Should we still be celebrating Earth Day? | Coursera Community
Coursera Header

Should we still be celebrating Earth Day?

  • 23 April 2019
  • 1 reply

Userlevel 7
  • Community Manager
  • 1603 replies
Earth Day is April 22 and has been celebrated every year since 1970 – now it's celebrated in more than 190 countries around the world. It can be important to have annual celebrations to raise awareness. But is it still useful to single out one day to recognize the importance of environmental protection?

A lot has changed since 1970. Now, many people are aware of the challenges facing the planet. But there seems to be an alarmingly slow response. By now you have probably heard of Greta Thunberg. If not, here's a great interview: Greta Thunberg, schoolgirl climate change warrior: ‘Some people can let things go. I can’t.' One of Greta's famous lines, spoken at the World Economic Forum this past January, is “I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act. I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if the house is on fire, because it is.”

Can a day like Earth Day still motivate people to make great changes in their lives? Does it take the powerful words of a teenager? Or maybe a personal experience, like living near a massive oil spill or not being able to breathe the air in one's city due to high levels of air pollution?

1 reply

@Laura , such a powerful statement...but such a critical time for Earth. I remember when this day first started, it was a celebration, an appreciation of our Earth. We danced around a campfire, sang songs and planted flowers. It felt good to remember to appreciate all the gifts our "Mother" Earth had given us. But now, we are indeed in a crisis. A celebration falls short of what we need to do. This doesn't mean we shouldn't still celebrate today. It is as important as ever to think about and appreciate. But we must also act to save our planet! I am encouraged by how important this issue has become to the younger generation. It has become a political movement and has become an issue for our elections.
Plastics are smothering us, for example, but now most of the towns here have banned plastic shopping bags and single use plastics are slowly being abolished as well.
I believe that since this consciousness has been raised, we will continue to save the Earth.
Everyone needs to think about what he or she can do to help.