Today, April 22, 2017 is Earth Day! It is an annual event that began in 1970 and is now observed by hundreds of millions, if not 1 or 2 billion people around the world. According to Live Science, Earth Day started as a grassroots movement and created public support for the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Earth Day observers will attend activities that include rallies and conferences and/or participate in outdoor activities and service projects. One new event this year is The March for Science. The march is being supported by more than 300 organizations that have partnered to organize the event, and will begin at the National Mall in Washington, DC. Satellite marches will be held in more than 500 cities around the world.
Here’s some additional information about #MarchForScience:
- The idea for the march was first propose on January 22, 2017 in a conversation on Reddit.
- Momentum has been spurred by recent federal policy proposals to cut funding for scientific research and restrict the availability of data to the public.
- The march will also protest the eradication of environmental protections and elimination of initiatives to mitigate climate change.
- A goal of the March for Science is to demonstrate that science is a nonpartisan issue. It represents a unique opportunity for scientists to highlight the ways in which science improves our society.
- Although the march takes place on Earth Day, environmental science won’t be the only science getting its due. Anyone who practices or cares about any aspect of science is encouraged to march in its defense and to support the cause.
- It is an opportunity to advance important dialogues, both within the scientific community and with the public, on how scientists engage with policy and politics.
So, what are you doing for Earth Day? One simple thing that everyone can do is turn off the lights. I heard turn off the lights so much as a child, the phrase has been embedded in my brain. “A simple way that everyone can celebrate Earth Day to make the world a better place is to turn off the lights in their own homes and in their offices … not just sometimes, but all of the time,” said Helene King, a member of the LifeBridge Health hospitals’ Health Green Team in Baltimore. “It may sound simple, but how many times have you left the lights on when you could be saving energy?”
Turning off our computers and mobile devices at the end of your work day or overnight would also make a big dent in the energy demand here in the U.S. and around the world.
For this Earth Day, remember that science is for everyone. Science is also a process that most everyone can participate in. Mike Carapezza, a biomedical engineer and research associate at Columbia University in New York City, reminds us that science is a method of asking questions and answering them as well as you can, but still acknowledging that those answers may not be completely correct!