Search This Blog

Friday, April 22, 2016

Earth Day

Earth Day

Earth Day is an annual event, celebrated on April 22, on which day events worldwide are held to demonstrate support for environmental protection. It was first celebrated in 1970, and is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network, and celebrated in more than 192 countries each year.

In 1969 at a UNESCO Conference in San Francisco, peace activist John McConnell proposed a day to honor the Earth and the concept of peace, to first be celebrated on March 21, 1970, the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere. This day of nature's equipoise was later sanctioned in a Proclamation written by McConnell and signed by Secretary General U Thant at the United Nations
A month later a separate Earth Day was founded by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in first held on April 22, 1970. Nelson was later awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award in recognition of his work. While this April 22 Earth Day was focused on the United States, an organization launched by Denis Hayes, who was the original national coordinator in 1970, took it international in 1990 and organized events in 141 nations. Numerous communities celebrate Earth Week, an entire week of activities focused on environmental issues.



The first Earth Day family had participants and celebrants in two thousand colleges and universities, roughly ten thousand primary and secondary schools, and hundreds of communities across the United States. More importantly, it "brought 20 million Americans out into the spring sunshine for peaceful demonstrations in favor of environmental reform." It now is observed in 192 countries, and coordinated by the nonprofit Earth Day Network, chaired by the first Earth Day 1970 organizer Denis Hayes, according to whom Earth Day is now "the largest secular holiday in the world, celebrated by more than a billion people every year." Environmental groups have sought to make Earth Day into a day of action which changes human behavior and provokes policy changes.
https://24.media.tumblr.com/9bdc069bc0a327d7c6b4b0f343f85d16/tumblr_n2dyhavKU01tvd7rmo1_500.gif

 Day & Night
Time Lapse


https://24.media.tumblr.com/3c48a6a1b44396957296dff933374963/tumblr_n2dzaooGTS1tvd7rmo1_500.gif

Earth Day 1970 in New York City

In the winter of 1969–1970, a group of students met at Columbia University to hear Denis Hayes talk about his plans for Earth Day. Among the group were Fred Kent, Pete Grannis, and Kristin and William Hubbard. This New York group agreed to head up the New York City part of the national movement. Fred Kent took the lead in renting an office and recruiting volunteers. "The big break came when Mayor Lindsay agreed to shut down Fifth Avenue for the event. A giant cheer went up in the office on that day," according to Kristin Hubbard (now Kristin Alexandre). 'From that time on we used Mayor Lindsay's offices and even his staff. I was Speaker Coordinator but had tremendous help from Lindsay staffer Judith Crichton."

In addition to shutting down Fifth Avenue, Mayor John Lindsay made Central Park available for Earth Day. The crowd was estimated as more than one million—by far the largest in the nation. Since Manhattan was also the home of NBC, CBS, ABC, The New York Times, Time, and Newsweek, it provided the best possible anchor for national coverage from their reporters throughout the country.



Significance of April 22

Nelson chose the date in order to maximize participation on college campuses for what he conceived as an "environmental teach-in". He determined the week of April 19–25 was the best bet as it did not fall during exams or spring breaks.[35] Moreover, it did not conflict with religious holidays such as Easter or Passover, and was late enough in spring to have decent weather. More students were likely to be in class, and there would be less competition with other mid-week events—so he chose Wednesday, April 22. The day also fell after the anniversary of the birth of noted conservationist John Muir.

Unbeknownst to Nelson, April 22, 1970, was coincidentally the 100th anniversary of the birth of Vladimir Lenin, when translated to the Gregorian calendar (which the Soviets adopted in 1918). Time reported that some suspected the date was not a coincidence, but a clue that the event was "a Communist trick", and quoted a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution as saying, "subversive elements plan to make American children live in an environment that is good for them." J. Edgar Hoover, director of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, may have found the Lenin connection intriguing; it was alleged the FBI conducted surveillance at the 1970 demonstrations. The idea that the date was chosen to celebrate Lenin's centenary still persists in some quarters, an idea borne out by the similarity with the subbotnik instituted by Lenin in 1920 as days on which people would have to do community service, which typically consisted in removing rubbish from public property and collecting recyclable material. Subbotniks were also imposed on other countries within the compass of Soviet power, including Eastern Europe, and at the height of its power the Soviet Union established a nation-wide subbotnik to be celebrated on Lenin's birthday, April 22, which had been proclaimed a national holiday celebrating communism by Nikita Khrushchev in 1955.


https://49.media.tumblr.com/c8515b6d1dc3c0b5f876c22b47fe2220/tumblr_o61ky9W9QE1uoh1aio1_400.gif

Earth Day Anthems

Earth Anthem (Abhay Kumar)

Our cosmic oasis, cosmic blue pearl
the most beautiful planet in the universe
our cosmic oasis, cosmic blue pearl
all the continents and the oceans of the world
united we stand as flora and fauna
united we stand as species of one earth
black, brown, white, different colours
we are humans, the earth is our home...

 


from "Earth Anthem" by Abhay Kumar

There are many songs that are performed on Earth Day, that generally fall into two categories. Popular songs by contemporary artists not specific to Earth Day that are under copyright or new lyrics adapted to children's songs. UNESCO has termed Indian poet-diplomat Abhay Kumar's idea of an official Earth Anthem as a creative and inspiring thought that would contribute to bringing the world together.[41] Kumar's "Earth Anthem" has been translated into eight languages including all official languages of the United Nations viz. Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish. The other two languages are Hindi and Nepali. It was launched in June 2013 on the occasion of the World Environment Day by Kapil Sibal and Shashi Tharoor, Union Ministers of India at a function organized by the Indian Council of Cultural Relations in New Delhi. India's Central Board of Secondary Education or CBSE has started using it for educational purposes.

The US Consul General Jennifer McIntyre has called Kumar's Earth Anthem a significant contribution to Earth Day and truly an anthem for the Earth.

https://45.media.tumblr.com/8ac8ddad8765a1ccaa2d4c9057c3ce53/tumblr_o61ky9W9QE1uoh1aio5_r1_400.gif


Earth Day Anthem (William Wallace)
The "Ode to Joy" melody by Beethoven, the official anthem of the European Union, also is performed on the Earth Day. Lyrics for the Earth Day Anthem set to "Ode to Joy" are as follows:

Joyful joyful we adore our Earth in all its wonderment

    Simple gifts of nature that all join into a paradise
    Now we must resolve to protect her
    Show her our love throughout all time
    With our gentle hand and touch
    We make our home a newborn world
    Now we must resolve to protect her
    Show her our love throughout all time
    With our gentle hand and touch
    We make our home a newborn world


https://49.media.tumblr.com/ae8ae4a783ed1ce449382f7ad8c31b54/tumblr_o61ky9W9QE1uoh1aio7_r1_400.gif


No comments: