It’s time to ditch Earth Day.
Earth Day is rooted in education about the natural world that supports the life of every human being. It was a step forward in 1970, the year it began. However, one day 51 years later is not enough.
Earth shouldn’t have to look like a scene from the 1979 film “Mad Max” or 1981’s “Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior” before the world starts to act against climate change.
Americans shouldn’t wait for scorched earth before putting the brakes on greenhouse gas emissions that are creating destructive weather, unstoppable wildfires and threats to the world’s food supply.
In February, President Joe Biden returned the U.S. to the 2015 Paris Agreement, and last week recommitted to reducing emissions by at least 50% by 2030.
Some researchers believe that evidence shows that the planet may reach a point of no return sooner than that. They predict that even if emissions are brought to zero that the damage already done—the disappearance of permafrost, the melting of sea ice and increased moisture in the atmosphere—may result in continued temperature increases.
No one wants to believe this worst-case scenario, but few at first believed that COVID-19 would engulf the world, either.
The world needs bold leadership on climate now. America helped create vaccines to roll back the pandemic. It manufactured and delivered them in less than a year—an amazing feat. Rolling back climate change will be far more difficult, but the Biden administration must do it. Otherwise, the effects of the pandemic will look minor in comparison to the global disruptions ahead.
Earth Day should be every day from here on out.
“Our View” represents the opinion of the newspaper editorial board, which is made up of members of its board of directors. Remarks may be directed to email@example.com.