Students selected Knute Nadelhoffer, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and director of the University of Michigan’s Biological Station, to address attendees and explain the significance of Earth Day. He spoke from the steps of Hatcher Graduate Library to the crowd.

Nadelhoffer spoke to the intentions of Gaylord Nelson, the former Wisconsin senator who founded the day in 1970, whose wish was to raise awareness about a multitude of environmental issues, including pollution and the impact of overpopulation on the environment.

“Back then, we had no idea about fossil fuels and burning forests,” Nadelhoffer said. "The focus was on toxic pollutants.  Very few were thinking about the future impacts of increasing greenhouse gasses, such as carbon dioxide and methane, on our climate.  We are now experiencing the extreme weather and planetary heating that are the result of human-caused carbon emissions.  Our challenge is to adapt to these changes and to work to prevent more severe climate change by weaning ourselves from fossil carbon energy."

Read the full article in The Michigan Daily