Wednesday, April 22, 2020, is the 50th anniversary of the celebration of Earth Day. Goodness knows we could all use something to celebrate these days (Remember, if you are marching for science today, wear comfortable shoes and a face mask and stay six feet apart – or better yet, celebrate from home..)
Earth Day was proposed by John McConnell in 1969 at a UNESCO conference. as a day to commemorate the Earth and world peace, Senator Gaylord Nelson (D-Wisconsin) proposed making Earth Day a teach-in about environmental issues on April 22, 1970. It has been celebrated for the past fifty years in an increasing number of countries worldwide.
The only good thing that can be said about the Coronavirus pandemic is that it is helping clear up air pollution. According to the Exploratorium of San Francisco’s Balboa Park, “as communities and whole countries shelter in place, the atmosphere is also getting a breather from human activities. Observed from space, China and Italy saw similar improvement in pollution levels. This is a rare opportunity for scientists who study the atmosphere to continue their work measuring carbon emissions and pollution and watching for patterns that can guide policy and actions to improve our future climate and air quality.”
On a global scale, scientists are measuring an unprecedented drop in air pollution, particulates, and, on local scales, carbon dioxide emissions. While there are no silver linings to a tragedy, scientists and urban planners are documenting the welcome changes and drawing attention to some lessons we can draw from this pause—including how we might tread more lightly on earth and create the kind of future where global citizens can enjoy healthy air and we can circumvent the more extreme consequences of climate change.”
NASA is concerned not only with the sky, but also the world beneath the sky. Click here to learn what NASA is doing for Earth Day this year. They have educational videos and activities for the whole family, With nearly every school in the country out, you might want to explore some of these with your children.