Perspectives: Earth Day 2021

Headline Roundup April 22nd, 2021

April 22 is Earth Day, which is a day intended to demonstrate support for environmental preservation. Earth Day was founded in 1970 by nonprofit group Environmental Teach-In, Inc., an organization which campaigned heavily in Congress and was integral to the passage of the Clean Air Act. Activists typically stage environment and climate demonstrations on Earth Day, but this year, climate protests have largely gone virtual due to the pandemic. Some activists, not satisfied with President Joe Biden's climate agenda, dumped wheelbarrows purportedly filled with cow manure outside the White House during an Earth Day protest Thursday as Biden held a virtual international climate summit, urging world leaders to come together to confront climate change. The U.S. unveiled its goal to slash emissions by 50%-52% from 2005 levels at the summit.

Earth Day received wide coverage from across the political spectrum, with outlets on all sides covering Biden's global climate summit. Some left-rated outlets focused on data around climate change, and highlighted experts' tips on ways to combat climate change. Outlets on the right tended to focus on the history of Earth Day, and on the younger generations' growing interest in climate activism; some on the right also highlighted the White House cow manure protests.

Perspectives: Earth Day 2021

From the Center
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The United States and other countries hiked their targets for slashing greenhouse gas emissions at a global climate summit hosted by President Joe Biden, an event meant to resurrect U.S. leadership in the fight against global warming.

Biden unveiled the goal to cut emissions by 50%-52% from 2005 levels at the start of a two-day climate summit kicked off on Earth Day and attended virtually by leaders of 40 countries including big emitters China, India and Russia.

The United States, the world's second-leading emitter after China, seeks to reclaim global...

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From the Left
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OPINION

Today is Earth Day, which should provide us with an opportunity to pause and confront the awful predicament humanity faces. We eat microplastics, breathe pollution and watch other life-forms decline to extinction. We face intersecting poverty, health, climate and biodiversity crises. Our global predicament is that consumption by the wealthy is driving us towards planetary disaster, yet billions live in poverty and need to consume more to live well. In this cycle, any version of “success” only hastens catastrophe.

Solving this conundrum requires much more than merely reducing the impact...

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From the Right
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OPINION

In 1969, Denis Hayes was 25 years old in grad school. After just one semester and a 15-minute meeting with Sen. Gaylord Nelson in Washington, D.C., Hayes traded in his academic books for a picket sign and became a central organizer of the nonprofit group Environmental Teach-In, Inc., which would found Earth Day in 1970.

After the first Earth Day, a momentous accomplishment in and of itself, Hayes and his colleagues continued their activism by campaigning against the “Dirty Dozen” of incumbent anti-environment congressmen. Ultimately defeating seven out of the...

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