I celebrated the very first Earth Day as a high school senior in 1970. As students across the U.S. buried polluting automobiles, decried oil spills that were fouling pristine beaches, and protested nuclear power plants, I thought it would be only a matter of months before Americans would come to their senses and adopt an ethic focused on protecting both people and the planet.
Instead, it's taken almost 40 years for citizens, companies, and elected officials to consider environmental destruction seriously. The delay has cost us all. The climate has changed, with deadly consequences worldwide. Risks to human health from environmental pollutants are growing, threatening children and adults alike. Plants and animals are approaching extinction levels at alarming rates, giving rise to concerns about the collapse of the global food chain and loss of the creatures that add a rich dimension to our lives.
Scientists intone that we have only ten years to "turn things around." A grim forecast? Yes. And yet, after all these years, I have hope. While many government leaders still refuse to acknowledge the changes that can save us and the planet, citizens and entrepreneurs have embraced the challenges at full throttle. Four decades after the first Earth Day, tens of thousands of blogs worldwide are elevating the issues and offering solutions. Thousands of entrpreneurs are developing products and technologies to save energy, protect air and water, and conserve wilderness and wildlife. Students have once again made "green" the mantra for the world they want to live in - and are willing to work for. If this were Hollywood, the critics would be applauding like mad and labeling environmentalism an "overnight sensation."
The Green Moms Carnival is celebrating gratitude throughout the month of November. I am grateful for the newfound momentum that is sweeping the planet and may very well save it.