Today is Earth Day. Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970 and is now celebrated each year in more than 192 nations. It is held to demonstrate support for environmental protection.
There were actually two Earth Days celebrated in 1970. The first one was celebrated on March 21, 1970, the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere. John McConnell, a peace activist, proposed at a 1969 UNESCO Conference held in San Francisco that a day be set apart to honor the Earth and the idea of peace. It was “sanctioned in a Proclamation written by McConnell and signed by Secretary General U Thant at the United Nations.”
Apparently McConnell’s celebration was not good enough for U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson because he founded a separate Earth Day only a month later. This second celebration was founded as “an environmental teach-in” and was held on April 22, 1970. Nelson received the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award for his work. This Earth Day focused on the United States.
Dennis Hayes, the national coordinator for the 1970 Earth Day, launched an organization in 1990 to take Earth Day international in 141 nations. Now Earth Week – “an entire week of activities focused on environmental issues” is held in numerous communities.
The following information is on the official Earth Day Network: “The idea came to Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, after witnessing the ravages of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. Inspired by the student anti-war movement, he realized that if he could infuse that energy with an emerging public consciousness about air and water pollution, it would force environmental protection onto the national political agenda….
“As a result, on the 22nd of April, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values.
“Earth Day 1970 achieved a rare political alignment, enlisting support from Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, city slickers and farmers, tycoons and labor leaders. The first Earth Day led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and endangered Species Acts….”
Our nation has never been the same! If we listen to the so-called experts, we feel only fear for our future. Stephen Moore of FoxNews.com explained that the “experts” tell us “the planet is in a miserable state. We’re running out of our natural resources, we’re overpopulating the globe and running out of room, the air that we breathe is becoming toxic, the oceans are rising and soon major coastal cities will be underwater, and the Earth is, of course, heating up, except when it is cooling down.
“This is perhaps the single greatest misinformation campaign in world history. Virtually none of these claims are even close to the truth – except for the fact that our climate is always changing as it has for hundreds of thousands of years.
“Since the first Earth Day back in the 1970s, the environmentalists – those who worship the creation rather than the Creator -- have issued one false prediction of Armageddon after another and yet despite the fact that their batting average is zero, the media and our schools keep parroting their declinism as if they were oracles not shysters.
“Here are the factual realities we should be celebrating on Earth Day. 1. Natural resources are more abundant and affordable today than ever before in history…. 2. Energy – the master resource – is super-abundant…. 3. Our air and water are cleaner…. 4. There is no Malthusian nightmare of overpopulation…. 5. Global per capita food production is 40 percent higher today than as recently as 1950…. 6. The rate of death and physical destruction from natural disasters or severe weather changes has plummeted over the last 50 to 100 years….
“Earth Day should be a day of joy and celebration that life on this bountiful planet is better than anytime in human history.
“The state of the planet has never been in such fine shape by almost every objective measure. The Chicken Littles are as wrong today as they were 50 years ago. This is very good news for those who believe that one of our primary missions as human beings is to make life better over time and to leave our planet better off for future generations."
I believe that we should care for our planet. Earth is better off today than fifty years ago because we have been caring for it. I am not worried about the future of our planet – with or without the Environmental Protection Agency – because I do not think mankind has nearly the powers of destruction that environmentalists think we do.
We are stewards for our world today. We are responsible to be good stewards and to care for Mother Earth. We need not fear for the future of the earth. Jesus Christ, under the direction of Heavenly Father, created the earth and everything in it. The Creation of the earth was part of Heavenly Father’s plan for His spirit children – us. He wanted us to become like Him, and He knew we needed physical bodies and experience to do it. The earth was created as a “university” away from our heavenly home where we could gain everything we need to become like our Father.
God spoke to a latter-day prophet and declared, “For the earth is full, and there is enough and to spare; yea, I prepared all things, and have given unto the children of men to be agents unto themselves” (Doctrine and Covenants 104:17).
God has everything under control. All He requires of us is to do His will and keep His commandments. He has plans to make our Earth our home for all eternity. It will be even more beautiful and better in every way than it is today. All we need to do is to put our trust in God and follow His instructions. I agree with Stephen Moore, we should celebrate Earth Day with joy and celebration!