It can be a hard Earth Day (night) when you examine our planet home more carefully. While Casey Kasem may have counted down the top 10 current songs, this list takes a look at 11 Earth Day facts that sing of Earth’s ups and downs.
1. Complaining about recent temperature fluctuations? Earth is a fickle planet temperature-wise. Be happy that you aren’t in the coldest or the hottest spots that have tested the mercury. While El Azizia, Libya recorded a scorching 136 degrees F, Earth was not to be outdone and sent a frigid minus 128.6 F degree temperature to Antarctica’s Vostok station. Snowbird retirees might head to Florida in the winter but not to 136 degrees Libya.
2. If Elvis is still alive and rocking in Memphis, Michael Jackson (or at least his dance moves) still slide through Death Valley. Earth rocks it out with rocks that “walk” the desert floor propelled by ice and wind.
3. Earthstock anyone? While Earth Day today is a peaceful global effort to celebrate and improve Earth conditions, the 1970 first Earth Day was a different situation entirely. Instead of being a day of tree-huggers and Kumbaya hand-holding environmentalists, 20 million people gathered in America in protest of the industrial revolution.
4. Earth is not all sunshine and roses. You can take a highway to hell in Turkmenistan. A gas well formed a deep crater that has burned for the last 46 years.
5. Mother Earth became the official queen of the planet in 2009 when the day was named International Mother Earth Day. After a 39-year campaign to have the day named after her, she settled down for a nice hibernation nap.
6. Everyone celebrates Earth Day in their own special way around the world. In population-dense China, over 100,000 Earth Day revelers of 2012 rode their bikes reducing CO2 emissions and fuel usage. Afghan Earth Day celebrators planted 28 million trees in 2011. Not to be topped by the other countries’ love of our planet, Panama planted 100 endangered species of orchids.
7. Done with your Diet Coke? Try recycling. The energy required to recycle an aluminum can is 90% less than the energy required making a new can. Drink up! And recycle up!
8. Living on Earth can get really heavy when we don’t respect her. Over fourteen billions pounds of garbage gets thrown into the ocean every year while 166 million tons of paper, plastic, metals, glass and organic materials are burned or buried. While Earth’s middle isn’t growing from all of our waste, Earth does actually grow every day because of nearly 100 tons of meteoroids that enter our atmosphere every day. Add that to all the trash and Earth really needs some R-E-S-P-E-C-T and a good diet.
9. Mother Earth a hoarder? She may not be, but we humans definitely are. In one year, we receive 100 billion pieces of junk mail and landfill, litter or burn 200 billion water bottles. All of that paper and plastic has to go somewhere. Sadly, it is taking over the beauty of our planet. Our own destructive and wasteful ways have helped destroy or deplete half of Earth’s tropical and temperate forests. Mother Earth wants the beautiful forests back–not a pile of sweepstakes letters and water bottles.
10. Do we all need to escape to Mars? With space travel and colonization possible in our lifetimes, will it become a necessity because Earth’s resources and land are being destroyed by littering and human consumption? Air pollution and air quality have become a real issue with more than two million people dead prematurely from air pollution issues.
11. Earth Day boils down to us giving Earth a chance. Simple changes like reducing waste by only 1% can make a huge difference. While Earth Day 2011 was a global campaign to make “A Billion Acts of Green”, one simple act of recycling or wasting less can make a huge impact.
Celebrities have fallen in love with the “selfie” (and themselves). Mother Earth is no different. In 2014, NASA asked that everyone in the world take a selfie of where they were at that moment and then post it on social media. While the first Earth Day was a 1970’s gathering of environmental protesting, the current observance has become a new awareness of recycling, social media projections and a new look at an old friend: our Earth. Each country and person on the planet may not be holding hands in the proverbial Earth Day unified circle; however on April 22nd each year, we are united as one Earth. One world. At the end of Earth day 2015, we should all virtually link arms and sing “We Are the World” as a fitting lull-a-bye to this planet that sustains and supports us.
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