Reflections on Earth Day

Illustartion - Green valley. credit: Tetiana Dziubanovska / Shutterstocl

Reflections on Earth Day

“The first Earth Day helped drag us kicking and screaming into realizing that we were destroying this planet that sustains us.  Still, too many people think of “the Earth” as an esoteric concern, an abstract about which we ought to care if only we didn’t have other priorities. We truly don’t have any higher priorities, because without this planet’s water, air, land and resources all those other things cannot exist. Today, having an “Earth Day” seems wrong. It makes me think of things like National Frozen Food Day (which is March 6 by the way.) Every day is the day recommit to the most obvious and wisest courses of action: to put drinking water first, to put people before profit and to act as if the Earth is our life support system. Because it is.”

  •  Lynn Thorp, National Campaigns Director

"It's energizing, fighting to protect clean water. Even on the toughest days, when you're going up against people with pockets so deep, you can't even believe, you look around and you're surrounded by people who are in it with you. Experts, activists, organizers, and people who just care about their communities - these are the people on your team. Earth Day amplifies that. The day focuses people in the movement and entices new people to join. It's just one day. But it's an important day. It shows us what's possible when we call come together."

  • Michael Kelly, Communications Director

“Every day we get up knowing that oil and gas companies are going to injection billions of gallons of wastewater underground. Every day we get up knowing that drinking water is being threatened. We also know that every day communities living in the shadow of fossil fuel development are fighting back to protect their health and the environment. We know things can be done better - every day is Earth Day.”

  • John Noel, National Oil & Gas Campaigns Coordinator

"With Earth Day and Passover occurring on the same day this year, I am appreciating the similarities between these holidays. Each year on Passover, Jewish people celebrate the liberation of our ancestors, their sacrifices made for our freedom, and the rebirth and renewal of Spring. In my household we also reflect on the injustices and the continuing struggle for peace, equality, and justice around the world and in our communities. This Earth Day my mind is on the progress we have made in saving our planet and the human race, but also how far we have to go. Our fight today is the ultimate struggle for liberation from the forces that continue to enslave us: the tyranny of corporate greed and dirty energy, and the plagues of sickness, pollution and climate change."

  • Andrew Grinberg, National Campaigns Special Projects Manager

"This Earth Day marks my one year anniversary with Clean Water Action. Sometimes you hear people say "Every day should be Earth Day" - what has impressed me most this year is that it's really true for staff. Canvassers are out in the field day in and day out all year long talking to people about environmental issues that matter in their own community. Empowering people is how to make the lasting change that everyone will be thinking about today."

  • Brent Bolin, Chesapeake Regional Director

“I’ve always thought that calling April 22nd “Earth Day” is a bit mis-leading. It’s not the Earth that needs saving, it’s us and all the other living creatures that depend on Earth’s abundant resources for our collective survival- her water, her minerals, her soil. When we take actions to reduce pollution, conserve resources, and protect other species on Earth, we are really protecting ourselves. Earth Day reminds us that we can’t take our planet home for granted.”

  • Jennifer Peters, Water Program Director

"On this day we celebrate our only shared home, the Earth, and the staggering variety and beauty of life that inhabits our world. This Earth Day marks my four year anniversary with Clean Water Action. I'm reminded of the progress we've made towards a more sustainable civilization, and the tremendous energy and passion of people I've worked with over the years to get us there. I'm also reminded that today we live in the Anthropocene epoch, and I think of all the past and current human activities that have permanently changed the planet - causing mass extinctions of plants and animal species, polluting the oceans and fresh water sources, and altering the atmosphere. But most of all I'm reminded that we live on a planet. How we live on this planet determines our health, well-being and survival. Earth Day is as much about the people we love and spend time with as it is about the impact we're having on the ecosystem. Reflecting on a photograph of planet Earth taken beyond the orbit of Pluto by the Voyager 1 space probe, Carl Sagan put it best when he said, "Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives."

  • Michael Bochynski, Virginia Program Organizer