40 Years After the First Earth Day, A Diverse Movement. Join it - Text "EARTHDAY" to 30644

There is a lot to celebrate forty years after the first Earth Day. My colleagues have noted many of the key environmental and health gains we have made thanks to America’s environmental awakening.

I am also struck by another aspect of this 40th anniversary of Earth Day: the remarkable diversity of support for the key ideas Earth Day embodies: that natural wonders and the wonders of life are worth protecting and nurturing, for their own sakes as well as our own, for now and ever.

Four decades ago, scientists and tree-huggers recognized and believed that we needed to take much greater responsibility for how we as individuals and societies treat the world around us.

Now look around, and it’s a lot more than just the pocket-protector and granola set urging that Congress take on the biggest challenge we’ve faced in those four decades (if not more). CNN has a good piece on this that quotes NRDC President Frances Beinecke. And in the twenty years that I have been organizing, I've seen a lot more constituencies get active, and have had the honor of working with many of them.

Labor unions and their members understand that promoting clean energy industries, reducing toxics in the workplace, promoting public transit and other steps create stronger and safer workplaces and employment opportunities.

Faith-based organizations view stewardship of the earth as care for God’s creation. As the National Religious Partnership for the Environment notes on its website, “With Earth in grave environmental peril, many religious Americans are seeking to respond through our faith.”

Military experts increasingly understand that drastic changes to the environment can trigger social upheavals, struggles for resources and violence. Keep the environment on which people depend healthy and sustaining, and we make the world a safer place.

And veterans are becoming more vocal in pointing out that remaining addicted to fossil fuels keeps America’s men and women in harms way.

National hunting and fishing groups, whose conservative-leaning membership has expressed growing concern with the impacts of climate change on wildlife, are becoming increasingly involved in the climate fight

More and more businesses – all sizes and types – either see new opportunities in a cleaner, greener future, or have learned how reducing waste and pollution can help their bottom line in the present.

So on this, the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, I hope you will join me in recognizing and celebrating our common cause in protecting the earth – and ourselves – from our worst habits and join me in celebrating our greatest opportunities.

You can start by texting EARTHDAY to 30644 to demand comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation. Legislation that will create 2 million jobs, cut 2 billion tons of pollution, and save 2 trillion dollars.

Want to do more?

Make a sign with instructions, tell your friends, take a photo and share it. The message is simple, “text EARTHDAY to 30644” and tell the Senate it’s time for a comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation. Help us spread the word: make a sign or a T-shirt with the words “Text EARTHDAY to 30644” and take it or wear it to your local Earth Day event.

NRDC and more than 80 other organizations representing faith leaders, labor organizations, veterans, environmental activists, sportsmen, farmers, business leaders, youth and community leaders are all asking you to text EARTHDAY to 30644. Will you join us?

Call on America's elected leaders to deliver on the promise of a clean energy revolution and climate action now! After all, forty years ago, Congress responded with a spate of legislation to protect our environment. Forty years later, with broader support than ever before, Congress has no excuse not to act.