April 22, 2022
at 6:07 pm
Earth Day 2022
By Fritz Smith
Earth Day is an annual international event every April 22nd.
Earth Day began in 1970 and is all about environmental protection, learning more about the environmental issues facing our planet, and honoring the Earth. The first part, environmental protections, are government policies and regulations designed to safeguard the current, natural state of any ecosystem from the level of a local lake to the air quality of an entire nation. A few examples would include any law that prohibits littering or when you go to get your car’s emissions checked. Environmental protection laws are important for preserving the natural beauty and health of the planet because if pollution is left unchecked it will create harmful consequences for human life on Earth.
Another goal of the first Earth Day back in 1970 was to educate more people about the environmental issues that were being caused by the amount of pollution generated by modern society. During the industrial revolution humanity discovered how to harness the energy within fossil fuels (oil, coal, and natural gas) by burning them. Burning fossil fuels generates electricity, moves vehicles, and powers most of our society.
Another goal of the first Earth Day back in 1970 was to educate more people about the environmental issues that were being caused by the amount of pollution generated by modern society. During the industrial revolution humanity discovered how to harness the energy within fossil fuels (oil, coal, and natural gas) by burning them. Burning fossil fuels generates electricity, moves vehicles, and powers most of our society. According to U.S. Energy Information Administration, in 2019, 80% of the energy used by the United States was generated by fossil fuels.
The chemical compound, CO2, is released when oil, coal, or natural gas is burned. CO2 then becomes part of the Earth’s atmosphere. This becomes an issue for maintaining the current climate on Earth that humans have become reliant upon for survival. The CO2 in the atmosphere acts as an insulator, preventing heat from escaping the Earth. Thus, causing the average global temperature to rise slowly and steadily. With the current amount of CO2 that is being added to the atmosphere every year, the Earth will become much warmer, causing harmful ramifications to ecosystems around the planet. A primary consequence troubling scientists and environmentalists is that the ice in the Arctic will melt (this is already happening) and the oceans will rise, destroying coastal cities. Furthermore, deserts would become larger, there would be more frequent wildfires, and crops would provide less reliable harvests. The many negative effects that would come with a warmer planet will make human survival much more difficult. The future generations of humanity would suffer the effects of these climate changes. Therefore, it is up to us now to reduce the amount of CO2 emitted by fossil fuels and other forms of pollution to prevent disaster in the future.
Earth Day is also about honoring our planet. Many people do group cleanup volunteering and other activities that contribute to the awareness of climate change. One great activity to make our planet healthier is by planting trees. Plants are amazing because they not only absorb the CO2 in the atmosphere by using it in their photosynthesis process, but they also store the excess carbon underground; all the while releasing fresh oxygen into the air.
We are excited to share the SPECIAL episode of STEM Unplugged with Matthew Aruch of EarthDay.org!
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