Earth Day at 40: What Good Is It Now?
On its 40th anniversary, Earth Day is tamer but still a rallying point, experts say.
(Also see "Earth Day at 40: How It Began, Where It's Going.")
The first Earth Day in 1970 was a raucous, radical teach-in that helped spur clean-air, clean-water, and endangered species legislation in the United States. (Pictures: The First Earth Day—Bell-Bottoms and Gas Masks.)
Now, 40 years later, Earth Day is every day, as the saying goes. The thing is, it's also everyday—environmentalism has become a routine, if not universally embraced, part of U.S. culture, with green-ness as much a marketing tactic as a moral pursuit.
"I think the novelty [of Earth Day] has worn off," said Steve Cohen, the executive director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University.
"We're not burying cars or doing those kinds of dramatic gestures anymore,"