Scientific American compiled data from the last fifty years. The first Earth Day was back then, and the world was different.
The planet is heating up. We saw it coming. It’s here. We’re working on it. But it isn’t stopping.
“The average atmospheric CO2 concentration now stands above 410 parts per million (ppm), compared with about 325 ppm in 1970 (and 280 ppm before the industrial revolution in the 19th century).” – Scientific American
The temperature has risen about 1C since the first Earth Day.
Air in the US is cleaner. Smog is down. Views are more likely. People are less likely to die from air pollution.
Water is cleaner, except where it is not. Rivers don’t catch fire as frequently, but runoff has increased. With more people there’s more pollution, and more need for food. Fertilizer grows more food, but fertilizer runoff creates more algae blooms.
We’re throwing more stuff away, and it’s more likely to be plastic.
“…each person in the U.S. generates an average of 4.5 pounds of waste a day, compared with just 3.25 pounds in 1970…” – Scientific American
Fifty years ago enough people advocated for Earth Day that it happened. For that to happen they had to work on the public awareness for decades. We’re more aware because of their efforts, which can be one reason for the improvements; and yet, there are many who deny the need. How many more decades will be required? What will things be like when enough finally realize the need to act? Will it be too late, or will we avoid disaster? Are we already too late?
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