Fifty years ago, Denis Hayes organized millions of concerned Americans in the first Earth Day, an effort that led to the creation of critical environmental protections for our air, water, and land.
I met Denis in 1990 when I was recruited to help create 100+ Earth Day grassroots organizations throughout the mid-Atlantic. I watched Pam Lippe and environmental leaders mobilize 2+ million people to Earth Day celebrations in Central Park, and saw over 100 million participating in events throughout the world.
Earth Day 2020 finds us in a very different place. The Bad News is that many of us are struggling to overcome hopelessness amid the global pandemic. Covid-19’s harsh reality is compounded by the realization that this may be a solemn glimpse into climate crisis impacts that are threatening the world’s life support systems.
Humanity is being forced to unite and confront the frailty of our existence on a planet that grows ever more interconnected and interdependent. The Good News is that the virus is forcing us to admit that we have a problem, and we are creating the tools and actions to improvise, adapt, and overcome.
Better News is that we already have the technology to eliminate the climate crisis.
And the Best News is that clean energy can not only deal with 90% of the climate issue — but the technology has reached the point where we can save ourselves money — and create well-paying jobs while doing it.
Happy Earth Day! May this be the year that we come together to create a brighter, healthier, more prosperous, and sustainable future for ourselves, our children, and all future generations.
– Ron Kamen has created clean energy programs that save money while improving the environment for business, government, non-profit institutions, and communities for more than 3 decades. He is the principal of EarthKind Energy and a NY State Chapter Director of Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2). Ron@EarthKindEnergy.com.