Controversy Over Earth Day Celebration

As we celebrate the 30th annual Earth Day, it is important we not forget our roots. Founded in 1970 separately by both John McConnell in San Francisco and elsewhere by former Sen. Gaylord Nelson, Earth Day was designated to devote attention and action to our environment. It was established in response to growing protests and public concern for the environment.

So many problems faced our planet then, and still do now. With the increasing threat of global warming, the destruction of the ozone layer, and the destruction of the rain forests, our Earth needs every friend she can get.

The original date for Earth Day was March 21, 1970. Not only did the city of San Francisco issue a proclamation to that effect, but under General Secretary U Thant, the United Nations sanctioned one as well, where is maintains the original date to this day.

This date had symbolic meaning for Earth and its inhabitants, being the first day of spring, the Vernal Equinox, when night and day are equal in length. This date changed within a few years.

This change in date sparked much controversy, and still does today. But many don't seem to understand the fundamental confusion surrounding the ordeal.

The problem was not the fact that a day was needed to bring environmental issues to the mainstream. That could and still can be agreed on.

Though it has gotten better over the years, politicians for the most part have put our mother Earth as a second third or fourth priority.

This is especially relevant today, with the rising concerns over world energy and limited fossil fuels.

The change of dates however, can be linked to religious and political beliefs. Many right-wing fundamentalists, who opposed the misinterpreted idea that Earth Day was connected to paganism, began to call for a change.

They felt that it gave the impression that nature, and mother Earth is part of God.

Instead of March 21, they chose April 22 to be their Earth Day.

This is rather ironic, as the date is Lenin's birthday.

Many wonder whether that date was chosen specifically because of its symbolic undertones and connection with Communism.

Some even think that the key leaders who were behind the change in dates borrowed the name and date of Lenin's birthday to liberalize Christian churches across America.

It is also questionable what role big business across America has in keeping this date for America's Earth Day. It must be stressed however that Earth Day is now a worldwide celebration.

Though the controversy, supporters of the March Earth Day have all focused their efforts to the April 22