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Earth Day 2021 goes virtual with a multi-day line up of speakers and videos

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The birthplace of Earth Day, Santa Barbara, is again not going to let the coronavirus stop its annual Earth Day event.

It was the first big festival called off in a live form in 2020 and this year, even with some of the rules easing back, it will be virtual again, as it was last year.

The Community Environmental Council (CEC) has put together several components to move the environmental message of Earth Day forward.

According to the CEC organizers on their website, Earth Day begins Thursday. It will be "Three days dedicated to getting inspired, building community, and leaning into climate action at this urgent moment."

The event will have many honored speakers and researchers, local musicians, examples of green energy and the latest clean air vehicles.

The CEC says, "The climate crisis is daunting. But together, we can solve it. Join our community of monthly givers to rapidly build equitable solutions to the climate crisis."

Earth Day began in 1970 in Santa Barbara, one year after the devastating Platform A oil blowout off the coast that was an environmental catastrophe shown in pictures worldwide.

 Director of Outreach and Education at CEC Kathi King said, "we went all out because Earth Day itself is on a Thursday. We start the programming then. We have three days of programming,  Thursday, Friday and Saturday."

With changes in the White House, the CEC says leadership on climate issues will be in the forefront.

King said, "most of the policies are implemented locally but you need the policies on the federal level . Now we have federal leadership that is focused on climate change more than any other time in history.  "

These days,  the ever-changing environmental agenda has no shortage of work to do. The Earth Day event will highlight the projects ahead, but also note accomplishments. "In general you know, the subject isn't all so happy because we are in trouble but this is about celebrating what we do get right and also we can fix what's wrong."

 Electric vehicles, normally showcased in a special area, will be virtual as well. "This year we have put that into a film  that is actually really great with   several different owners  talking about their vehicles. We provide a lot of assistance to help people get into an electric vehicle."

For more information go to: Community Environmental Council

Watch tonight on NewsChannel 3-12, KKFX 11.

(More details, information and photos will be added here later today.)

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John Palminteri

John Palminteri is senior reporter for KEYT NewsChannel 3. To learn more about John, click here.

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