By the President of the United States
Since the beginning of this decade, we have begun to recognize that our planer's capacity for satisfying the needs of mankind has limits. We have begun to see that we are its stewards, not its masters. Human activities, even well-intentioned ones, can inflict deep and lasting damage to the earth, the air, and the living plants and animals on which we depend. Protection of the environment is a debt we owe to ourselves and to those who will follow us.
During this same decade we have seen the effects of our activities grow increasingly severe. In the poorer nations, population growth on limited land has placed pressure on the environment. In the industrialized world, patterns of production and consumption have increased pollution, begun to deplete resources, and generated hazardous substances which the earth does not naturally assimilate.
Some have questioned whether we can afford to pay the costs of reducing pollution, protecting our health, and preserving our national heritage. The truth is that environmental controls are consistent with a sound economy, and if we ignore the care of our environment our economy will eventually suffer.
It is appropriate, as spring brings warmth and the flowering of life, that we celebrate Earth Week. The concerns which it symbolizes must become a part of our private and public philosophies.
Now, THEREFORE, I, JIMMY CARTER, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate and proclaim the week beginning April 17, as Earth Week, 1977. I call upon officials and employees of all levels of government, business leaders, the communications media, and all Americans to join me in making environmental protection a fundamental concern that underscores all our actions.
In particular, I ask all educators to consider introducing an ecological perspective into every scholastic or academic discipline to encourage future application by graduates to protect the health of our planet.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twelfth day of April, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred seventy-seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and first.
[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 11:51 a.m., April 12, 1977]