Every year on April 22, Earth Day marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970, which gave a voice to an emerging public consciousness about the state of our planet. In the decades leading up to the first Earth Day, mainstream America remained largely oblivious to environmental concerns and how a polluted environment threatens human health.
Senator Gaylord Nelson, a junior senator from Wisconsin, had long been concerned about the deteriorating environment in the United States. He founded the first Earth Day in 1970, which inspired 20 million Americans to take to the streets, parks and auditoriums to demonstrate against the impacts of 150 years of industrial development which had left a growing legacy of serious human health impacts.
By the end of 1970, the first Earth Day led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of other first of their kind environmental laws, including the National Environmental Education Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, and the Clean Air Act.
In 1990, Earth Day went global, mobilizing 200 million people in 141 countries and lifting environmental issues onto the world stage. It gave a huge boost to recycling efforts worldwide and helped pave the way for the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.
Earth Day 2000 sent world leaders a loud and clear message: Citizens around the world wanted quick and decisive action on global warming and clean energy.
This year, Earth Day 2020 and its theme: Climate Action marks the 50th anniversary since it was founded in 1970.
Covid-19 and climate change are the two most critical issues facing humanity today. But climate change has the potential for a far greater impact. World lock-down measures have led to an unintended temporary relief to climate change, creating conditions where much can be learnt and applied.
On Earth Day, our film team took a lot at these two issues, and how our planet and its oceans can benefit from the covid-19 pandemic. Watch our video below: