Earth Day turns 51 this year. At its origin, 20 million people came out onto streets across the country as one of the largest civic events in history.
Earth Day 1970 marked the first celebration of the planet as well as one of the first real calls to activism to protect the planet.
The 1970s served as a very busy decade for environmental legislation. The Clean Air Act got an update on top of the creation of the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act and the beginning of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Now the idea of Earth Day is grounded as much in science as in politics as climate change perhaps is as center of focus as ever before. President Biden invited 40 world leaders to the Leaders Summit on Climate for April 22-23 after taking executive action on the first day of his presidency by rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement.
Ahead of the summit, the European Union reached a major climate deal to put the 27-nation coalition on a path to being climate neutral by 2050, meaning activities from the nation would have a near net zero impact on climate.
No matter the political affiliation, one fact cannot be ignored: the climate of the Earth is warming. The planet doesn't care about your political affiliation. Science doesn't either. The argument for humanity's role is a completely unaffiliated conversation from this blog and from the data itself.
Take a look at Harrisburg's warming climate alone, thanks to data provided by Climate Central.
Erie ranks seventh in the nation in the fastest-warming locations since the first Earth Day by 4.3°F, according to Climate Central.
What does and could this warming all mean? That's for another blog. But Earth Day reminds us to preserve what we have, repair what we can and cherish the environment around us. You can do so in a variety of ways around Central PA.
Dauphin County is hosting a paper shredding event Friday, April 23rd in recognition of Earth Day (though, taking place the day after).
NAACP Lancaster has been hosting cleanup events all day for Earth Week.
But you can do things all year long as well. Plant a tree. Pick up trash when you see it. Reuse grocery bags or invest in reusable ones for your home. Use a reusable water bottle. Consider solar energy. A few small things can make a big difference.
We'll talk more about the overall trend of climate change, break down the science and more in blogs to come.
Until next time,
-Chief Meteorologist Bradon Long