Thursday, April 20, 2006

Let's just drop Earth Day

That's the point made by the Alan Bisbort in his article, "RIP Earth Day". Here's what he says:

This Saturday is Earth Day, the one day of the year adults set aside to fool their children that they're serious about leaving them a livable planet. What dupes these children be!

Global warming spirals beyond even the most cautious scientific projections, and what do we do about it? Nothing. Less than nothing. We buy gas-guzzling, ozone-depleting vehicles, throw chemicals on the lawn, deplete and despoil the oceans, cover the countryside with asphalt. We are simply not serious about leaving the earth in better shape than we ourselves inherited it. And yet we pretend, with Earth Day, that we are.

Let's be real adults and put Earth Day to rest, along with the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, voting, the tooth fairy, Easter bunny and Santa Claus. After five years of Bush, Earth Day is not something any sentient adult can take seriously. Why lie to the kids? What good will it do them?

One glance at the table of contents of Worldwatch's latest "Vital Signs" tells us the Earth is in deep trouble: Fossil fuel use surging (even as oil prices and profits hit record highs); climate change indicators rising; weather-related disasters setting records; human population surging as other species decline; global ice melt accelerating; wetlands drying up, forests disappearing, etc. All manmade problems, all ignored by the powers that be. And yet we continue to hold Earth Day.

It would be more healthy and helpful to take our kids aside and say: the powers that be don't care about your future.

All right, so Alan Bisbort is seriously cynical. But I don't blame him. And at least his approach has the merit of honesty.

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