Earth Day Celebration at ESU

By Kristen Barrett
Contributing Writer

Come celebrate Earth Day with East Stroudsburg University! The ESU Earth Day event will take place on Thursday, April 20th on the Main Quad (grassy area in the middle of residential dorm buildings) from 12:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m.

It is free and open to the public. This year’s event will center around the environmental issue of climate change.

There will be booths, environmental trivia, tie dye and free giveaways among other activities throughout the day. Live music will be provided by Rocco, Beach Bod, Ken Hatt and Zach DeSantis.

ESU professor Dr. Thomas LaDuke will be giving the presentation entitled “Amphibians and Climate Change: Out of the Frying Pan and into the Fire.”

Other speakers from the community will also be addressing the issue of climate change. Earth Day, officially April 22nd, began in 1970 during what is known as the hippie, “flower child” and counterculture era.

While many protested the war in Vietnam, the environment was not viewed as a pressing issue.

People lost hope and trust in the government and the mindset was more of a “let’s pollute because it doesn’t matter.”

The environment was the least of many people’s concerns, except for the hippies. Today, on the other hand, things have changed.

The idea of Earth Day was sparked by the destructive oil spill of 1969 in Santa Barbara, California. After this devastating event happened, U.S. Senator from Wisconsin and founder of Earth Day, Gaylord Nelson, saw an opportunity to push environmental protection to the forefront of the national agenda.

With the help of Congressman Pete McCloskey and recruit Denis Hayes, Nelson launched a “national teach-in on the environment.” This resulted in 20 million Americans learning about how to start living with a healthy, sustainable environment.

Organizations that had previously been protesting oil spills and pollution now banded together to reach a common goal with common ideas.

At the time, the environmental movement brought both Republicans and Democrats of a variety of backgrounds together.

The first Earth Day led to many things, such as the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Clean Air Clean Water Act and Endangered Species Act (ESA). According to earthday.org, Nelson later said, “It was a gamble, but it worked.”

This year, the theme for ESU’s Earth Day is “Climate Change- Go Green to Save the Blue.” This has been chosen as the theme for this year because of the urgency and seriousness of this issue.

Now, the Earth’s climate has changed a lot throughout history as many may know, and this has mostly been due to minor changes in the Earth’s orbit.

Although that was true for the past, climate change today is described as major increases in average global temperatures due to human activity.

Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists strongly believe that climate change is one of the biggest and most important issues of our time.

Since the industrial revolution, advancements and inventions in technology have led to many wonderful scientific discoveries and things that have allowed us to progress tremendously as a society.

However, in the process we have released a lot of greenhouse gases that have been taking a huge toll on the environment.

Whether climate change is a real and serious threat and issue should not be up for debate anymore.

As citizens of our planet, we need to start combating it and protecting Earth with immediate caution before it is too late.

Please join us at the ESU Earth Day event to find out how you can help conserve and for a day of free giveaways, live music, booths and many other activities.

Email Kristen at:
kbarrett7@live.esu.edu

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