Earth Day

Commemorating a Major Environmental Disaster–One With a Transformative Legacy

1969 Santa Barbara Oil Spill Sparked the Beginning of America’s Modern Environmental Era

This week marks the 50th anniversary of one of the most serious and consequential environmental disasters in American history–the Santa Barbara offshore oil spill of 1969.  On January 28, 1969, an offshore oil rig (Platform A) owned and operated by the Union Oil Company and operating in federally-controlled waters in the Santa Barbara Channel off …


Earth Day, 2017 Should Be The Next Massive Rally

The 47th Earth Day falls this year on April 22, a Saturday.  The fortuity of a weekend date makes Earth Day the perfect opportunity to marshall the energy of the wildly successful Women’s marches around the world to demand that Congress and the Trump Administration protect our planet (hat tip to Emmett Fellow Julia Forgie …


Celebrate Earth Day By Destroying The Planet!

Is It Possible To Have A Holiday Without Going Shopping?

The first e-mail in my inbox this morning was from a regional pharmacy chain, advertising “Great Earth Day Savings!” That seemed to me to be a little ironic: celebrate by the planet by consuming as much as you can! It isn’t alone. Just Google “Earth Day Shopping” and you’ll get hundreds of hits.  Now, obviously, …


A Funny Way to Celebrate Earth Day

My home institution of UCLA has decided to commemorate Earth Day in a clear and bold manner: it has banned tobacco on campus, starting on — well, today. The Westwood campus is the first UC to implement the ban, following a call from President Mark Yudof to go smoke-free across the 10-campus system by 2014. …


Earth Day perspectives

I really like this post over at Slate giving 15 fun facts about the Earth on Earth Day.  My favorite is number 14: “If you took all the water on Earth and collected it into a single drop, it would be just less than 1,400 kilometers (860 miles) across.”  This comes with a neat visual:   …


Remembering Rachel Carson

Earth Day seems an appropriate time to recall past leaders in environmental thought.  Few have played a greater role in the development of U.S. environmental law than Rachel Carson (1907-1964), whose books did much to spark the environmental movement.  It is good to hear that her books have been reprinted as ebooks by Open Road …


Earth Day as a Self-Organizing System

Senator Gaylord Nelson has explained the origins of Earth Day: At a conference in Seattle in September 1969, I announced that in the spring of 1970 there would be a nationwide grassroots demonstration on behalf of the environment and invited everyone to participate. The wire services carried the story from coast to coast. The response …