Data released by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows that 2016 was the warmest year on record since 1880, the beginning of modern recordkeeping. Additionally, since the year 2001, we have experienced 16 of the 17 warmest years on record.
It is estimated that the earth has warmed 1.2 to 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit over the past century — with 97 percent of climate scientists attributing the abrupt increase in climate-warming trend to human activity and the release of non-naturally occurring greenhouse gases.
April 22 marks Earth Day — a day to bring environmental issues to the spotlight, educate and advocate for change, celebrated by those around the globe. This year’s Earth Day will focus most specifically on Environmental and Climate Literacy.
“Education is the foundation for progress. We need to build a global citizenry fluent in the concepts of climate change and aware of its unprecedented threat to our planet. We need to empower everyone with the knowledge to inspire action in defense of environmental protection,” says Earth Day Network, an organization with over 50,000 partners in 196 countries working to bring environmental change.
In addition to the many events being held this Earth Day around the world to raise environmental awareness and the March for Science — a rally and teach-in that will be held on the National Mall in Washington D.C. to advocate for the vital service role science plays in our community — there will be several celebrations held around Missouri and ways for William Woods students to get involved locally.
Each year St. Louis hosts one of the largest Earth Day celebrations in the country — a two-day, outdoor festival with vendors and exhibitors educating the public about environmental issues and solutions. Along with artists, musicians and performances, there will be hands-on activities promoting and educating sustainability.
William Woods students also have the opportunity to participate in the Columbia Earth Day Coalition’s festival on April 23 in Columbia, Missouri.
There are many opportunities for students to host their own events, attend local or online teach-ins and more. Earth Day Network also provides many resources for students to get involved, attend teach-ins or host their own 2017 Earth Day event.
In previous With a Flourish blogs we’ve discussed different career paths you can take if your interests lie in protecting and conserving the environment, such as Conservation Scientist, or personal changes you can make today to start living a more environmentally friendly life.