April 22, 2013



Happy Earth Day to all our readers (and writers)!

Seymour Simon spoke on the National Mall in Washington, DC on the 40th anniversary of Earth Day (2010). The speech is a classic statement of his beliefs about teaching, and our roles, both collectively and individually, as shipmates on planet Earth. We traditionally reprint this speech on Earth Day. If it moves you, please share it with your friends.



There is a Native American proverb that powers and informs the reasons and ideals of our approach to the problems of climate change and global warming. The proverb is one you may have seen before:


Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents;

it was loaned to you by your children.

We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors;

we borrow it from our Children.


I was a teacher in the New York City School System for nearly 25 years. I’ve written over 250 books for children about animals and the wonders of Earth and Space. Each year, I speak to thousands and thousands of children in schools in all parts of the country, in the South to the North, from East to West. I tell them about butterflies and polar bears, I talk to them about lightning and tornadoes; I take them on a journey from Earth to the ends of the universe using the words and images in my books. I’ve written books about nearly every science and nature subject you can imagine.

The Earth is so big and the subject is so vast, that you might think that kids get overwhelmed. "What does all this mean to me?" you might think that they respond. Well, you might be surprised at what they really do say. Here’s what many of them ask me: "Where do I fit in? What’s my place in the universe? What is it all about? And what about me?"

That’s what inspired me to write my book GLOBAL WARMING. This is a book for kids and their families. It tells what’s happening in the world of climate change and it tells how those changes affect all of us. Then the book tells what kids and their families might do to make changes in their own and their family’s lives that affect everybody on Earth.

Knowledge empowers people with our most powerful tool: The ability to think and decide. There is no power for change greater than a child discovering what he or she cares about.

Seymour Simon

April 22, 2010 / Washington, DC 

What are you doing to celebrate Earth Day? Click on the yellow "Comments" link at the bottom of this story, and tell us about your promise to protect our planet. Who knows? You may inspire other readers to do the same!


Posted by: Liz Nealon

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