The yellow metal suspension bridge out our window spanning the Allegheny River from the North Shore to downtown Pittsburgh is named after the environmentalist Rachel Carson. She was the scientist who found the link between the pesticide DDT and the decline in the populations of birds of prey. Her book, Silent Spring, details her research not only about the harmful effects of the pesticides but the chemical industry’s concerted effort to hide and obfuscate the truth. The impactful tome was published in 1962. A national conversation began and it led to the banning of the use of DDT in agriculture. The movement Carson started led to the creation of the US Environmental Protection Agency.
The modern environmental movement created the first Earth Day in 1970 to draw attention to the fragile balance between man and nature. Next came the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act. Unfortunately, in the past 15 months the EPA itself has removed mentions of climate change and other environmental issues from its website.
A way to remind the EPA and the world that the Earth is worth sacrificing for is by taking a moment to celebrate Earth Day this Sunday. The Earth Day Network is promoting a call to action of five things we all can do to help our planet and ourselves. The simple acts can help us slow plastic pollution, plant trees and other greens, reduce meat consumption and mitigate our carbon footprints. If you have trouble putting in perspective why we need to help our planet just remember it’s the only home we’ve ever known and as every homeowner knows it takes time and sacrifice to keep it in good enough condition to pass it along to the next generation.