Sunday, April 19, 2009

Topic of the Month: Earth Day- Wednesday April 22, 2009

After several years of trying to draw attention to the deterioration of the environment, Senator Gaylord Nelson called for grassroots demonstrations and support for the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970. The first Earth Day permanently forced the deterioration of the environment and the dissipation of resources to the political arenas. The same year, Richard Nixon created the EPA to consolidate into one agency a variety of research, monitoring, and standard setting groups to ensure environmental protection.

Earth Day gained popularity over the years to become truly a national and international event by the 1990’s. This year’s theme is the Green Generation whose core principles are a carbon-free future, individual commitment to responsible consumption, and the creation of a green economy.

Student and national interest in environment issues seem to ebb and flow depending on other issues that may take precedence like war and the economy. However, a brief study of environmental history demonstrates that really these issues are related and very relevant to our lives today and to the study of history. Keep the grassroots movement going in your online courses. Add a discussion about the history of environmentalism, Earth Day, and where we are today. For younger audiences visit this teacher and parent resource and for adult audiences this site might be useful

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