Earth Day and The Momentum of Sustainable Development

Omar Earth Day and The Momentum of Sustainable Development

Human activity puts over 30 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that alters the earth’s energy balance and lasts in the environment for over 100 years. It is hard to imagine therefore, that the so-called President of the United States has declared climate change a hoax, and is in the process of dismantling the Environmental Protection Agency. By rolling back directives to reduce harmful greenhouse gases emitted into the air from coal burning power plants and inefficient cars, he is putting people’s health and wellbeing at risk in favor of big business. In other words, he is acting to increase the profits of industries at the expense of the health of the planet and all of its inhabitants.

It is therefore heartwarming to see that individuals, responsible businesses and their industry associations are voluntarily adopting sustainable system practices that address what everyone recognizes as a threat to the planet. Trump will not succeed in changing the momentum of the sustainability movement that has gained overwhelming public support since the first Earth Day back on April 22, 1970. In fact, his attack against the planet may very well be his undoing. Nearly every grade school kid knows about climate change. The associated alarming loss of habitat and biodiversity highlights the need to adopt sustainable approaches to providing people with clean air, water, and energy.

It is important that we have regulations that protect the health of the earth and its inhabitants. It is important that we do this in a common sense manner that does not unduly burden businesses. The science needed to strike the right balance needs to be funded, not disregarded. The EPA, created seven months after the first Earth Day, is critical to achieving clean air, water, and energy objectives. We should strengthen the EPA, as well as our earth monitoring systems, not attack and de-fund them.

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