The theme of this year’s Earth Day celebration at Salem State University is “It's Your World, It's Your Future: Get Involved!”
Earth Days Week 2017 will explore and highlight the pivotal role of environmental activism and grassroots mobilization in the effort to change deeply ingrained misperceptions and prejudices regarding the most significant global issue of our time, viz. the rapidly occurring and devastating changes of our planet’s delicate climate. The election of Donald Trump as President presents major challenges for the environment and its protection both in the U.S and globally. With atmospheric CO₂ concentrations consistently surpassing 400 ppm and nuisance coastal flooding regularly happening with high tides along our East Coast, and extreme droughts and weather events occurring frequently – the risk of doing nothing may bring us to the point of no return.
The importance of grassroots mobilization and activism in the coming years will be unprecedented. With full control of the government in the hands of President Trump and the Republican Congress, the international climate change agreement, environmental policies from clean air and clean water to wildlife protections, and our national parks and wildlife refuges are at risk. The appointment of climate change deniers to high-level positions in the new administration demands immediate action.
Earth Days Week 2017 will explore the implications of increased reliance on coal and expansion of fracking and off-shore drilling on the environment and climate change. During the week, we will feature the organizations leading the fight on campus and at the local, state and federal level to prevent retreat from the policy gains of the past five decades and to move forward science-based initiatives to address climate change.
We believe that climate change, over-development, environmental degradation, over-consumption and over-population are central challenges to the survival of the planet and its human and non-human inhabitants. The costs of climate change include conflict, poverty, inequality, hunger and species extinctions.
The Earth Day Planning Committee invites you to participate in this year’s Earth Days events to learn, contemplate, discuss and share ideas on this theme.