Like so much else over the past year, much of the activism around Earth Day 2021 is virtual, happening as a celebration live on Earthday.org.
Earth Day today is April 22. But the events marking the day extend well beyond 24 hours and include President Biden’s two-day climate summit. This year, the huge protests that have marked the climate movement will be absent, but some groups have come together in more modest ways to get their messages across.
Activist groups came to Washington on Wednesday including 350.org, US Youth Climate Strike and Build Back Fossil Free. They brought portable versions of “climate clocks”. These devices, some of which are huge, are counting down, by certain measures, the time remaining to avoid the worst effects of climate change.
A group of climate-focused officials from Latin American capitals, known as the Mayors of the Americas, also hosted an event in Washington on Wednesday to discuss their own cities’ pledges to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040; a group left a clock at the White House. In New York City, three Extinction Rebellion NYC protesters glued to the studio windows of NBC’s Today show during the live broadcast.
Gulf Coast environmental activists are also in Washington to stage a “second line” parade in Louisiana to the White House “to demand that Biden recognize the Gulf is in crisis and declare a national emergency, stop plans to fossil fuels, reinstate the Ban the export of crude oil and end the damage to Gulf communities like mine, ”said Sharon Lavigne, founder of the environmental group RISE St. James, which combats the effects of pollution industry on vulnerable communities. “I love my house,” she said, “and I don’t want to have to move.”