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Earth Day 1970 gave voice to that emerging consciousness, channeling the energy of the anti-war protest movement and putting environmental concerns on the front page.The idea for a national day to focus on the environment came to Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, then a U. Senator from Wisconsin, after witnessing the ravages of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California.It also prompted President Bill Clinton to award Senator Nelson the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1995)—the highest honor given to civilians in the United States—for his role as Earth Day founder. As the millennium approached, Hayes agreed to spearhead another campaign, this time focused on global warming and a push for clean energy.With 5,000 environmental groups in a record 184 countries reaching out to hundreds of millions of people, Earth Day 2000 combined the big-picture feistiness of the first Earth Day with the international grassroots activism of Earth Day 1990.At the time, Americans were slurping leaded gas through massive V8 sedans.Industry belched out smoke and sludge with little fear of legal consequences or bad press.
“Environment” was a word that appeared more often in spelling bees than on the evening news.The user uploaded a selfie, and other Sluthate posters agreed, mocking the flaws in his face.They congratulated him for “taking the black pill,” shorthand for waking up to the tragedy of being ugly.Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values.Earth Day 1970 achieved a rare political alignment, enlisting support from Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, city slickers and farmers, tycoons and labor leaders.