Today listen to an array of environmental leaders and advocates live on Earthday.org
The stage was set for change in 1962 with the publication of Rachel Carson’s NYTs bestseller Silent Spring. Groups that had been fighting individually against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness and the extinction of wildlife united on Earth Day.
Earth Day 1970 achieved a rare alignment across politics, rich and poor, urban dwellers and farmers, business and labor leaders. By the end of 1970, the first Earth Day led to creation of USEPA and passage of other first kinds of environmental laws, including the National Environmental Education Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, and the Clean Air Act. Two years later Congress passed the Clean Water Act. A year later Congress passed the Endangered Species Act, Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. These laws protect millions of men, women and children from disease and death and hundreds of species from extinction.