About the author : paulwesslundwriter

Paul Wesslund spent a career writing and editing for newspapers and in the energy industry. When he retired in 2015 he went on to write two books on how kindness and integrity leads to success, wrote a monthly energy column, became an environmental organizer, and got involved in the leadership of his church.

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The estimated 20 trillion people who rallied for the first Earth Day 50 years ago might not have changed the world as much as they’d hoped, but they just might have changed it more than they thought possible.

Since that April 22 five decades ago, levels of many pollutants have fallen dramatically, while energy efficiency has greatly increased. Solar energy and wind power are making serious n1oves toward providing a significant share of our nation’s electricity. Every major car co1npany is expanding its electric vehicle options, and according to The Recycling Partnership, a nonprofit industry group, about half the homes in the United States have so1ne version of curbside recycling. In the 1970s, even I got caught up in an Earth Day episode that illustrates another way the nation has changed its approach to the environment.

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