Dave Clements is the author of a Green Beat column. (Langley Advance Times files)

Dave Clements is the author of a Green Beat column. (Langley Advance Times files)

GREEN BEAT: Earth Day turns 50, quietly

As the pope says: ‘This is the time… to move from using and misusing nature to contemplating it’

By David Clements/Special to Langley Advance Times

All around the world, organizers were planning a big Earth Day celebration this year, because it was the 50th anniversary of the original Earth Day held April 22, 1970.

Locally, a number of plans were in the works.

On the Earth Day in Metro Vancouver website all of the following cancelled events are listed:

• Party for the Planet at City Hall in Surrey on April 18

• Vancouver Earth Day Parade on Commercial Avenue, April 22

• Pilgrimage to Burns Bog at the Delta Nature Reserve, April 21

• Earth Day in Stanley Park was to take place sometime in April

• Earth Fest at Everett Crawley Park, April 25

• Earth Day in North Vancouver at Mosquito Creek Park, April 26

• Earth Day in Maple Ridge at Memorial Peace Park, April 18

All cancelled!

Here in Langley, I was really looking forward to the Langley Field Naturalists and Friends Celebrate Earth Day Event.

Likewise, around the world Earth Day 2020 will be a quiet affair.

RECENT COLUMN: Virus offers chance to push the pause button

Still somehow, humanity is at a unique juncture to celebrate the earth and reflect.

On April 8, Pope Francis said in an interview “This is the time to take the decisive step, to move from using and misusing nature to contemplating it.”

He discussed recent unprecedented planetary events like the bushfires in Australia, extreme weather events and the widespread melting of the polar ice, but said it took a pandemic to really get us to stop and pay attention to these dire warnings.

When Rachel Carson published Silent Spring in 1962, in the decade leading up to the first Earth Day, she delivered a loud warning on potential silencing of bird song due to pollution.

This year, as so many of us stay home and traffic noise is reduced, we can hear and appreciate the birds in our neighbourhoods this spring.

So how do we celebrate Earth Day this April at home?

I see it already happening in my Langley neighbourhood and among my family members.

People are driving less, walking more, using their bicycles, growing their own vegetables, and spending more time getting to know their local surroundings, even learning their birds.

PAST COLUMN: 12 days of climate action

Noisy celebrations and crowds may not actually lead to concrete change as much as quiet contemplation.

This April each of us have an opportunity to take a quiet moment or two at home to think about how we can each make own footprint on the earth a little lighter.

– David Clements PhD, is a professor of biology and environmental studies at Trinity Western University

CoronavirusEnvironment

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Langley Camera Club member Kathy Burton was out walking along the Fraser River near Fort Langley when a barge passed. (Special to the Langley Advance Times)
SHARE: What can be seen strolling along the Fraser River in Langley

Send us your photo showing how you view Langley, and it could be featured in a future edition

A local resident is concerned about the low voter turnout in the recent school board byelection. (Langley Advance Times files)
LETTER: Few Langley residents bothered to vote in school trustee election

A local letter writer wonders why the current situation didn’t prompt more people to cast ballots

An agreement between the City and the Langley Lions Housing Society would set out income and age requirements for the new Birch replacement building (Langley City image)
Agreement on seniors rental building a first for Langley City

Sets several conditions to ensure project is affordable for low- and moderate-income seniors

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Tam says the addition of two new vaccines will help Canadians get immunized faster

Const. Allan Young. Photo: Abbotsford Police Department
Manslaughter charge laid in Nelson death of Abbotsford police officer

Allan Young died after an incident in downtown Nelson last summer

The Kimber family of Boston Bar lost their home in a fire. Blaine Kimber’s daughter created a fundraiser to help rebuild the home with the goal of $100,000. (Screenshot/GoFundMe)
Fundraiser created for Boston Bar family that lost everything in weekend fire

Witnesses say the Kimber family escaped the fire without injury, but their home is a total loss

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

Sarah Cotton-Elliott said she believed her children took a back seat to arranging equal parenting

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Most Read