Earth Day Network’s mission is to broaden and diversify the environmental movement worldwide and to mobilize it as the most effective vehicle to build a healthy, sustainable environment, address climate change, and protect the Earth for future generations.
Nixon’s predecessor, Lyndon B. Johnson, knew of the dangers of climate change and spoke of them in a special message to Congress shortly after his 1965 inauguration. “Air pollution is no longer confined to isolated places,” he said. “This generation has altered the composition of the atmosphere on a global scale through radioactive materials and a steady increase in carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels….” More…
Theodore Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama, Thomas Jefferson… The legacies of eight presidents who made a big difference in American conservation….More…
The concept of protecting natural treasures for future generations can be traced back to the founding fathers. Thomas Jefferson wrote about the benefits of open space and the danger of cutting down all the trees. He also sent Meriwether Lewis and William Clark on a voyage of discovery to catalog the nature in the great West.… More…
In 1970 alone, he signed the National Environmental Policy Act into law, which required environmental impact statements for major new building projects, created the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and signed the landmark Clean Air Act, perhaps the most significant air pollution control bill in American history…. More…
As momentum for the Green New Deal grows, so do its detractors. The ambitious plan to fight climate change introduced by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey last week has been called everything from “brainless” to “delusional” by conservatives…. More…
The measure protects 1.3 million acres as wilderness, the nation’s most stringent protection, which prohibits even roads and motorized vehicles. It permanently withdraws more than 370,000 acres of land from mining around two national parks, including Yellowstone, and permanently authorizes a program to spend offshore-drilling revenue on conservation efforts…. More…
…the 17,000 tonnes of rubbish left by these factories is still there – and not insignificant for a town of 30,000. Most of this waste has been repossessed by the authorities, but a staggering 4,000 tonnes of waste plastic still sits on a single site – open to anyone who might walk by…. More…
…environmentalists and Democratic lawmakers criticized the plan, saying it in effect delayed desperately needed regulation on a clear public health threat from chemicals that are commonly used in cookware, pizza boxes, stain repellents and fire retardants…. More…
How is climate change connected to extreme weather? Below, we’ve roundup up reports and posts by scientists and experts to explain the connection between climate change and extreme weather.
The Difference Between Weather and Climate
“Though they are closely related, weather and climate aren’t the same thing. Climate is what you expect. Weather is what actually happens…” More from NOAA….
Just a reminder. US is 2% of Earth. Australia is record hot. Earth Monday was 0.72 dF (0.4 dC) warmer than 1979-2000 average. Weather is not climate. Weather is fleeting, varies in locales. Climate is long-term, large area. Weather=mood; climate=personality. pic.twitter.com/83wavVonfe
Every time it snows on the US east coast, there’s at least one politician or pundit who trots out the old chestnut: “Global warming?! Global cooling, more like!” This episode tackles that myth + explains how climate change affects the polar vortex, too: https://t.co/hX7yep8ZTEpic.twitter.com/907HQ7ohr5
The study, published in Nature Communications, describes its conclusion in blunt language, finding that the Atlantic already has seen “highly unusual” changes in rapid hurricane intensification, compared to what models would predict from natural swings in the climate. That led researchers to conclude that climate change played a significant role….More…
Rising temperatures will intensify the Earth’s water cycle, increasing evaporation. Increased evaporation will result in more storms, but also contribute to drying over some land areas. As a result, storm-affected areas are likely to experience increases in precipitation and increased risk of flooding, while areas located far away from storm tracks are likely to experience less precipitation and increased risk of drought.
For Valentine’s Day, why not share your love for species that need our love the most? We’ve made these Valentine’s Day cards for you featuring the threatened and endangered species that Earth Day Network will be highlighting during our 2019 Protect Our Species campaign: bees, elephants, coral, giraffes, and whales.
Click to download, then share with your sweeties!
To learn more about these species and how you can help to save them, visit our website and explore our Toolkits!
Give better bouquets. Choose flowers from providers who are pesticide-free. (On that subject, sign our pledge to stop using pesticides.) Also, favor local sellers instead of ordering online to reduce carbon emissions from delivery.
Give greens that last. Consider plants instead of cut flowers. For someone with a yard, give a rose bush instead of a bouquet of roses or consider outdoor plants that are drought-tolerant or attract pollinators. Or consider trees! (It’s only $1 to plant a tree with EDN’s tree canopy program).
Give better bling. Make sure jewelry sellers are fair-trade and use ethically-sourced minerals and gemstones. You can also look for jewelry designers who used recycled gold or silver, or buy antique or pre-owned jewelry.
