Plant Preview

Welcome to Plant Preview, a blog dedicated to helping gardeners learn about gardening techniques and preview new plant cultivars. Read about new plants here first and hear how your "comrades in compost" are making use of new plant introductions in their gardens and landscapes. Blog author Geri Laufer is a life-long dirt gardener, degreed horticulturist, author and former County Extension Agent. Plant Preview is copyrighted by Geri Laufer.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day 1970 to 2010

Back in the day protests were de rigueur and there were Love-Ins, Sit-Ins and Laugh-Ins. The first-ever Earth Day 1970 was intended to be an Environmental Teach-In.

Rachel Carson’s consciousness raising 1962 book Silent Spring had alerted the public to possible consequences of uncontrolled pesticide use. In 1968 NASA’s (Apollo 8) first photos of the whole earth as viewed from space transformed the perception of a limitless and indestructible “Mother Earth” to the model of a beautiful blue planet, our fragile “Spaceship Earth”. People started getting it.

The First Earth Day
Marking the beginning of the Modern Environmental Movement, on April 22, 1970 thousands of local schools and universities organized protests against environmental deterioration including loss of wilderness, oil spills, pollution, toxic dumps, pesticides and wildlife extinction. Anti-littering was big that year, providing an action step people could wrap their heads around.
Founder U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson (Wisconsin) noted “Earth Day worked because of the spontaneous response at the grassroots level. No one had the time or resources to organize 20 million demonstrators and the thousands of schools and local communities that participated. That was the remarkable thing about Earth Day. It organized itself.” In later years, when the national focus had shifted to conspicuous consumption and keeping up with the Joneses, Earth Day was relegated to the back burner, surfacing about once a decade.

Earth Day 2010
Now celebrating its 40th anniversary, this year Earth Day focuses on environmental conservation including climate change and global warming, advocacy, conservation and biodiversity, food and agriculture, recycling and waste reduction, sustainable development, energy and fossil fuel alternatives, and water. Big concepts, but take your own green step and plant a garden, or coach a child to do so. Or maybe your child can coach you, as in Allison Areiff's NYT column today: My goal is to make Earth Day a daily consideration, not just an annual one. What about you?

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