a bit.
There I came across a squirrel that looked me straight in the eye… I figure that the squirrel wanted to know what my next move was going to be, because it was frozen still watching me standing not very far away, as you can tell by this picture.
The squirrel eventually gave up on our game of “freeze” and went about its way. However, I was amazed at its comfort with people in its surroundings. It did not run and hide, it was claiming its territory. On this Earth Day I’m drawn to the thought that we humans have invaded nature to the extent that the wild animals around us have learned to live with us more than we have with them. I think about the coyotes that join us every evening and literally cross the streets like jay walkers in the night. They have adapted to us, so they no longer are what they were born to be.
And what are we as humans doing to preserve this planet as it once was if this is the state of natural habitats? Pretty soon our children may have no idea of how it once was, just as they are clueless to life without cell phones. There is still so much impact to be made and so much to get done for this planet on this Earth Day and beyond.
Earth Day is the brain child of Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin. Inspired by the student anti-war movement, he realized that if he could infuse that energy with an emerging public consciousness about air and water pollution, it would force environmental protection onto the national political agenda.
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.
Today marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement, as Earth Day 1970 achieved a rare political alignment, enlisting support from Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, city slickers and farmers, tycoons and labor leaders. Each year on April 22nd the Earth Day movement continues to inspire, challenge ideas, ignite passion, and motivate people to action.