|Photo Credits: NASA (NASA has no affiliation with Scenic USA)
Photo highlights - eastern Asia, western Pacific Ocean and the Antarctic.
The night sky, filled with mysterious lights against a sea of black, has intrigued earth's inhabitants for thousands of years. Only during the last hundred years have we began to understand the formation of stars in the universe and Earth's humble little corner in it. Out of all the planets and dozens of moons in our solar system, Earth is the only one with liquid water and known to support life.
Distant views of the planet Earth from outer space have created a new respect for our tiny blue marble. Once thought to be limitless in land area and resources, now Earth's residents should realize the planet has limits. As the planet grows in population numbers, oil reserves shrink, countries battle over water rights, silver and gold have become difficult to mine and biologists warn that we are living in an age of mass extinction.
First proposed by Senator Gaylord Nelson, the idea of Earth Day emerged during a time of gas guzzling cars, factories and power plants filled the sky with noxious clouds and Communism was America's biggest enemy. With a small staff of 85, national coordinator Denis Hayes first lead 20 million Americans to rally around saving the fragile planet in 1970. Going global in 1990, Earth Day has brought us an awareness of toxic waste, overuse of pesticides, a shrinking wilderness, over-population and deteriorating environments.
Held April 22nd every year, International Mother Earth Day is now observed in 192 countries, yet its momentum has fizzled. Today the 40 year old movement lacks clear achievable goals and a convincing global commitment. Sure, we’ve achieved small steps in recycling, continue to look for clean energy, passed the Clean Air Act, but what is urgently needed is public education.
Inset Photo (NASA): Long Way From Home
This image of the Earth and moon in a single frame, the first of its kind ever taken by a spacecraft, was recorded on Sept. 18, 1977, by
Voyager 1 about 7.25 million miles from Earth. The moon is at the top of the picture and beyond is the Earth as viewed by Voyager.
Earth Day - How can I help?
Earth Day - The Flip Side
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