Earth Day is Friday, April 22. Founded by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson, the first Earth Day was held in 1970 as an environmental teach-in. Earth Day was focused on the United States until 1990, when the movement went global with events organized in nations around the world. Today, Earth Day events are coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network and are celebrated in more than 175 countries around the world with an entire week of activities that highlight environmental issues.
This Earth Day brings awareness to the Gulf oil spill, barely one year in the past. Pitiful images from the worst of the spill are all over the Internet painting a clear picture of the catastrophic potential of off-shore drilling. Updated news from the region is vague with scientists unclear on the ultimate damage that the 206 million gallons of spilled oil will cause. It seems that geologists have more questions than answers and the entire area is in a wait-and-see mode even as tar balls continue to wash ashore along with dead animals. The biggest question – where did all the oil go?
More recently Japan’s nuclear crises, as a result of the Earth’s unforeseen actions – earthquake followed by tsunami – shed even more light on demand for power and the seemingly unsafe limits to which we will go to satisfy that need. But it doesn’t need to be this way. Last week’s Sun highlighted the incredible benefits of solar energy and the affordability for homeowners willing to take the leap. Clean, green and efficient, solar power asks nothing of the environment except what is already does best – provide for us. Yet to be explored in our pages, wind power. We invite those proponents to step forward and let us know what they are doing to harness this other readily available and sustainable resource.
Here in the Valley, we celebrate the works of the Sonoma Ecology Center. The center’s programs and workdays are Earth- and family-friendly with scores of people turning out to take part. Last Saturday’s creek clean up brought out dozens of folks, young and old alike, to pull debris from our waterways and share the beauty of a Sonoma day. Throughout the rest of April and May, the SEC has wildflower hikes scheduled at our area’s parks. Visit their web site at sonomaeclogycenter.org for a schedule or more information.
On page four of this week’s Sun we share an excerpt from AARP magazine that gives Earth Day facts, tips and advice. Feel free to share with us what you do to help our Earth. Together, we can make a difference. Let this Earth Day be your starting point.