This year’s Earth Day theme, It’s Our Turn to Lead, is focused on delivering millions of voices to push global leaders to take action on climate change, the environment, and the connection between poverty and climate change. Earth Day can be a stepping stone on the road to Paris, where the world’s leaders will meet to sign a global treaty on climate change. The strength of this growing determination among ordinary people was demonstrated last September when legions of demonstrators, frustrated by international inaction on global warming, descended on New York City, and marched through the heart of Manhattan with a message of alarm for world leaders. The New York People’s Climate March was joined, in solidarity, by demonstrations across the globe, from Paris to Papua New Guinea. The theme It’s Our Turn to Lead calls us to accept our collective responsibility to insist that our planet is under threat from climate change, unsustainable exploitation of natural resources and other human-made problems. These threats to the planet are destroying our only home and our future survival. It is our time to make our voices heard and to hold our leaders responsible for their actions on our behalf.
We thank you for this earth, our home; for the wide sky and the blessed sun, for the ocean and streams, for the towering hills and the whispering wind, for the trees and green grass.
We thank you for our senses by which we hear the songs of birds, and see the splendor of fields of golden wheat, and taste autumn’s fruit, and rejoice in the feel of snow, and smell the breath of spring flowers.
Grant us hearts opened wide to all this beauty; and save us from being so blind that we pass unseeing when even the common thorn bush is aflame with your glory.
Choose one definite way in which you can help to preserve and heal the earth and be faithful to its practice. Write or email your members of Congress and the President demanding they support and join climate and environmental action on a global scale. If your Congresspersons are Climate Deniers withdraw your support.
The earth and its fullness are the Lord’s.
1 Corinthians 10:26
The Hebrew word translated as “dominion” means having responsibility for the wellbeing of Creation, not destroying what God made to manifest God’s glory. By acknowledging our rightful place within nature, we are accepting our responsibility for its well-being, just as we take responsibility for the well-being of members of our family and friends. It is a matter of drawing a larger circle, not around our house, our city, or even our country, but around all life on Earth.
Klaus Topler, UN Environment Program
The wealth of the nation is its air, water, soil, forests, minerals, rivers, lakes, oceans, scenic beauty, wildlife habitats and biodiversity… that’s all there is. That’s the whole economy. That’s where all the economic activity and jobs come from. These biological systems are the sustaining wealth of the world.
Gaylord Nelson, Founder of Earth Day
Only within the moment of time represented by the present century has one species — man — acquired significant power to alter the nature of his world.
Because we don’t think about future generations, they will never forget us.
We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.
It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment.
The Earth reminded us of a Christmas tree ornament hanging in the blackness of space. As we got farther and farther away it diminished in size. Finally it shrank to the size of a marble, the most beautiful marble you can imagine. That beautiful, warm, living object looked so fragile, so delicate, that if you touched it with a finger it would crumble and fall apart. Seeing this has to change a man, has to make a man appreciate the creation of God and the love of God.
James Irwin, USA, astronaut
My view of our planet was a glimpse of divinity.
Edgar Mitchell, USA, astronaut
The Earth was small, light blue, and so touchingly alone, our home that must be defended like a holy relic. The Earth was absolutely round. I believe I never knew what the word round meant until I saw Earth from space.
Aleksei Leonov, USSR, astronaut
Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realize we cannot eat money.
Cree Indian Prover
I really wonder what gives us the right to wreck this poor planet of ours.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr