Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy 40th Birthday, Earth Day

One of the most amazing rewards to come from the Apollo space program was, simply, perspective. For ages, humanity had looked skyward and seen distant images of the sun, moon and stars. We could not have known (until modern science intervened) how massive those objects really were.

Inversely, until distant photographs of the Earth were taken—from the perspective of Apollo 8, while in lunar orbit—few of us realized how small our little globe really was.

In the spring following our first moon landing (specifically, on April 22, 1970), Earth Day was born. A few months later, the Environmental Protection Agency was formally established. And since that first Earth Day, momentum has grown for the idea that natural resources and places must be actively protected and cared for.

Earth Day was established because the behaviors of a few can hold consequences for many. In 1970, those consequences were bad, and the few were villains. In 2010, it is my hope—no, my belief—that more and more people accept the need for behavioral change, and that the consequences will be good.

Happy 40th Birthday, Earth Day.

© Mike D. Anderson, St. Michael, MN. All rights reserved.

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