Organizations celebrate Earth Day, bring awareness to climate change

MORGANTOWN — With Earth Day falling on Monday, the Sierra Club hosted its Earth Day celebration Saturday at the Morgantown Farmer’s Market.
Displays and activities promoting a healthy Earth and bringing awareness to environmental issues were provided by Mountain SOL, the Avian Conservation Center of Appalachia, WV Herb Association, Morgantown Art Party and more.
Laura Yokochi and Mark Tauger, of the Sierra Club, discussed their celebration of Earth Day and bringing light to the issue of climate change, which Yokochi said is something she thinks most people are aware of.
“Most people feel they’re pretty helpless to do anything about it. We can’t immediately change the government, change the way businesses do business but there’s lots of ways we can — and each of the groups here will have something that you can do to help mitigate the effects of climate change,” she said.
Tauger said children in Monongalia County also could enter a poster contest to illustrate ways to protect the Earth and had the potential to win prizes. The contest was open to students in grades 1-8.
John Bird, who organized the event, said the most important thing to bring awareness to is the Earth is heating up
and if continues, it’s going to cause
major problems.
“Business as usual we’re going to bake the planet and there’s going to be some absolutely major problems. At least according to the scientists, and I think they’re right. The laws of physics apply here,”
he said.
Bird said encouraging people to do things that limit their carbon dioxide footprint, like driving less, eating less meat or insulating houses properly is part of the equation. Bird also said a large part of the power lies in politicians, so voter awareness is also a key part in combating climate change.
Bird said the Sierra Club’s saying is “explore, enjoy and protect.” Part of the mission of West Virginia’s club is to have outings, like rock climbing and spending time outdoors. The Sierra Club also takes interest in wetlands. The national Sierra Club is focused on polar bears and wolves. Bird said Sierra Club aims to protect the ecosystems from oil drilling.
“It’s time to protect the Earth from the powers that be,” he said.

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