It’s hard to believe that we may soon no longer marvel at the incredible long necks of giraffes, the tiny fluttering wings of bees, or the amazing athletic breaching of whales. These and other species are threatened with extinction caused by loss of habitat, deforestation, climate change and pesticides. According to the Earth Day Network: “ We are facing the largest period of species extinction in the last 60 million years. Normally, between one and five species will go extinct annually. However, scientists estimate that we are now losing species at 1,000 to 10,000 times the normal rate, with multiple extinctions daily.”
And so, Earth Day 2019 is focused on Saving the Species. It’s mind boggling to think that the first Earth Day was in 1970. Although “environmentalism” was not then part of the common vocabulary, Rachel Carson’s book, The Silent Spring, had brought attention to the link between pollution and health, and raised awareness and concern for all living organisms. After the disastrous oil spill off Santa Barbara, CA, Sen. Gaylord Nelson and Rep. Pete McCloskey hoped to channel the activism of the anti-war movement to focus on the environment. The national news media picked up the message. This movement brought about the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency as well as legislation such as the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act.
-posted by Brenda, Reference Services