American River College hosted an all-day Earth Day celebration in the area adjacent to the library Wednesday, featuring displays and educational booths about environmentally friendly energy programs and conservation efforts.
The event featured a keynote address from Robert Christopherson, a former ARC professor and author of leading physical geography textbooks in the U.S. and Canada.
Christopherson spoke about what each person can do individually to help the environment, and about anthropogenics, the theory that humans are most responsible for global warming.
“(I want people) to feel empowered (by getting information about the dangers of global warming), not depressed. The climate science is real. We know what’s happening. We know what to do about it. The risk is severe,” said Christopherson.
Many different environmental conservation groups took part in the event, including grassroots organization The Climate Flag, which focuses on fracking, the practice of fracturing rock through drilling and injecting pressurized water in order to obtain natural gas beneath the rock’s surface, and the transportation of oil by train, considered to be a dangerous practice by environmental groups like 350.org and the Sierra Club.
Other conservation groups present at the event included the American River Conservancy, a nonprofit environmental conservation group that has conserved 13,000 acres of land near the American River and in El Dorado County, and DGR (Deep Green Resistance), an organization dedicated to political organization to reverse climate change.
The event also featured an electronic-waste event where anyone could drop off any item deemed “environmentally unfriendly” to be disposed of properly.
“(This event is all about raising) awareness of Earth’s sustainability. Look around you. It gives you an idea of what our landfills look like, so this is all about awareness,” said Frankie Johnson, a student personnel assistant at ARC, pointing to a string of plastic bags decorating the area.
Although Earth Day was actually the day before, Johnson insisted that the message was really the focus.
“Earth Day is just a day on the calendar. Everyday is Earth Day, so we picked a day good for us. It gives people an idea of how to be part of this,” Johnson said.
The event was popular around campus as well, attracting many interested students with attractions such as live music, an area where art students could sketch a live model and a solar powered barbeque serving chicken or vegetable kabobs, quinoa or salad, pita bread with dip, baklava, salads and cookies. Fresh produce was also available from the ARC Farmer’s Market Club.
“It’s good. I love Earth day. I’m an environmentalist,” said Katie Roseblade, a student at ARC.
ARC student Jon Hammari felt the event provided both entertainment and educational value.
“I’m loving (the celebration). I didn’t expect it. I’ve learned a lot,” Hammari said.