Earth Day

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Spring Equinox AND April 22

Earth Day inspires awareness of and appreciation for the Earth's environment and is the ONLY event celebrated simultaneously around the globe by people of all backgrounds, faiths and nationalities. More than a half billion people participate in Earth Day Network campaigns every year and Earth Day celebrations are now observed each year by more than 500 million people and national governments in 175 countries. Earth Day is held annually worldwide, during spring in the northern hemisphere, and autumn in the southern hemisphere.

Earth Day signified the acquiescence of most Americans in the idea that a crisis of dire proportions is upon us and that time is running out on our ability to do something about it. A recent Gallup Poll (March 5-8, 2009) says that American concern for economic growth is higher than their concern for the environment! April 12 - 18 has been named National Environmental Education Week in an effort to raise awareness for children in K-12th grade. Earth Day Celebration activities this year at the Cincinnati, Ohio event will include exhibitors with hands-on displays representing environmental groups, a Rock-Climbing Wall, Kayak Paddle Safety Pool, an aquarium, baby animals, a Mother Earth character doing story telling, an environmental puppet show and a children’s fashion show with creations made with recycled material.

If you would like to help spread awareness or join in on the celebrations, or find out just HOW AWARE your own community really is, please see the information at the end of this article for a 2 second search that could reveal quite a lot...

The first Earth Day marked the beginning of the modern environmental movement. Approximately 20 million Americans participated, with a goal of a healthy, sustainable environment. Denis Hayes, the national coordinator, and his youthful staff organized 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.

The United Nations celebrates an Earth Day each year on Ostara (March/Spring equinox for our non pagan friends) a tradition which was founded by peace activist John McConnell in 1969. A second and more widely recognized Earth Day was founded by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in in 1970 and is celebrated in many countries each year on April 22.

Both celebrations were introduced back in 1969 in the western United States, one in San Francisco, California and the other in Seattle, Washington. The 1960s had been a very dynamic period for ecology in the US, in both theory and practice. It was in the mid-1960s that Congress passed the sweeping Wilderness Act, and Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas asked, "Who speaks for the trees?" Pre-1960 grassroots activism in Nassau County, New York against DDT (Dichloro-Diphenyl-Trichloroethane - one of the best known synthetic pesticides) had inspired Rachel Carson to write her shocking bestseller Silent Spring in 1962.

In 1969 at the National Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Conference (UNESCO) in San Francisco, John McConnell felt it necessary to propose a holiday in which we celebrate the Earth's life and beauty. Along with the celebration of the Earth, he also intended Earth Day to alert earthlings about the need for preserving and renewing the threatened ecological balances upon which all life on Earth depends. The proposal won strong support and the first Earth Day proclamation was issued by San Francisco Mayor Joseph Alioto on March 21, 1970. The Earth Day Proclamation stated how humanity living on Earth is responsible for caring and keeping the Earth clean. Later McConnell created the Earth Day Proclamation for worldwide use and awareness and it was signed by U. N. Secretary General U Thant, Margaret Mead, John Gardner and other concerned world leaders. UN Secretary-General U Thant supported McConnell's global initiative to celebrate this annual event, and on February 26, 1971, he signed a proclamation to that effect. The first Earth Day celebrations were held in various cities including San Francisco, California with a multi-day street party.

In September 1969 at a conference in Seattle, Washington, U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin announced that in the spring of 1970 there would be a nationwide grassroots demonstration on the environment. Senator Nelson, an environmental activist, took a leading role in organizing the celebration, hoping to demonstrate popular political support for an environmental agenda. He modeled it on the highly effective Vietnam War protests of the time and the concept of Earth Day was first proposed in a memo he sent to JFK. Five months before the first April 22 Earth Day, on Sunday, November 30, 1969, The New York Times carried a lengthy article by Gladwin Hill reporting on the rising hysteria of "global cooling". Mobilizing 200 million people in 141 countries and lifting the status of environmental issues onto the world stage, Earth Day on April 22, 1990 gave a huge boost to recycling efforts worldwide and helped pave the way for the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.

On the Right, the Daughters of the American Revolution announced that “the subversives, having made a successful assault on our colleges, were now going after our parks.” On the Left, a few activists were muttering darkly but not very loudly that the whole issue of the environment represented a maneuver to distract the national attention from Vietnam and the problems of the blacks. In the Center, there were pessimists that said Earth Day was simply a new-fangled spin on Arbor Day, where school children around the country were sent out to plant a tree, usually for reasons unbeknownst to them. But these oppositions to Earth Day were definitely the exceptions. Conservatives, Liberals, Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Christians, Jews, Atheists, Pagans, the Affluent, the Indigent,


WHAT'S THE LEVEL OF AWARENESS IN YOUR HOME TOWN ???
Visit http://earthday.net/search/node and click the ‘find by location’ tab at the top. Enter your zipcode and country --- I did it as I was writing this article and located 23 events within 25 miles of my zip code!

If you don't find and events try entering the following phrase into your favorite search engine. Leave the quotes and capitalized AND words intact and see what happens… “YOURTOWN” AND “Earth Day”

If you still don't fine any events try calling your local Chamber of Commerce, Department of Parks & Recreation, or Elected official's offices....

and IF YOU CANNOT FIND ANY EVENTS IN YOUR HOME TOWN it may be time to begin raising some local awareness and perhaps starting your own event. Yes, you can, just refer to the Earth Day links below for more info.

 

USA and WORLDWIDE Earth Day INFO, ACTIVITIES and ORGANIZATIONS:
Envirolink http://earthday.envirolink.org/
Earth Day Network http://www.earthday.org/

AND HERE'S A SPECIAL LINK FOR OUR FRIENDS IN CANADA:
Visit: www.earthday.ca and click on 'events' at the top. There are 104 Earth Day events in Ontario, 24 in British Columbia, 7 in Alberta, 11 in Saskatchewan, 2 in Manitoba, 4 in Nova Scotia… you get the picture.

 

We hope to hear from you about the level of awareness in your home town. Perhaps we can start a Spirit Graph showing which home towns are doing their part to promote awareness and encoure the healing of our planet.

Please email or call us with details or questions and if we can help jump start your events or conscious raising campaigns, or perhaps even suggest a friendly way to get that nasty old neighbor to start recycling their cans... nothing is too big or small to do if we do it together and the Craft Magick family is eager and happy to help in any way possible.

Remember... it only takes one person taking one small step to start healing the world!

Happy Earth Day and Blessed Be

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