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Remembering Earth Day in 1970 and 2022

To the editor:

Thanks to the Marshall Independent for the great article ‘Got one’ (4/26/2022) in which writer Deb Gau described the Earth Day field trip of Lynd Public School students to go fishing in the Redwood River in Camden State Park. The students also learned about erosion and visited the Lyon County Landfill.

The article reminded me of the first Earth Day in 1970 when my fifth-grade class took a trip to the local creek to collect trash. Truthfully, that field trip had a significant impact on me. It planted seeds that have grown into a deep appreciation for the outdoors and a profound concern for the planet. It’s great to know that more than 50 years later, schools are still celebrating Earth Day with environmental field trips.

Unfortunately, the environmental problems we face today are much greater than 50 years ago. If only school kids could pull greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere like we pulled trash out of that creek. The 2022 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change–an international group of top climate experts — indicated we are quickly running out of time to make changes that will limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Past that threshold we risk increasingly devastating climate disruptions that will affect health, safety, and quality of life throughout the planet.

We must do better today so school kids everywhere have a livable Earth to pass on to their children. It means learning for ourselves about climate change solutions and communicating with our elected officials.

I joined CitizensClimateLobby.org and have learned that putting a price on carbon can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and stimulate the development of clean energy. Tell Senators (Amy) Klobuchar and (Tina) Smith and Representative (Michelle) Fischbach to support policies now that will reduce carbon emissions by 50% by 2030.

Let’s make sure we still have something to celebrate on Earth Day 50 years from now.

Patricia Fettes

Wyoming

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