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Every individual in the world counts when it comes to creating a brighter, greener future for the Earth.

The idealism of youth from that very first Earth Day on April 22, 1970 sparked interest for a life-long commitment to cherishing the Earth and keeping it vibrant.

It has become a day to celebrate Mother Earth's web of life and seek unity in protecting it. A growing number of people are recognizing how serious the threats are.

Scientists have sounded the alarm on global warming and named human behavior as the cause. The solutions to the problem are not only in the hands of scientists and politicians but in the hands of each individual.

Earth Day reminds us that we are all members of a community - not just our local community but a greater community that embraces the whole world and everything in it.

No country can escape the impacts that global change will exert on the Earth. As a result, we need worldwide unity to address the challenge.

We have caused the problem, and we have it within ourselves to create solutions. The way to a brighter future lies in sharing our knowledge and our dreams. When people lead, their government and industry will follow.

With each decision we make, we consciously contribute to the creation of our individual and collective futures. We need to be mindful of the important things in life and help change our world for the better.

Earth Day is the time to understand the environment and the intricacies of its ecosystems, to conserve our natural resources, and advocate protecting the environment.

We have a long journey ahead to embrace a lifestyle that makes our homes, places of work and communities more in harmony with the environment. The first move can be as simple as looking at our own consumer behavior.

It is time to make a commitment to tread more lightly on the earth. Actions are needed so that Earth Day will not become another annual day full of false promises and empty pledges.

Start today to help build a better future for the world through individual and community action on a year-round basis.

(China Daily April 23, 2007)

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