Discover more about the importance of Earth Day and why we celebrate it!
Written by Marialma Team
On April 12, 1961, the young Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin (1934-1968), aboard the spaceship Vostok-1, was the first human to travel through space. The mission, a tour around the Earth in an orbit at 315 km altitude, lasted 1 hour and 48 minutes. “Earth is blue!” he shouted, fascinated.
Besides the beauty of the sunset, the glaciers, the sky, the rainbow, we also have a prodigious nature full of animal, vegetal and mineral diversity. We are privileged. Hence our huge responsibility to preserve and esteem the only home we know, this pale blue dot.
Earth Day was created in 1970, on April 22nd by US Senator Gaylord Nelson, a strong environmental activist, who on that day called for a protest against massive pollution.
Emerging from a university movement, Earth Day has become an important educational and informative event. The root of this celebration was the desire to raise awareness of the necessity of biodiversity conservation laws and other environmental concerns, in order to protect the Earth.
Different ecology groups use the Earth Day to alert and promote discussion about the various environmental problems that are harming our planet: the contamination of air, water and soil, the destruction of ecosystems, hundreds of thousands of decimated species of plants and animals and the exhaustion of non-renewable resources.
Earth Day also helps to emphasize solutions to eliminate the negative effects of human activities. It can include recycling manufactured materials, preserving natural resources, prohibiting the use of harmful chemicals, ending the destruction of key habitats such as tropical forests, protecting endangered species and preventing the emergence of pandemics as we have seen more and more frequently.
Human Action vs Environmental Health
The present pandemic situation has clear lessons to retain. We urgently need to address uncontrolled consumption, which leads to the recurrent destruction of the planet and climate change. The spread of the new coronavirus is a direct result of this.
Human action ends up interfering with the environment in a way that is good for the human being, but bad for nature. The loss of biodiversity and the continued growth of the global population -which is expected to reach 9.7 billion in 2050 – in need of food, leaves no doubt that new pandemics may emerge. In addition, there is a correlation between deforestation with the emergence of some diseases and new viruses.
We need to have an eco-conscience in order to know that all our actions have an impact.
Today Earth Day is celebrated in more than 190 countries, with the participation of about 1 billion people, but this date was not recognized by the UN until 2009, that’s when the International Mother Earth Day was created. Now, we celebrate it on April 22nd.
Our Pale Blue Dot
“Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. (…)
The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. (…)
Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark.
The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand. (…)”
– Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot, 1994
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