Anton Petrus On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans participated in protests, festivals, and rallies on the very first Earth Day . The occasion launched the modern environmental movement and helped pave the way for the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) later that year. Soon after, Congress passed the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act, three pieces of legislation that improved public health and inspired countless conservation efforts. On that Earth Day, 10% of the population of the United States came together to protest industrial pollution and demand a sustainable future. And it worked: Our democracy responded with action that saved lives. Now, 50 years later, President Trump denies the science of global warming and uses every opportunity to weaken environmental protections. And after a year of record heat, wildfires, storms, and floods , we are now facing a global pandemic that has already caused mass unemployment and death. Amid the COVID-19 crisis, climate activists like us have been told to put their concerns aside and focus on the task at hand. But as a student leader and public school science teacher, I, and my colleagues, feel the opposite must be […]

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