Earth Day Organizers to Honor Greenpeace USA’s Annie Leonard as 2021 Environmental Hero

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Earth Day Organizers to Honor Greenpeace USA’s Annie Leonard as 2021 Environmental Hero
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Source: CEC

The Community Environmental Council (CEC) proudly announces Annie Leonard, Executive Director of Greenpeace USA, as the recipient of its 2021 Environmental Hero Award, presented as part of CEC’s Virtual Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival being held Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, April 22-24. The free festival is available to view at

Annie Leonard will join the festival on Saturday, April 24 to share insights into her vital work and accept the award in an interview with Community Environmental Council CEO Sigrid Wright and UC Santa Barbara Dehlsen Chair of Environmental Studies and Director of the Global Environmental Justice Project Dr. David N. Pellow. Check for the confirmed time closer to the event.

Annie Leonard is the Executive Director of Greenpeace USA, an independent environmental organization that uses research, creative communication, non violent direct action and people-power to advance environmental solutions. She is the founder of The Story of Stuff and previously spent two decades working on international sustainability as well as environmental and health issues.

"It's a huge honor to receive CEC's Environmental Hero award,” stated Leonard. “CEC played a crucial role in the early days of the US environmental movement, raising the alarm and recruiting people to join – and it continues to do so today, working for solutions to climate and pollution that align with the demands of both science and justice.” She went on to say that California is the “pace car” in the climate race – meaning both the state and regional organizations like CEC have a huge responsibility in moving the rest of the world forward.

This year’s festival theme is #CelebrateClimateLeadership, and the free three-day virtual event will focus on key areas where youth, business, and community climate leaders are stepping up to do the critical work needed to combat the climate crisis. CEC will also use the event to dive deeper into the organization’s ambitious plan for how our community can meet the urgency of the climate crisis and go all in together on halting the impacts of climate change – rapidly and equitably – to reverse, repair, and protect against climate threats.

“President Biden’s ambitious climate agenda puts a strong wind at our backs, but at least 50% of implementing climate policy will take unrelenting and courageous action at the regional level,” said Wright. “Annie Leonard’s work exemplifies what it means to build the broad, boots-on-the-ground base of activism that we need to go all in together on the climate crisis."

Annie Leonard joins an esteemed list of previous Environmental Heroes, including: “Drawdown” author and activist Paul Hawken; U.S. Congressmembers Lois Capps and Salud Carbajal; "The OMD Plan: Swap One Meal a Day to Save your Health and Save the Planet" author Suzy Amis Cameron and director James Cameron; Marcus Eriksen of 5 Gyres; founder Bill McKibben; science educator Bill Nye; activist/actress Daryl Hannah; and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk.

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Sun Mar 28, 2021 11:25 AM
Earth Day Organizers to Honor Greenpeace USA’s Annie Leonard as 2021 Environmental Hero

Cities worldwide dim lights to mark Earth Hour

After Europe, Earth Hour moves west to the Americas with the Empire State Building in New York, the Obelisk of Buenos Aires and the Rio's Museum of Tomorrow among venues dimming the lights.

For this year organizers said they want to highlight the link between the destruction of the natural world and the increasing incidence of diseases—such as Covid-19—making the leap from animals to humans.

Experts believe human activity such as widespread deforestation, destruction of animals' habitats and climate change are spurring this increase, and warn more pandemics could occur if nothing is done.

"Whether it is a decline in pollinators, fewer fish in the ocean and rivers, disappearing forests or the wider loss of biodiversity, the evidence is mounting that nature is in free fall," said Marco Lambertini, director general of the WWF, which organises Earth Hour.

Sun Mar 28, 2021 11:50 AM
Earth Day Organizers to Honor Greenpeace USA’s Annie Leonard as 2021 Environmental Hero

Direct observations confirm that humans are throwing Earth's energy budget off balance
by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

Climate modeling predicts that human activities are causing the release of greenhouse gases and aerosols that are affecting Earth's energy budget. Now, a NASA study has confirmed these predictions with direct observations for the first time: radiative forcings are increasing due to human actions, affecting the planet's energy balance and ultimately causing climate change. The paper was published online March 25, 2021, in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

The team found that human activities have caused the radiative forcing on Earth to increase by about 0.5 Watts per square meter from 2003 to 2018. The increase is mostly from greenhouse gases emissions from things like power generation, transport and industrial manufacturing. Reduced reflective aerosols are also contributing to the imbalance.

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