Prompted by a coronavirus pandemic that is shutting down gatherings large and small across the globe, the Earth Day Network is shifting its 50th anniversary celebrations April 22 to a digital platform.
“Amid the recent outbreak, we encourage people to rise up but to do so safely and responsibly,” and “in many cases, that means using our voices to drive action online rather than in person,” Earth Day President Kathleen Rogers said in a release yesterday.
“Whether it be coronavirus or our global climate crisis, we cannot shut down,” she added. “Instead, we must shift our energies and efforts to new ways to mobilize the world to action.”
With the pandemic affecting different regions and countries differently, Earth Day says some communities may still be able to rally in person. For the rest, the organization plans to “leverage the global power of some of the world’s most innovative digital media platforms to mobilize millions in a collective call for transformative action for our planet,” producing “an Earth Day unlike any other in history.”
The failed White House response to the pandemic “demonstrates that governments must embrace science early. As we see now, many governments were slow to respond or even indifferent about the science of the coronavirus pandemic,” Rogers added. “But the last few weeks have also demonstrated that our society, even at the international level, is capable of mass shifts across all sectors to meet a crisis head-on. We must apply the same scale and urgency in our response to climate change.”