Environmental Action on Earth Day

An update from John Rumpler, board president of Environmental Action

APRIL 22, 2022

This Earth Day, The Public Interest Network is celebrating 10 years since we welcomed Environmental Action, an original Earth Day organization, into our family.

Environmental Action's story starts in 1970, back when our rivers were so polluted they caught fire, our beaches were tarnished by oil spills, and our air was so polluted that people in cities such as Los Angeles and Denver couldn’t see nearby mountains for days on end.

In response, people came together and organized the first Earth Day. Some of them formed Environmental Action. And they made it Environmental Action's mission to unite every American ready to hear, speak and act upon the truth about the state of our environment.

In short order, Environmental Action exposed the “dirty dozen” politicians who most often sided with polluters over the planet and helped win passage of the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act.

We’ve made progress since then. But it’s not enough. The wonder and diversity of life that nature makes possible still hang in the balance, and in fact are even more threatened today by climate change. This planetary crisis requires no less of us than the Environmental Action approach: putting care for wildlife, ecosystems, and our planet at the center of our lives.

That’s why, in 2012, The Public Interest Network revived Environmental Action after several years of dormancy. Today, Environmental Action is once again a community for people who carry with them all year long the purpose of Earth Day: to recommit ourselves to restoring the only planet we’ve got.

The Environmental Action community puts its values into practice whenever threats to our natural world arise. They do it by the thousands, online and offline, at the personal and political levels and everywhere in between. They’re weighing in with state and federal leaders to stop wolf hunts and restore protections for gray wolves. They’re bringing letters to local businesses asking them to stop using single-use foam products that, once discarded, harm birds and sea animals all too often. They’re saving monarch butterflies and other pollinators by using Environmental Action’s toolkit to plant native milkweed around their homes.

And they’re doing it because wolves, birds, butterflies and more are worth saving — because our environment, for its own sake, is worth saving. For this growing community, Environmental Action helps define the policies and the practices that protect and sustain life on this planet, just as this storied organization always has. Here’s to the next 50 years.

On behalf of the Environmental Action team, including John Rumpler (board president), Rich Hannigan (board vice president), Pat Kelly-Fischer (board secretary), Julia DeVito, Kate O'Donnell (digital) and Kirk Weinert (senior writer)

Photo credits: (Clockwise) CC0, U.S. Forest Service via Flickr CC0, Traunfoto via Shutterstock, Chase Dekker via Shutterstock