Earth Day 2021: A Time to Reflect About our Environment

Photo+by+Markus+Spiske+from+Pexels

Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels

Gloria Wang, Online Staff Writer

As both positive and negative changes took place in our environment in the past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Earth Day 2021 is a good time for everyone to take time and reflect on our planet. Despite the fact that PDS was unable to plan any events for Earth Day 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the EnAct club posted a list of in-person and remote events relating to environmental science that took place throughout April. 

Earth Day was first observed on April 22, 1970. It is a contemporary environmental movement aimed at raising public consciousness about the state of the planet. Due to the large volume of leaded gas consumed prior to the first Earth Day, air pollution was widely recognized in the more prosperous cities. However, Senator Gaylor Nelson, a junior senator from Wisconsin, had the idea of increasing public awareness about air and water pollution by organizing a national demonstration. Their demonstration influenced a large number of people, 10 percent of the total population at the time. They later named April 22, the day that Senator Nelson started his demonstration, to Earth Day. 

The theme of the 51st anniversary of the annual celebrations of Earth Day is to Restore Our Earth. As junior Caroline Ewing, a co-head of EnAct, shared, “This Earth Day was a time to appreciate the Earth, but also to remember how important it is to do our part in recognizing and helping the climate crisis.”

Despite the fact that the number of activities scheduled was small, a significant number of noteworthy events occurred in the previous year. COVID-19 resulted in a temporary reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Freshman Carol Zhang mentioned her observations: “Because the pandemic paused all of our lives, it also halted the rising rate of greenhouse gas emissions from both transportation and industries, which are the major sources of air pollution.” When a large number of people were quarantined at home, the world’s use of fossil fuels decreased, and demand for oil, coal, and gas decreased. As a result, global energy-related carbon emissions fell by 5.8 percent in 2020. At the same time, this does not hide the reality of increased plastic usage and waste produced in the past year. Nor does this diminish the devastating effects of global warming on ecosystems around the globe. 

Additionally, President Joe Biden signed an executive order allowing the U.S. to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement. This action demonstrates to the rest of the world that the United States is concerned about climate change, and committed to improving its practices to become more sustainable.

Although this year’s Earth Day is not as interesting as it used to be, it is important for us to take this time and reflect upon the changes that occur to our planet. After all, the Earth is what we all have in common. 

Work Cited: 

  • “Greenhouse-Gas Emissions Are Set to Rise Fast in 2021.” The Economist, The Economist Newspaper, www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2021/04/20/greenhouse-gas-emissions-are-set-to-rise-fast-in-2021. 
  • “The History of Earth Day.” Earth Day, 1 Apr. 2021, www.earthday.org/history/. 
  • Rott, Nathan. “Biden Moves To Have U.S. Rejoin Climate Accord.” NPR, NPR, 20 Jan. 2021, www.npr.org/sections/inauguration-day-live-updates/2021/01/20/958923821/biden-moves-to-have-u-s-rejoin-climate-accord. 
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