Environmentalists: Global warming must be confronted now

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Savannah's Earth Day Festival will take place Saturday at Forsyth Park. While Earth Day has been celebrated for nearly 50 years now, environmentalists say that the challenges facing the Earth are greater than ever.

"Will we talk about while we can still do something about it?  Or will we talk about it where we are just pointing fingers, blaming, and thinking that someone should have done something before," asked Steve Willis of the Center for a Sustainable Coast.

When it comes to the environment, Willis thinks much of America is in a state of denial, particularly when it comes to manmade global warming.

One of President Donald Trump's first actions in the Oval Office was to ease rules limiting carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants.

Willis would like to see those plants go away for good. He says what would make America great is to put those efforts into clean energy and that it would not have to come at the sacrifice of jobs.

"The solar industry is absolutely the cheapest that it has ever been. Wind has got the power to power the United States five or 10 times over easily. We can do this and if we did it not only would we create a livable future climate-wise, but we would make the present much better than it is because we wouldn't have the pollution and the nastiness of fossil fuels," said Willis.

But 47 years since Earth Day was first celebrated, environmentalists like Willis admit they are still facing an uphill battle and they say time is running out to get serious about it.

"If we keep down this path much longer, we won't be able to have a future that is desirable no matter what we do."

Savannah's Earth Day Festival is Saturday, April 15 from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. at Forsyth Park.  It is free to the public.

Meanwhile, Earth Day is officially celebrated nationwide on April 22.

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