Earth Day: PM Modi bats for Swachh Bharat; US fights against Trump's policy

Earth Day. Photo: Reuters
As scientists and others gear up for the March for Science on Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledged for a Swachh Bharat (clean India) on the occasion of Earth Day.

Prime Minister Modi tweeted, "Let's pledge Swachh Bharat on the occasion of Earth Day so Mother Earth can bless us with bettering our existence".

Today, Google through its iconic Doodle also sent a a pertinent message about climate change. In a series of illustrations, the Google doodle tells the story of a sleeping fox that has a nightmare about the consequences of climate change, featuring melted icebergs and dead plants. Disturbed, the fox enlists two friends to be more thoughtful about conservation—the trio eat vegetables, grow plants, ride bikes and use solar energy.

Google also offered conservation tips for Earth Day, reminding people to turn off lights, plant trees, eat locally sourced food and avoid driving.

Earth Day began in the United States in 1970 as a national day for action on causes affecting the health of the planet – and those who live on it.

The idea for Earth Day came from Gaylord Nelson, a then-U.S. senator from Wisconsin, after witnessing the devastation of an oil spill off the cast of Santa Barbara, California in 1969.

Inspired by the social movements of the 1960s, Nelson and co-founder Dennis Hayes sought to mass mobilize citizens in support of environmental causes without the crippling distraction of political or ideological divide.

Today, Earth Day is celebrated by over a billion people worldwide – uniting over 5,000 groups in 192 countries to the common cause.

Earth Day in US

Today, science-friendly individuals will gather in Washington, and in dozens of satellite marches across the United States and even around the globe. The Earth Day Network — the nonprofit that organizes Earth Day events every year — has taken the lead on programming for the march.

The higlight of today's march will be against Trump's call for a dramatic reduction in the amount of money the US government spends on scientific research. He has scalled back efforts at the Environmental Protection Agency to combat climate change, and overall, he seems to disregard or not seek out advice from scientific efforts.

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