The big contrast between 1990 Earth Day and today is that on the one hand we saw then more of a true political demonstration and movement than we will probably see this year. I don’t want to understate what will happen [today]. The issue was fresh in 1990, a reawakening after 20 years, there was a freshness and innocence around it; big energy around climate change — we called it global warming then — rainforest, etc.

What’s different today is that we’ve now finally gotten the issue established, not only in the political space, but in the business space more importantly. We’ve got CEOs who think strategically about the environment and how they can use their [companies’ leverage] to achieve environmental benefits that are also business benefits. The frustrating piece of it is that we’ve taken 20 years — if not 50 — to get there, but we seem to be ready as a society to confront these problems.

Glenn Prickett, Chief External Affairs Officer, The Nature Conservancy