Following last Saturday’s Step It Up campaign in the United States - designed to raise awareness and call for action on global warming - US environmental activists will continue pushing for government attention by celebrating Earth Day.
This Sunday, April 22nd, the United States will celebrate the 37th annual Earth Day. Activists from the Earth Day network, a nationwide grassroots campaign, will flood into Washington DC this weekend in honour of the event. Following the demands of Step It Up activists, the participants are demanding a greenhouse gas emissions cap at 1990 levels by 2020, and then a reduction to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050.
Historically, Earth Day, inspired by the US Vietnam anti-war teach-in movement, was inaugurated by Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin in order to alert people of the damage being done to landscapes, habitats and environments around the world. Today, Earth Day is as relevant as ever, and the organisers are hosting more than 1800 events throughout the US and the world to celebrate.
Raquel Jarcia, Communications Associate for Earth Day Network told the Ecologist:
'People from all around the country will be in DC this Earth Day to ask Congress to cap carbon emissions. A diverse group of leaders will also be present, representing their campaigns in Christian, African American, Latino communities and many more, to tell Congress that climate change will have a huge impact on people from disadvantaged communities because some low income neighborhoods are more environmentally at risk. Environmental problems today are not only about carbon emissions; they are also about environmental justice.'
This article first appeared in the Ecologist April 2007