Image from: No Limit Learning at Saint Mary’s University
Yeah, that’s right people. Tomorrow is Earth Day! Who’s excited? I know I am.
The first Earth Day was held on April 22, 1970! So if you do the math – the Earth is turning 41 tomorrow!! Now – we just need to times that number by a couple billion and we will get a slightly more accurate number. It was only 4.6 billion years ago (seems just like yesterday right?) that the Earth was formed.
Like a 50 year old smoker (who looks 85) with yellow teeth, a horse voice, high blood pressure, dry gaunt skin, and bad breath – the Earth could look a lot better for its age. The main difference being that the 50 year old chooses to smoke and the Earth is like the friend standing close-by inhaling second-hand smoke.
The Earth has been dramatically altered by human actions (and the future forcast isn't looking too bright). There is now “broad scientific consensus that more than 2°C of average global warming above the pre-industrial level would constitute a dangerous level of climate change “(The Pembina Institute, 2009).
Climate change impacts everything (ecosystems, economies, water resources, forests, species, food supply, health, air quality, industry, and weather to name a few).
Already, average global surface temperature has risen more than 0.7°C above pre-industrial levels and even if all emissions were stopped today this amount would roughly double as a result of the delayed effect of emissions already in the atmosphere (Partington, 2009). However, without “action on emissions, global average temperature could rise as much as 6°C this century”! (Partington, 2009). In order for us (and our children, and our children’s children) to live healthy and full lives – it is essential that the Earth stops inhaling our “second hand smoke” and is kept healthy!
Earth Day is intended to inspire “awareness and appreciation for the Earth’s natural environment” (Wikipedia – Earth Day, 2011). Because our lives are so dependent on the Earth, it shouldn't appear in the calander once a year; instead everyday should be Earth Day!
---S.Sam, Research Assistant
Partington, P.J. Climate Change Science and Impacts, 2009.
The Pembina Institute and David Suzuki Foundation, Climate Leadership, Economic Prosperity: Final Report on an Economic Study of Greenhouse Gas Targets and Policies for Canada, 2009
Wikipedia, Earth Day, 2011 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth_Day)