10/16/2017
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Earth Day

Earth Day should be a wake up call to the whole world.

Earth Day was initiated on April 22, 1970 by Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin. His goal was to create a movement that would bring attention to the frail state of the environment and to educate people about the negative effect pollutants have on planet earth after he witnessed an oil spill off the coast of California.

Senator Nelson got his inspiration from the student protests that were sweeping college campuses across the country because of the Vietnam War. It was his intent to raise awareness concerning environmental issues such as air, water, and ground pollution.

Earth Day, which is coordinated by the Earth Day Network, has become a worldwide cause that is held annually. It is recognized by politicians, governments, private and public organizations, the United Nations, and people from all walks of life.

On Earth Day, events are held to increase awareness of how fragile our environment really is and how it is slowly being destroyed by things that we all take for granted such as the use of fossil fuels, fertilizers, pesticides, paint products, nuclear waste, and other harmful chemicals.

As the human population on the Earth grows, there is becoming an increasing need to find ways to produce more food, build homes and communities, update and upgrade transportation and infrastructure, and create jobs and wealth to enhance the way we live.

At times, the pressure to build things fast and as inexpensive as possible becomes the norm. Some companies look at their profit margins instead of what is good and safe for the environment.

But it's not just businesses that are totally responsible. The average person is guilty, too. We buy, use, and then throw away things that can be reused or recycled. These things are often put in the trash and taken to landfills, thrown to the curb, dumped in vacant lots and fields, or flushed out to sea.

Much of this material ends up in our drinking water or is eaten by animals that end up on our dinner tables. This in itself should make us pause and think about the long term risks, not just to the environment, but to our children and grandchildren as well.

Pollutants such as mercury, lead, and asbestos are credited with causing mental and physical illnesses and are harming the environment in ways that may be irreversible.

Many developing countries are passing strict laws that keep chemicals and other harmful pollutants from finding their way into our living rooms and kitchens, but in some less developed countries, the word has not gotten out and some of the wealthier countries are using poorer countries as their dumping grounds.

The key to preserving the earth for future generations is to develop alternate sources of energy, safer products, and to discontinue to use chemicals and other pollutants that are harmful to the environment.

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