The earth day movement started way back in the 1970s, when the hippie and flower-child culture was popular among the people of United States. Environment awareness, concerns of living organisms and public health was on the rise. Capitalizing on the emerging consensus among people, the earth day movement grew stronger as it channelised the energy of the ongoing anti-war protest movement in the United States and galvanized the environmental movement.
On 22nd April 1970, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. These protests were organized by thousands of colleges and universities against the deterioration of the environment. Since then the day 22nd April has been marked and observed as International Mother Earth Day.
This year the theme is ‘It’s our turn to lead’ calling for an urgent action from individuals to take a stand against environmental degradation and showing the world a new path of development.
It is to be believed that this is the year when mankind will see world leaders coming together to sign a treaty on climate change in Paris at United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP21, people divesting from fossil fuels to renewable energy solutions and investments being made on solutions that are sustainable. Climate Change agreement has been a pending issue since 20 years. As Kyoto Protocol was not ratified by US – one of the top polluters, the climate treaty in Paris will provide an opportunity for governments, businesses, non-profit leaders to put on paper an agreement to cut our emissions and limit global warming to 2°C.
For this reason, over 400,000 people marched on the streets of New York in September, 2015, marking the biggest climate march in history. Their call for action from the city streets reverberated around the world. They rallied for their leaders to recognize the catastrophic implications of climate change. Taking note of the historic event, the US President Barack Obama shared “We cannot pretend we cannot hear them. We must answer their call.”
Our voices have reached the world leaders, and now all they need is to take action for safeguarding mother earth. Let 2015 be the year when all nations together reach on a concrete climate change agreement while finalizing the post-2015 sustainable development agenda. Humans need to strive towards a better future, eradicating all forms of poverty and restoring the balance with other living organisms and the planet. Yes, majority of the work needs to be done at a higher and a policy making level as not everyone is able to make sustainable choices. For those who can, should switch to use energy efficient lighting and appliances, consume less fossil fuels and consume only what is necessary. The power to transform the world begins with you as an individual.
Let us all seize the opportunity, for our grandchildren to remember that this year the world chose a sustainable course of development. to build a sustainable and resilient future, and to ensure safeguarding endangered species and conservation of the environment.
It’s time for a sustainable world. Let’s create a history that mother earth would be proud of.
By – Rahul Choudhury
Media and Communication – Fiinovation