Earth Day has been celebrated on April 22 ever since the strong environmental movement emerged in 1970, but it seems to have settled down to a feel-good clean-up-the-roadside sort of thing. I’m sure most Americans don’t realize that environmentalists around the world, and sometimes in this country, are being killed for their efforts to protect the Earth.
A London-based survey released April 8 — the first comprehensive one of its kind — says that around the world 908 environmental activists have been killed over the past decade. The death rate has risen in the past four years to an average of two activists a week. Only a very few of the killers have been convicted.
On Earth Day, we might give a thought to our own rangers trying to protect our dwindling wild places and wildlife. These men and women are quite frequently in danger because there are those who think they should be able rip up wilderness or to kill anything they want to with impunity.
I want to thank every thoughtful, caring person in this country who is trying to protect our natural world for future generations. “Environmentalist” is not a bad word. Maybe you could find one to hug on Earth Day.