April is many things. April is fun (National Humor Month), filling (National Soft Pretzel Month, National Soy Food Month), socially responsible (National Autism Awareness Month, National Child Abuse Awareness Month), cultural (National Jazz Appreciation Month, National Poetry Month), and many more things. Choosing which to mark in this space was difficult, but the decision was aided by one event in particular marking a significant anniversary this year - Earth Day.
April 22, 2020, marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Linking pollution and environmental degradation with catastrophic public health consequences, biologist and environmental activist Barry Commoner called the world to attention with the observation "we are in a crisis of survival." His work, along with that of many environmental activists, led to the creation of Earth Week 50 years ago and the modern environmental movement.
The selection of films below explore our current relationship with our natural and built environments, celebrate the large advances we have made to protect our environment and our communities, and also also clearly demonstrate that the crisis is not yet over.
You can hear portions of Dr. Commoner's speech in CBS News with Walter Cronkite coverage of the first ever Earth Week.