Five decades and one year ago today, a United States Senator named Gaylord Nelson put forth the idea that the Earth was something that needed its own agenda. The Earth needed a champion—a lobbyist, in effect, of its own.
Below, you’ll find the partial text of remarks Senator Nelson delivered on that first Earth Day on April 22, 1970. In his speech in Denver, Colorado, Senator Nelson laid out the depth and breadth of things.
But in speaking on that first Earth Day, Senator Nelson operated under a larger organizing principle—that the Earth was not only an environment of air and water and scenic beauty—the Earth was also an environment of decency, quality, and mutual respect. As Senator Nelson put it, Earth Day represents “a new American ethic that sets new standards for progress…”
Click on the remarks below via Bing to see enlarged.
On this Earth Day 2021 at 10 AM, the United States commits itself to a new set of standards—a bold and audacious set of standards.
Today, Earth is no longer merely a place—a blue dot amid multiple universes.
Today, Earth becomes a verb—something we do to better our world and ourselves, not just for today, not just for tomorrow, but for an entire horizon of tomorrows.
Happy Earth Day.
The video above was created by C4I Co-founder, Lisa-Marie Hatcher.