Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day

Okay kids, it's Earth Day. Whoo freaking hoo. Every year a bunch of tree huggers barge into our St. Peaches Day celebration with their green and blue and their save the environment and their hybrid cars and VW busses. But really, it's cool. The only problem that I have with Earth Day is that it has sort of become the cause celebre of 2009, and so it has become extremely annoying.
First of all, we can't even decide on which day is actually Earth Day. Most of the world celebrates it today, April 22, every year. But the United Nations, which maybe should come down from its building in New York and look around once in a while, chooses to celebrate it on the vernal equinox. And why not? I mean, we wouldn't want the world's governing body to go ahead and recognize what billions of its constituents are doing, now would we? No. It's frustrating. The UN is to Earth Day what the US is to measuring things (Get it, because everyone else uses the metric system? Well I thought it was a good one, anyway.) and no one seems to care. Way to put a disastrous pinprick in the balloon of Earth Day, United Nations.
Luckily, like with most other things, not many people listen to the United Nations when it comes to Earth Day and most of us celebrate it today. The problem is that Earth Day has sort of become hollow. It served a great purpose for a great cause when Gaylord Nelson sort of inaugurated it in 1969, but now the activities that it was started to promote have mostly become commonplace. Think about it. It's pretty much second nature for you to recycle, right? Most of us aren't dumping used motor oil down storm drains anymore, right? There are windmills being erected on ridge tops all over the place, right? Even our landfills are being turned around and are used to create methane gas, which is used to power factories and sewage treatment plants, which is the most ironic of all its uses I think. So we have done pretty good.
Of course, there is still a lot of work left to do, especially when it comes to things like our cars, which SHOULD be getting 50 mpg but are still getting 28 like mine. So maybe Earth Day just needs to shift its focus. Maybe it needs to pull a March of Dimes-like presto change-o. When they were able to basically eradicate polio they changed themselves to start fighting premature birth, which is something that will never go away no matter how hard we try. So maybe that's the best direction for Earth Day. Let it focus on renewable energy and that sort of thing so that it can live on forever.
So yeah, go Earth Day. Just please remember that it isn't enough to be conscious of your environment only on April 22, okay? The idea here is to take the idea and principles set forth on Earth Day and adhere to them all throughout your life. Now, I am not saying that you have to go out and buy totally organic biodegradable hemp clothing made by a commune of midgets in the California foothills of the Sierra Nevada. I mean, it's fine if you want to but all I am asking for is that you just maybe don't throw your McDonalds cup out the car window, or just turn off the lights when you leave the room; little things like that which make a big difference once they start adding up. Flying the Earth Day flag (shown above) and plastering your Jetta with stickers of the surprisingly disturbing Earth Day symbol (also shown above) is all fine and good but it means nothing whatsoever if you are filling wetlands for fun, okay? It is as simple as turning your computer off at night, people. So if you are going to talk the talk then be prepared to walk the walk in your life. It's only fair. And it's the only way that you will ever be able to make a difference. And that's just how it is. Happy Earth Day everyone.

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