Give better sweets. Choose fair-trade chocolates and sweet sweets made without palm oil, which is a major contributor to deforestation and threatens species such as the orangutan.
Have good taste. Is your loved one a foodie? My grandmother always said, “Food is love.” Bake something sweet or prepare a romantic meal made with locally grown produce and other specialty items. First stop: food vendors at your local farmers’ market. You could also give a farmers’ market basket or bag with fresh and local produce and a cookbook as a gift.
Toast to a brighter future. Choose champagne, wine, or other spirited drinks from winemakers and providers who use organic ingredients.
Give love letters. Support the independent businesses in your neighborhood by giving a book of love poems. Or: order the e-book version. (Tip: When you shop online while logged in to Amazon Smile, you can choose a nonprofit to receive a small portion of sales. Select Earth Day Network on Amazon Smile and you help us directly.)
Give twice. It’s true about one person’s trash being another’s treasure — and when you buy from antique markets, consignment and thrift shops, eBay, Etsy, Craigslist, and other sources of second-hand items, you do your part to reduce waste to landfills. Another way to give back is by buying from gift shops for museums and parks, in person or online.
Shop local. Support your local community, including local artisans. Even better: shop on foot or bike or use public transit and leave the car behind.
Encourage plastic-free living. Consider using a reusable mug instead of a box for sweets or a reusable market tote as a gift bag. Wrap edible gifts in a reusable bag or an alternatives to plastic wrap, such as beeswax-covered cloth.
Be a maker. Homemade gifts, including food and personal care items, are twice as nice. Extra touches: attach a recipe for the recipient and consider using a vintage glass jar, container, or tin that can be reused.
Make it an experience gift. Give concert or theater tickets, restaurant gift certificates, or museum memberships and you’re giving the recipient an experience to enjoy. Also consider giving personalized games or puzzles from a photo-printing service that allows you to create one with personal photos.
Buy better. Something to consider: the maker of the products and its ingredients. Give from companies with responsible business practices — organic, Fair Trade, sweatshop-free, environmentally-friendly, sustainable. Also: look at labels for ingredients that are organic and non-toxic.
We’re excited to release the official poster Earth Day 2019!
In one stunning image, the poster visually conveys the meaning and importance of our 2019 Protect Our Species campaign. It features Brad Wilson’s photograph of a giraffe, part of his AFFINITY animal series, which includes threatened and endangered species.
Giraffe populations have declined from 155,000 in 1985 to under 100,000 in 2018. No international treaties protect giraffes, and the U.S. is the number one importer of giraffe trophies and parts. Habitat loss, civil unrest, illegal poaching and hunting, and climate change collectively contribute to the decline in giraffe populations.
“For its iconic and singular beauty, and the many critical threats to its survival, we chose the giraffe to visually represent our 2019 campaign,” says Earth Day Network president Kathleen Rogers. “We are grateful to Brad Wilson for joining our cause by donating this powerful photograph.”
Brad Wilson adds, “I photograph animals in part because they inhabit a world that we, as humans, have largely abandoned — a place of instinct, intuition and present moment awareness. They remind us that we are not separate — we are part of a beautifully rich and interconnected diversity of life. I donated this image to the Earth Day Network to bring attention to the plight of giraffes (and endangered animals everywhere) and to emphasize that our destinies are powerfully linked. The survival of one species helps to insure the survival of us all.”
The unprecedented global destruction and rapid reduction of plant and wildlife populations are directly driven by human activity: climate change, deforestation, habitat loss, trafficking and poaching, unsustainable agriculture, pollution and pesticides. The impacts are far reaching.
“If we don’t act now, the next extinct species may be our own,” adds Rogers.
All of us working in EDN’s Washington, D.C., office last week felt first-hand what climate change is already doing to our planet. In DC on Thursday, January 31, the wind chill factor dipped below zero. Like many others in the United States, we saw record low temperatures, then the weather completely reversed for us and the temperature reached 74 degrees Fahrenheit (23.3 Celsius) less than a week later — in what was the hottest recorded day on that date in DC.
The reason behind this recent cold snap in the United States and similar cold weather events: fluctuations in what is called the polar vortex. Polar vortexes are the two wide areas of swirling cold air above the north and south poles, which are generally kept in place by a strong jet stream. However, due to global climate change, the jet stream has started to fluctuate, allowing for events like last week’s extreme cold snap. And that is how you get the record-setting temperatures all of us were hiding from on that frigid Thursday.
