Rep. John Lewis Celebrates Earth Day

Apr 22, 2013 Issues: Environment

Rep. John Lewis made these comments to commemorate Earth Day.  This year’s theme is The Face of Climate Change:

“The face of climate change,” said Rep. John Lewis, “is the face of every human being on this planet and the face of the entire creation because every aspect biological life on this planet is affected by climate change.  In this age of technological advancement, as Martin Luther King Jr. once said, we have the way to resolve these problems, but the question we must ask ourselves is whether we have the will.  Only when we accept the inextricable link that binds us all to each other and the entire creation, only then we will realize denial, blame, self-indulgence and resistance are useless.  Then we will understand the human imperative to collaborate.  Then we will discover ways to end the suffering that climate change has caused and shift away from a foreboding future to a tomorrow of hope and peace.  We can do this only if we make a conscious decision to do it.  There is no way to peace, Mohandas Gandhi said; peace is the way.”

Earth Day, an annual holiday celebrated worldwide, and first established in 1970, is a celebration of our planet and a reminder of the duties we all have to preserve our environment. It is coordinated by the Earth Day Network , which has organized numerous global initiatives, which reach over 25,000 organizations worldwide. More than one billion people in 192 countries participate in activities related to Earth Day. On Earth Day, thousands of grassroots organizations around the world sponsor activities such as community cleanups, educational events, fundraisers, and other events.

Each annual Earth Day has a different theme. The theme of this year’s Earth Day is “The Face of Climate Change,” which seeks to recognize those already facing the effects of climate change.  The program emphasizes that climate change is not a remote problem, as it is considered by many political leaders worldwide, but a real problem already devastating the lives of many around the world. By personalizing the effects of climate change, they argue that there is a paradoxical divide between those suffering from the effects of climate change, who are often powerless to curb its effects, and leaders who are insulated and unaware of its effects but have the greatest ability to fight this problem.

“The Face of Climate Change” also emphasizes the importance of an individual’s ability to fight climate change. The “faces” include not only those suffering from climate change, but also those that can take action against it. The campaign calls on activists, engineers, public servants, and others at the forefront of the struggle against climate change to take action. The “faces” are not only humans, but also animals and ecosystems affected by climate change. The Earth Day website urges people to send in photos and stories of people, places, and animals affected by climate change to show the numerous and varied “faces” of the problem. 

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