Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Screw Earth Day?

Tomorrow, in case you forgot, is Earth Day. The one day during the year that all the politicians and the press get together to talk about our planet, plant a tree and screw in an eco-friendly light bulb. Teachers probably have a lesson plan ready for their pupils too. It is all well and good, but the people at Grist wonder if only focusing on the Earth one day a year is actually a detriment when you look at what we do to the planet on the other 364 days.

From Grist:

Why does Grist hate Earth Day, you may be wondering? Are you guys jealous or something?

No ... yes ... not really ... then again, sorta. You see, every year as the calendar approaches April 22, the Grist staff gets cranky.

“Here it comes,” we say to ourselves, “the day we’re supposed to do something GREEN and appreciate all the attention that this made-up holiday brings to Grist and every other environmental organization and cause under the sun.”

And then there’s all those people who get to take credit for being green for one day and we’re all supposed to be happy about it. Hypocrites!

Earth Day, then, is sort of like Christmas, Hannukah and Kwanzaa all in one: We Gristers love to talk about hating it, we say we’re only doing it for the kids, but in the end we grudgingly have to admit that we had fun, at least until crazy Uncle Ray started talking about the ozone layer being a myth…

Screw Earth Day was born from mixed emotions about a day that we purists think doesn’t do enough to get the message across about what individuals can and should be doing to protect the environment. While even the most jaded Grist staffer gets a little excited on Earth Day, as lots and lots of people gather together in communities around the world to do something good for our dearly loved Mother Nature, in the back of our heads we’re thinking, “It’s not about a single day, dude, it’s about living green every day.”

So screw Earth Day, everyday is one on the Earth and we've gotta wake up and realize that. This isn't like Yom Kippur where Jews atone for their sins annually. Cutting our waste by 1/365th isn't going to cut it when dealing with man-made climate change and our rapidly warming planet. Comprehensively attacking this problem on a daily basis, both on the individual and governmental level is the only we'll be to make a difference for the Earth.