Next Monday, April 22, 2019, the world will mark its 49th Earth Day. The first Earth Day, held on April 22, 1970, was inspired by Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson, who modeled it on the antiwar protests of the late 1960s. The original Earth Day began on university campuses as a national “teach-in” on environmental issues. It activated 20 million Americans from all walks of life and is widely credited with launching the modern environmental movement. Particularly, Nelson hoped to shine the national spotlight on air and water pollution. There has been an annual Earth Day ever since Senator Nelson’s 1970 creation.
However, according to the Earth Day Network, “the world is facing the greatest rate of extinction since we lost the dinosaurs more than 60 million years ago. But unlike the fate of the dinosaurs, the rapid extinction of species in our world today is the result of human activity.
“The unprecedented global destruction and rapid reduction of plant and wildlife populations are directly linked to causes driven by human activity: climate change, deforestation, habitat loss, trafficking and poaching, unsustainable agriculture, pollution and pesticides, to name a few. The impacts are far reaching.”
That’s why, in preparation for next week’s Earth Day, I want to share a video with you that has the lofty title of The Coolest Nature Video Ever! And, I’m hoping that in turn, you’ll use this week to share some of your favorite nature videos with us.
While almost 50 years of Earth Days have raised awareness about the impacts of our actions on the globe’s nature and natural processes, the dire statistics have continued to add up. World Wildlife Fund states that “currently, we use the equivalent of 1.5 Earths to produce all the renewable resources we use. As the human population grows, the challenge of reducing our footprint becomes more urgent.”
And, according to the Convention on Biological Diversity, signed at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on June 5, 1992, “biodiversity is under serious threat as a result of human activities. The main dangers worldwide are population growth and resource consumption, climate change and global warming, habitat conversion and urbanization, invasive alien species, over-exploitation of natural resources and environmental degradation.” The National Wildlife Federation concurs: “Twenty-first century threats to our environment—including invasive species, diseases, pollution and a warming climate—are putting wildlife populations at risk.”
So, I’m hoping that sharing a “cool” nature video with you in honor of Earth Day this year will reinvigorate your passion for the environment and mobilize you, as the first Earth did for so many decades ago. This video also seems especially appropriate this year because of the release of the new Netflix original documentary series and book Our Planet, a World Wildlife Fund, Netflix and Silverback Films partnership.
Our next 50 years
Next year will see a milestone Earth Day: a 50th anniversary. As it approaches, we need more than ever a global outpouring of commitment, energy and enthusiasm to create a new environmental standard. Earth Day 2020 can be the catalyst that galvanizes an unparalleled global collaboration.
Watch The Coolest Nature Video Ever! below, edited by Roen Horn. Perhaps you agree with the title. But if you don’t, share your contender for the most ultracool nature video that you’ve ever encountered.
Let’s fill this week before Earth Day 2019 with some inspiring and motivating visuals of the beauty and wonder that still exists on “Our Planet”—splendor that, with our renewed dedication, we may yet be able to conserve.
Here’s to finding your true places and natural habitats,