April 22, 1970 was an exceptional day. Twenty million Americans took to the streets for nationwide rallies to demand a healthy planet. The country achieved rare political alignment, drawing support from Republicans and Democrats alike.
The first Earth Day triggered the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts by the end of that year.
Those coast-to-coast rallies laid the foundation for decades of influential efforts to address climate change, most recently with the passage of the Clean Power Plan and commitment to the Paris Agreement on climate change. But fast forward to present day and we’re seeing these instrumental laws and institutions put in jeopardy.
As Gina McCarthyGina McCarthyBusiness leaders must stand up and 'March for Science' on Saturday Trump isn't saving the coal industry. He's letting it compete. EPA chief: ‘Help is on the way’ for farmers MORE, a former EPA administrator said, “This is not just dangerous; it’s embarrassing to us and our businesses on a global scale to be dismissing opportunities for new technologies, economic growth and U.S. leadership.”
The business community needs to stand strongly and firmly on the right side of history — the side of science. Many of us — if not all of us — are listening to scientists, as business models rely deeply on realistic planning for the future. The future that business owners foresee includes a transition to renewable energy, energy efficiency and adapting to the realities of a climate-changed world.
Already, many utilities companies are transitioning from coal and investing in renewable energy sources. They know that the coal industry is in freefall and renewable energy is the future. Likewise, large companies like Microsoft are putting a price on carbon pollution for their internal operations to prepare for the inevitable move away from fossil fuels.
Of course, the renewable energy industry is taking the lead in the clean energy revolution, with sustainability jobs reaching between 4 and 4.5 million U.S. jobs. According to a recent study published by the Environmental Defense Fund's (EDF) Climate Corps program, the wind and solar industries are booming, each creating jobs 12 times faster than the rest of the U.S. economy.
The rejection of climate change by policymakers and direct efforts to obstruct facts is a crucial and urgent matter. It is time for businesses and individuals who support scientific research to stand up and demand evidence-based policies.
This year, April 22 will be another exceptional day of environmental action with Earth Day Network and the March for Science partnering to rally in Washington, D.C in support of science education across disciples.
The Climate Action Business Association will be there marching alongside our scientific partners in the fight for freedom of information. As business leaders, we rely on global research and technological advances to develop accurate business models in a competitive market.
As a nation, we need non-bias scientific information to create our own opinions in this time of federal failure. By denying us the right to open information, the Trump administration is limiting our ability to protect our earth. It is time to fight for science and to fight against climate change.
Michael Green is the executive director of the Climate Action Business Association, a Boston-based organization addressing the climate crisis by organizing local small business leaders to be effective advocates on climate change.
The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the views of The Hill.