Editorial: Let’s Take Positive Steps This Earth Day, April 22
By April 20, 2023 0 428•
Our April, 2023 print edition lead editorial concerning Earth Day:
April 22 marks Earth Day, dedicated to celebrating, protecting and restoring our natural environment here on our life-rich planet, so far alone with sentience in the vast universe. In these early days of spring, Washingtonians and visitors from around the world flock to the nation’s capital to delight in the flowering buds of spring and glorious cherry blossoms along the Tidal Basin.
But each year, peak cherry blossom times fall earlier and earlier – by days and weeks – due to the effects of climate change. Extreme temperatures and moisture fluctuations combined with rising Tidal Basin levels stress the trees’ fragile nourishment systems and their continued longevity is in doubt.
Washingtonians – noted for having their eyes on the news – cannot help but see daily headlines warning of the climate catastrophe threatening the world’s ecosystems. So many deadly droughts, extreme heat events, atmospheric rivers, floods, heat domes, hurricanes, tornadoes and wildfires. Oceanside homes swept to sea. The Colorado River drying up. Portland reaches 116 degrees. Rainforests disappearing. Deserts encroaching. Tick-born diseases spreading. Did flooding last year really swamp one-third of Pakistan?
“Blame geography for the U.S.’s getting hit by stronger, costlier, more varied and frequent extreme weather. Then add climate change, and ‘buckle up,” warns an April 3 Associated Press story. “If air and ocean temperatures around Antarctica were to increase as projected… researchers say ice marching backward hundreds of feet in a day could trigger collapse of modern-day glaciers sooner than previously thought. That could be devastating for global sea levels,” reported The Washington Post April 6.
Instead of resigning ourselves to catastrophe, however, we suggest taking active steps, however humble, to help protect and restore our natural wonders.
Toward these ends, we feature two positive Earth Day stories this month: a profile of Virginia’s Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC) and an interview with the head of the DC Department of Energy and the Environment. Happy Earth Day!