On the 50th Earth Day
April 22, 2020: Earth Day.
50 years ago systemic environmental abuse broke open to reveal the first Earth Day. Crowds of people hungry for change took to the streets carrying visions of creating a world anew. Amidst the heavy waves of democratization they created a tradition that day in 1970.
This Earth Day is difficult to navigate not because it is carrying a 50 year legacy or even because of COVID-19; this Earth Day is difficult to navigate because it is different. It is my vision that we are able lean into the difference with a gratitude for the space it has created and a tender hope for the unfolding of something new.
Of course, it would be somewhat ignorant of me not the speak of COVID-19 right now, as the phenomenon has been the driver of our Earth Day in isolation. I would like to offer you a moment of reframing on the topic. As we shelter away in our homes and safe spaces, ask yourself, why now are we listening to scientists? There are unknowns and uncertainties surrounding the pandemic, arguably even more so than climate change, and yet our leaders have decided to act to the point of inducing economic slow down for our protection. There is, afterall, a precedent set for pandemics, for we have seen the detriment of negligence firsthand. May we not be so naive to believe unprecedented perils are obsolete. If this pandemic has shown us anything about humanity’s relationship with nature, it is that our ravenous economic growth systems are synonymous with environmental degradation. In this time of slowness, nature has flourished more than ever. Nature does not need humans; humans need nature; may we not forget this.
We are incredibly finite. A tiny little virus has infiltrated the backbone of our society without a struggle. As we have tied our success as a nation to our economic output, so too have we tied our own worth to our productivity. We crave the feeling of being a part of something to feel meaning and we have been told a narrative where this value is assigned by our output.
Today, we are inside. Historical Earth Days have been triumphs of activism, mobilizations in streets and sidewalks. What is our purpose today? How do we make our isolated voices heard? From the cradle of our homes, we are offered an opportunity for reflection.
Humans are deeply dependent on connection. Yet, we too often understand ourselves as individuals. This intense separation has created an undeniable dualism in our perceptions of our roles in this world. There is an essential interdependence between all of our human systems for the smooth functioning of society. Yet in all the constructed complexity of our human world, there is one single commonality in all of these systems; nature. Despite our efforts to construct human systems as separate and very concrete ecosystems, they always can be traced back to nature.
On this different Earth Day today I would like to share with you my vision for this planet: My vision for the future Is a greener one. One where we invite nature into our home and hearts with sweet intentions of oneness. My vision for the future is a slow one. One where we live peacefully with a soft subtly, paced by presence. My vision for the future is a harmonious one. One where the beings of this world rejoice in a happenstance divinity and relish in collective connection. My vision for the future is a softer, sustainable sublime, where we tread lightly on the Earth our home and curl into a consciously curated community, infinitely whole.
I think we must remind ourselves in our human futility, things are often much easier to destroy than to create. Let us support the birthing of systems that foster healing, community, and connection so that we may witness a rejuvenation of being. May we not forget the humble systems that cradle life itself. There is no distinction between human and nature; we are nature. Remember.
Happy Earth Day.
If you are looking for some learning, inspiration, and community on this Earth Day, you can check out these online events:
Earth Day Live 2020:
Earth Day Live is three days of action packed content that will inspire, empower, educate. Grounding the three days in the need for community, hope, and togetherness during such a difficult time, the three days will still follow a similar theme as the original Earth Day Strikes.
On Wednesday, April 22, the kick off of Earth Day Live, we will demonstrate our collective power and unity through community building and storytelling. Originally a day of mass mobilization, we are leaning into healing and togetherness to provide comfort and inspiration during this time of unknown. As with all three days, we are using this platform to lift up the stories and voices of frontline, Indigenous, and POC leaders.
On the second day, Thursday, April 23, we will target financial institutions across the country, calling for a global reset. We want to reprogram the economy so that it works for people and planet, not polluters and politicians. As we work to rebuild from the damage COVID-19 has done, we will be offering actions and explanations in how this can be done in a sustainable and equitable way.
On the third day, Friday, April 24, we will focus on the urgency of political change through a nationwide youth voter registration day. We’ll be using this day as an opportunity to train youth organizers on using digital, relational voter registration tools, and calling on elected officials to support the youth climate strike demands.
Earth Optimism Digital Summits:
View schedule of events and information on joining here.
On the 50th anniversary of Earth Day 2020, join us online for a FREE Earth Optimism digital event showcasing stories of both small and large-scale actions, framing the conversation and demonstrating that success is possible. Share your stories of success with #EarthOptimism and help us inspire millions of people around the world for greater impact!
EarthDay.org Digital Events:
Find more here.
The enormous challenges — but also the vast opportunities — of acting on climate change have distinguished the issue as the most pressing topic for the 50th anniversary. Climate change represents the biggest challenge to the future of humanity and the life-support systems that make our world habitable.
At the end of 2020, nations will be expected to increase their national commitments to the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change. The time is now for citizens to call for greater global ambition to tackle our climate crisis. Unless every country in the world steps up – and steps up with urgency and ambition — we are consigning current and future generations to a dangerous future.
Earth Day 2020 will be far more than a day. It must be a historic moment when citizens of the world rise up in a united call for the creativity, innovation, ambition, and bravery that we need to meet our climate crisis and seize the enormous opportunities of a zero-carbon future.
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Natural living enthusiast, beach bum, waste-reduced, environmentalist, plant-based, student, artist, yogi, plant mom, Virgo, human, soul