Earth Day 2006 Launches Climate Change Awareness Campaign

WASHINGTON, DC, April 22, 2006 (ENS) - The Earth Day Network has a goal for today - Earth Day 2006 - to inspire 10,000 climate change events worldwide. And lots of other Earth Day events are taking place around the world. Musicians are gathering in Los Angeles where 25 bands will perform on three stages, and in Honolulu, Jack Johnson and Willie Nelson will perform to benefit Johnson's environmental education foundation.

Cleanups, concerts, lectures, hikes, electronics recycling, storm drain marking, dances, film festivals, fashion shows, tree plantings, picnics, graffiti removal, forums, seminars, theatre, and environmental fairs, including one at New York City's Grand Central Station and another in Central Park - are all happening today somewhere on Earth.

For lists of events happening this Earth Day, scroll down to the foot of this article.

Earth To combat global warming, Earth Day 2006 will kick off a three year campaign to educate consumers, corporations and governments on the urgent need to take concrete steps on climate change now before its too late.

Organizers say the good news is that the world now recognizes the problem, but the bad news is that Earth's temperature is rising due to human activities, primarily the burning of coal, oil and gas.

As the planet warms severe weather changes are forecast; and experts expect threats to our food and water supplies; rising sea levels; glacier melting; endangerment of thousands of plant and animal species; and the spread of deadly diseases, among other serious effects.

Following President George W. Bush's admission in his State of the Union address that the United States is "addicted to oil" Kathleen Rogers, president of the Earth Day Network issued a 9-step recovery plan to combat the nation's oil addiction.

"Oil addiction can happen to anyone," said Rogers. "For too long people have not faced up to their addiction and the consequences are now obvious. Your oil addition not only ruins your life and the life of your families, but the lives of most of the world's inhabitants."

"We want people to know there is a light at the end of the oil rig," she said. "Despite the fact that we have close to 300 million Americans who are addicted to oil, together we will be able to overcome it."

Modeled after the 12 Step Program made famous by Alcoholics Anonymous, The Earth Day Network's path to oil recovery is simple.

  • Step 1: Admit you are an addict. Like most addicts, you probably have no idea what harm you are actually causing. Despite the shock of having a spotlight turned on your behavior on national television, Google "climate change" or "oil addiction" and you will see the thousands of articles that have been written about your addiction over the past twenty years.

  • Step 2: Do a searching and fearless inventory of your life. Start by taking a look around. Carry out a personal energy audit of your life. Look for wasteful and/or excessive use of energy including the use of large, gas-hungry vehicles, houses that are 10 times larger than necessary and other evidence of profligate lifestyles.

  • Step 3: Turn Yourself Over to a Higher Power. Ask your main energy provider where your power comes from and if you could switch to "green power."

  • Step 4: Believe that a power greater than you can restore us to sanity. Ask yourself what your national, state, and local government representatives, including your mayor, has been doing to control this addiction. If you do not feel they are doing enough let them know and vote for leaders who have a plan of their own to help you fight this addiction. Check their campaign contributors list for evidence of insincerity.

  • Step 5: Make a decision to turn your will over to the care of someone more powerful (and less addicted). Is this really all your fault? Do you feel you need to lean on a force more powerful than yourself? 2008 is just around the corner. You can make combating oil addiction one of the major topics of debate in the 2008 Presidential elections.

  • Step 6: Make of list of people that we have harmed and be willing to make amends to all of them. Start with the Inuits, the polar bears, the residents of Greenland, Small Island Nations, New Orleans (and possibly Miami).

  • Step 7: Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. There is no need to fly to these locations to make a personal apology.

  • Step 8: Realize that nothing but continuous action on the preceding steps can make a difference. Your dependence on oil will not disappear overnight. Start with mandatory caps on your consumption and demand it of all Americans.

  • Step 9: Carry the message forward. The more people fighting the addiction, the more impressive the results will be. Host an Earth Day (April 22nd) Party or attend one of thousands across the United States to let people know how widespread the addiction is and how they too can fight it.

    Earth Day 2006 will be the first without Gaylord Nelson, the former U.S. Senator from Wisconsin who founded Earth Day in 1970.

    Senator Nelson died on July 3, 2005. On his last Earth Day, although frail and in declining health, he joined his grandson at a school tree-planting ceremony to mark the day

    The Earth Day Network reaches over 12,000 organizations in 174 countries, while the U.S. program keeps over 3,000 groups and over 100,000 educators coordinating millions of community development and environmental protection activities throughout the year.

    As a result, organizers say Earth Day is the only event celebrated simultaneously around the globe by people of all backgrounds, faiths and nationalities. More than a half billion people participate in Earth Day activities campaigns every year.

    Some Earth Day 2006 Event Listings:

    Search for Earth Day events by country at: http://www.earthday.net/programs/find/searchEvent.aspx

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lists Earth Day events across the United States at: http://www.epa.gov/earthday/events.htm

    115 Earth Day 2006 events in the United States can be found on EnviroLink at: http://earthday.envirolink.org/calendar.html

    Nature Conservancy Earth Day volunteer opportunities listed by state at: http://support.nature.org/site/PageServer?pagename=volunteer_ed6

    The U.S. Agriculture Department's Natural Resources Conservation Service list of wetlands restoration and enhancement events for Earth Day 2006 at: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/feature/earthday/earthday2006events.html#ma

    Dive down deep for the Coral Reef Alliance's Earth Day 2006 underwater events at: http://www.coral.org/divein

    Hike, bike, paddle or drive on Trails.com Earth Day 2006 listed at: http://www.trails.com/earth-day.asp

    Tonight "An Inconvenient Truth," a film documenting former Vice President Al Gore's lecture about global warming, will be aired on HBO, testifying to the increasing dangers of climate change.

    Los Angeles Worldfest Events: http://worldfestevents.com/venues_mainstage.htm