Calls for civic action on Earth Day

Wednesday is the 39th annual Earth Day, a celebration begun in 1970 to foster awareness and appreciation of the planet’s environment. Globally, Earth Day 2009 “must be a day of action and civic participation” in the run-up to the United Nations climate conference in Copenhagen in December, says the Washington-based Earth Day Network. To mark the day, it will launch a “Green Generation” initiative.


Green Generation’s “core principles” are a “carbon-free future based on renewable energy that will end our common dependency on fossil fuels”; individual commitment to “responsible, sustainable consumption”; and “creation of a new green economy that lifts people out of poverty by creating millions of quality green jobs and transforms the global education system into a green one”.


Around the world, thousands of events are being planned by schools, communities, villages, towns and cities. In addition to a range of large-scale volunteer activities in American cities, Earth Day Network says its partners in Beijing, Tokyo, Buenos Aires, Manila and elsewhere are planning public programmes in which anyone can participate.


“People are increasingly bound together in a green movement that will no doubt equal or eclipse other monumental changes in social and industrial history,” according to the organisation. Many “futurist” writers, it says, believe that history will view this period as the start of an era devoted to living and doing business sustainably.


The Earth Day Network intends that the Green Generation project – culminating on Earth Day’s 40th anniversary on April 22, 2010 – “will mark the beginning of a new era of personal, corporate and government responsibility for preserving the earth.”


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