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Celebrate our Earth
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Earth Day was first celebrated worldwide 45 years ago today. Now millions of people celebrate Earth Day around the world.

Last weekend, thousands convened In Washington D.C., and today hundreds will be on hand for the celebration in Atlanta.

Warnings about our changing climate began decades ago. We also know that the earth's population continues to grow-it will be 9 billion by 2050. Because of these two things, we must conserve our natural resources and that is what Earth Day is about.

Greenhouse gas emissions cause polluted air, which in turn increases illness from asthma and other lung diseases.

These gases are also causing our planet to warm. Ninety seven percent of all scientists say that the carbon pollution created from burning fossil fuels is the main cause of the planet warming.

Scientists warn us that climate change could accelerate beyond our control, threatening our survival and everything we love.

It is up to us to keep global temperature rise under the dangerous level of 2 degrees Celsius by phasing out carbon pollution to zero.

To do this we must forge realistic global, national and local agreements to make the shift to clean energy by 2050.

Many people, both private organizations and governments, are working around the world to do this. And we are slowly seeing a difference.

Solar and wind power are taking hold and people are beginning to see that we can transition to renewable energy and still keep our economies strong and growing.

Nearly half of all greenhouse gas emissions in the United States are generated from the energy we use to power our homes and cars.

So, in Georgia this year, we took a step forward to decrease those emissions.

Our general assembly passed a law allowing individuals to lease solar panels and install them at their homes.

Previously this was too expensive for individuals to do, although many businesses had done so. So now you can afford to put solar panels on your home.

Check into that and other ways to conserve at www.EarthDay.org.

Bette Holland

Dawson County

 

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