Earth Day 2013, and Beyond


By Aaron Ferster

Around EPA, we like to say that “everyday is Earth Day.” So what does that mean for us when it actually is Earth Day—like today? It will be a busy. Across the Agency, from our world class scientists and engineers to my fellow bloggers and science communicators, we are marking the 43rd Earth Day by making extra efforts to expand the conversation on climate change.

All this week and well into next, we’ll be highlighting EPA climate change research here on the It All Starts with Science blog, kicking it off with a Science Matters podcast/interview with our own Dr. Andrew Miller, the Associate Director for Climate for the Agency’s Air, Climate, and Energy research program and a member of the subcommittee on global change research for the U.S. Global Change Research Program.

Anyone who wants to pose their own question to an EPA expert about what they can do at home, in the office, and on the road to save energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and help protect the planet, is invited to join our Twitter chat today at 2:00 pm (@EPALive, follow #AskEPA). Dr. Miller will join the effort and field questions related to EPA climate research (@EPAresearch, also follow #AskEPA).

Other research highlights we will be posting include efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions during clean up operations on Superfund sites (which often involve the use of heavy equipment), innovative ways to assess and evaluate potential low- and zero-carbon “breakthrough” technologies, efforts to protect wild salmon populations from a warming river in important spawning habitat, and explorations of the effects of climate change on watersheds and estuaries.

Be sure to check back throughout the week as we post these features, and more.

Coming into to work this morning, I began to think of what it might have been like to be part of the original Earth Day activities (although I’m not sure where I would have been heading, since EPA had not been established yet). It’s a pretty sure bet that the stream under the bridge I cross over to get out of my neighborhood would have been significantly dirtier, the car I drove to the metro would have been fueled with leaded gas, and whatever office I arrived at would likely be ripe with second-hand tobacco smoke.

I’m grateful to the work that has been done over the past 43 years to make our home, local, and work environments cleaner and healthier, and am thrilled to have the privilege of working to further those efforts today. But the lessons of the past have taught us that no single government agency or individual can tackle today’s environmental challenges—climate change especially—alone.

That’s why EPA is expanding the conversation to engage everyone’s help and to spur greater action to reduce the impacts of climate change, such as warmer temperatures, sea level rise, and an increase in strong storms and droughts. Join us today and for the next 40 years or so to make every day Earth Day.

About the Author: Aaron Ferster is the editor of It All Starts with Science, and a frequent contributor.

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