Photo by Akil Mazumder on

In 1970, a movement was born out of an outrage toward a Californian oil spill and the detriments of widespread pollution. This outrage unifying 20 million people that marched to bring awareness and demand a change for the environment. The movement remains a legacy in which Senator Gaylord Nelson named, April 22, as Earth Day.

Close to a decade before the first Earth Day, Rachel Carson released her revolutionary publication, Silent Spring, in the year 1962. The publication marked the beginning of the environmental awareness movement. It became New York Times bestseller as it talked about public health concerns and the degradation of wildlife associated with, what was then, an unknown environmental crisis. Specifically, Carson drew attention to the horrors of pesticides in comparison to organic farming.

A movement that repeated itself around the world, made it so that more than a hundred other nations established a national Earth Day. Following its foundation, Earth Day gave rise to environmental agencies within the American government, which later adopted pollution regulation policies and further Ecological Acts.

As the current millennium strides around drastic hurricanes, relentless fires and flooding, risk management teams and disaster respondents have demonstrated humanitarian leadership in the challenges of climate change. The Red Cross has teamed up with the International Red Cross and the Red Crescent movement to address the humanitarian crisis resulting from the disasters of climate change.

“It is through this lens that we see climate change as a serious and devastating threat for the 21st century. The Red Cross is committed to doing our part to reduce the current and future humanitarian impacts of climate change globally. We will build the resilience of our organization as well as the resilience of the communities and people we serve by adapting our mission delivery and growing our operational capacity to address the heightened impacts and quickened pace of disasters. We will further invest in environmental sustainability through reduction in our carbon footprint and provide our learnings through community climate education and advocacy for those who bear the disproportionate effects of climate change.”- Red Cross statement, 2021.