Sunday, 22 April 2018

spaceship earth

Sponsored by the partnership of a senator and environmental activist in response to a devastating oil spill in Santa Barbara, California, Earth Day was first observed in 1970 on this date. The movement has grown exponentially since and in 1990 spread internationally, set aside by nearly two hundred countries as time to focus on ecological challenges and solutions.
Despite growing support and awareness of the importance of our being better stewards of the environment and that Nature is not ours to dominate, the movement is facing regressive forces, not the least being narratives that global-warming is a myth. Originally celebrated about a month earlier on the Spring Equinox, the 22 April date was chosen so to make the day truly universal and not tied to a particular hemisphere and as the April date would fall within most colleges’ Spring Breaks and allow the chance for students to organize rallies. Unfortunately, as like contemporary conspiracy theorists—the date chosen was a bit inauspicious as 22 April 1870 was the birthday of Vladimir Lenin (unbeknownst to the event’s organisers, especially considering the need to translate it from the Old Style calendar to the Gregorian) and some harboured suspicions in the US particularly at the time (and through to this day) that that signaled a Communist inculcation and was reminiscent of the coerced “voluntary” Saturday (Subbotnik) spent in community service, to include the sorting and recycling of trash. Fortunately, Earth Day’s message has transcended those arguing that we’re separate and outside of the natural world.