Today marks the 53rd observance of Earth Day, intended to draw the public’s attention to the effects of pollution on people, plants, wildlife and open spaces. Its roots connect to Pennsylvania, as many of the original activists were inspired by Silent Spring, the seminal ecological awareness text written by Springdale, Pa., native Rachel Carson.
In Earth Day’s early years, the focus was largely on the effects of air and water pollution. Over time, it began to address climate change driven by global fossil fuel consumption.
Though climate change is a global problem with no easy, realistic solutions, environmental groups encourage Americans to commit to simple changes that, collectively, can have larger impacts.