Earth Day: 40 Years in Under Five Minutes

In honor of Earth day’s 40th anniversary here’s
a quick look back at the last four decades of planetary appreciation.
Over twenty million people celebrate the first earth day on April 22nd a few months later
the Environmental protection agency opens its doors for the first time.
Amtrak is founded even though gas costs just 33 cents a gallon.
The EPA bans DT which was thinning the shells of Bald eagles
A mid- east oil embargo sparks a gas crisis Congress passes the safe drinking water act
shamelessly pandering to the water drinker’s lobby
The congress sets emissions and efficiency standards for cars leading to the introduction
of catalytic converters The government starts phasing out PCBs which
can lead to cancer and other health problems The government adds the first plants to the
endangered species list despite their disturbing lack of cuteness
Congress bans CFCs in aerosols after scientist realize it can deplete the o-zone layer
The partial meltdown at Pennsylvania’s Three Mile Island ruins an otherwise good day
Congress creates the superfund program to clean up toxic waste sites… those expecting
super fun sites are quickly disappointed. Acid rain intensifies over the Northern US
and Canada Dioxin contamination forces US government
to buy up homes in Times Beach, Missouri. Not the last time it would have to buy up
toxic assets A long failure to try to clean up the Chesapeake
bay begins 8.6 million acres of protected wilderness
are established in 21 states somewhere in the distance a coyote howls
Scientist discover a big hole the ozone layer. During next years NBA all-star game Spud Webb
dunks though it. The congress declares that the public has
the right to know when chemicals are released into the air land or water the public breaths
a sigh of relief and a little bit of Sulfur dioxide Medical waste washes ashore in New
York and New Jersey forcing beaches to close. Efforts to rebrand the beach did not work
out. Congress bans ocean dumping of sewage dumping and industrial waste ending a cherished
American tradition. The Exon Valdez spills 11 million gallons
of crude oil into Alaska’s Prince William Sound one of the worst environmental disasters
in US history. The EPA’s toxic release inventory tells the public which pollutants are being
released into their communities. The Us government begins using products made from recycled content.
The US energy department and the EPA launch the energy star program to label energy efficient
products. A crytosporidium outbreak in Milwaukee sickens four hundred thousand people kills
more than 100 raising awareness of microbes in the water supply. The first genetically
modified tomatoes hit the US market. Wolves are reintroduced to Yellowstone is central
Idaho. The initial awkwardness quickly fades. Public drinking water suppliers are required
to inform customers about chemicals and microbes in their water. The US joins other countries
in Kyoto, Japan to negotiate a global climate change treaty it winds up rejecting. Earth
has its warmest year since record keeping began in 1880. The EPA announces new rules
to increase air quality in national parks and wilderness areas… somewhere in the distance
a coyote howls High temperatures and low rain fall spark the worst wildfire season in 50
years. The US formally rejects the Kyoto Treaty. Treaty suffers brief self esteem issues before
hooking up with Europe on the rebound. US suffers second worst wildfire season in 50
years. The EPA retrofits forty thousand school buses nation wide to cut back their tailpipe
emissions. The EPA requires cleaner emissions for farm and construction equipment. The 2005
atlantic hurricane season produces a record number of tropical cyclones including Hurricane
Katrina that devastates the gulf coast. An Inconvenient Truth is released winning Al
Gore an Oscar, a Nobel Prize, and a lifetime of being criticized every time it snows. The
bald eagle is removed from the endangered species list. The EPA releases a list of eco
fugitives. Captain Planet comes out of retirement. Something happens in Copenhagen but no one
is sure what if anything it is. People around the world celebrate the 40th Earth day one
again dedicating a full day to the planet’s health the earth is touched even though it
creates days in the first place by rotating which means earth day is a re-gift but its
the thought that counts

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