For nearly half a century, April 22 of each year has been designated as Earth Day. From its North American beginning in 1970, Earth Day evolved into Earth Week and now includes international participation for the whole month of April.
The Earth flag flies at Powell River City Hall to indicate a local celebration of Earth that is in concert with municipalities in 192 countries around the world.
For nearly three centuries, every day of every year has included human activity that negatively impacts Earth’s natural systems. An overwhelming body of sound scientific evidence establishes that the increase in human-caused carbon emissions over time has interfered significantly with the temperature-regulating capacity of Earth’s atmosphere.
Fossil fuel development, which seemed a blessing at first, has now become a curse. Coal powered the Industrial Revolution and brought many conveniences to humankind, but the unregulated burning began the damage. Gasoline fueled the internal combustion engine and revolutionized transportation for humankind, but careless consumption intensified the harm.
Today natural gas warms our homes just as it adds to the warming of our planet.
For roughly the last five months, the global community has been reflecting on the most recent report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. This report presents a sobering picture. According to its authors, carbon emissions continue to rise and are now at the point where a mere decade remains before consequences such as sea level rise, storm intensity, forest fire magnitude, species extinction and human mortality upturns may well become unstoppable.
Can anything the community of Powell River does make any difference in the face of these past, present and future scenarios? Climate Action Powell River and the other groups planning Earth Month activities say “yes.”
Here are some ways to make a difference:
Attend a free matinee at 2 pm at the Patricia Theatre on Sunday, April 21. Anthropocene: The Human Epoch is an award-winning Canadian film. With stunning photography and thought-provoking narration, it presents a view of humankind’s re-engineering of the Earth in a way never seen before.
Celebrate the life-giving planetary beauty, diversity and abundance that Earth still offers by gathering from 11 am to 3 pm at Willingdon Beach on Earth Day, Monday April 22. Speakers, entertainment, food, music and displays will provide the chance to learn, network and help each other make the changes necessary to sustain resilient life in our community.
Explore personal energy-saving possibilities. Check out the electric vehicle rally and show on Monday, April 22. The gathering starts at Willingdon Beach at 10 am, followed by a procession to the sea walk at 10:30 am. Brief stops during the rally include the Lordco parking lot (4296 Joyce Avenue) at 10:45 am, Town Centre Mall parking lot at 11 am, Brooks Secondary School at 11:15 am, and back at Willingdon Beach for viewings at 11:30 am. Find out about government clean energy grants and meet with vehicle owners.
Consider eating more plant-based food. Try it out on Meatless Mondays using local products.
Become aware of community impacts. Attend the BC Wildfires: Past and Future seminar on Thursday, April 25, 7:30 pm at United Church, Trinity Hall.
Discover Earth-related books and activities at Powell River Public Library. Participate in the Green Zine recycled publications project for all ages on Saturday, April 27.
Climate Action Powell River Society is a non-profit society committed to helping the residents and businesses of Powell River to reduce their greenhouse gas.