The fact that climate change is having an impact on species populations can at times be a hard concept to grasp, with phenomena like coral bleaching and minute temperature changes in the ocean seeming like abstract ideas. But every once in a while, we can take a second to notice that there are impacts happening right before our very eyes.
Human beings can, given the resources, stay safe by staying inside, wearing layers, and cranking up the heat. But what happens to the rest of the species on Earth that don’t have homes and offices to hide in?
Animals and plants aren’t as prepared for the temperature to drop so precipitously. While animals from this region are accustomed to cold weather, these extreme dips of low temperature can be more deadly. Sometimes, harsh weather can be beneficial for animal populations. The old, diseased, and disabled are the first to die; the survivors who go on to breed after the weather will be stronger, healthier, and more adapted to extreme conditions. But when the temperatures reach extremes — at numbers that are nowhere near the normal operating conditions — the story can be different. Even the strongest animals and other outdoor species may not be able to weather the conditions. Some populations may have already been stressed by another threat; without the genetic diversity that comes with larger populations, these species may not have individuals that are able to survive the extreme conditions.
It is too soon to tell what the final impact of the polar vortex will be on the wildlife that experienced it. We know it was too cold for some animals. Polar bears have evolved to live on the North Pole and red pandas can withstand frigid temperatures on the Himalayan mountains, but both stayed indoors at the Pittsburgh zoo during this recent cold snap. The species that range from the middle of the United States to the east coast are not from the poles or the Himalayas, and most did not have the option of going inside.
As for local flora and fauna, we can also look at previous cold snaps to see impacts. There is a well-documented history of animals and plants struggling in unexpected extreme cold weather events. This is especially true of species that have more recently spread into the area, as a result of our warming climate or because their previous habitat was encroached upon by humans. The Virginia Opossum is a good example of this. They are able to handle the cold of a typical winter, but are not adapted to the extreme cold seen in polar vortex events. The most vulnerable part is the opossum’s bare tail; many opossums lose their tails when it gets unusually cold.
It may be a few more weeks or months before we can determine the full impact of this most recent cold snap. What we do know is that, just like humans, animals and plants have a threshold of temperatures in which they can survive. If our actions are causing temperatures to unexpectedly plummet below their threshold, we may have to consider changing our behavior for the benefit of all life on Earth, including our own.
“Ocasio-Cortez’s proposal mandates a rapid decarbonization of the entire U.S. economy, including 100 percent renewable energy for the electricity sector, in just a decade — a very tall order. Additionally, it calls for “a job guarantee program to assure a living wage job to every person who wants one” and “additional measures such as basic income programs, universal health care programs….” (From “Ocasio-Cortez inspires Democratic presidential hopefuls to come out swinging on climate change” by Kiley Kroh, ThinkProgress)
“Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez gets much of the credit for bringing the Green New Deal into the mainstream….her staff collaborated with Justice Democrats, the progressive electoral outfit started by veterans of the Bernie Sanders campaign, to draft a policy proposal for a GND. But the plan truly owes its swift rise to a grassroots climate organization called Sunrise Movement, launched a year and a half ago by twelve young organizers—refugees from more mainstream climate organizations like Sierra Club and 350.org, and veterans of fossil fuel divestment and anti-pipeline campaigns….” From “The Story Behind The Green New Deal’s Meteoric Rise” by Sam Adler-Bell, The New Republic)
“Plenty of Democratic politicians support policies that would reduce climate pollution — renewable energy tax credits, fuel economy standards, and the like — but those policies do not add up to a comprehensive solution, certainly nothing like what the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) suggests is necessary…” (From “The New Green Deal, Explained” by David Roberts, Vox)
“Clean energy is a problem of scale. If you don’t have scale, you have a hobby. I like hobbies. I used to build model airplanes. But you can’t mitigate climate change as a hobby. The reason I called for a Green New Deal was first and foremost to convey that this undertaking required a massive, urgent response commensurate with the scale and time frame posed by accelerating disruptive climate…. (From “The New Green Deal Rises Again” by Thomas L. Friedman, The New York Times)
“Twin resolutions from AOC and [Sen. Ed] Markey are expected to be introduced, according to representatives from Sunrise. But it’s no surprise that AOC and Markey’s legislation has changed during its gestation in D.C.; it will likely continue to evolve as it moves through the Washington meat grinder…” (From “We’re getting close to a bill for the Green New Deal. Here’s what we (kinda) know” by Zoya Teirstein, Grist)