Today is Earth Day – so what does that mean? I did a little research and learned that the first Earth Day was April 22, 1970, and was organized by Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson. From Earth Day Network’s site:
“On April 22, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment. Denis Hayes, the national coordinator, and his youthful staff organized massive coast-to-coast rallies. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values.”
Twenty years later, in 1990, the movement expanded to include countries around the world and a tenfold increase in participants. Today, we celebrate Earth Day 2009 and focus the world’s attention on the well-being of our planet, our wildlife, and ourselves.
This is a book that I found at Half Price Books a few weeks ago. I’ve been reading a little every chance I get, and it has been wonderful. I haven’t even reached the “good part” yet, since this collection of Thoreau’s writings begins with his work titled “Economy.” Though I’ve been enjoying his thoughts and writing style, its “Walden” that I can’t wait to read.
As it turns out, Earth Day Network is broadcasting a new film about Thoreau’s last 2 days in his cabin in the woods at Walden Pond. The film is called “The Ballad of Thoreau”, and it will be streamed into schools, featured in theaters, and broadcast on Earth Day TV.
Though I have barely begun my acquaintance with Thoreau’s writings, I think I may have discovered a kindred spirit. This Earth Day, it seems that millions of people are rediscovering what Thoreau already knew:
“The universe expects every man to do his duty in his parallel of latitude.”
–Henry D. Thoreau