Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Thoughts on Earth Day

In National Review Online's The Corner, Max Schulz of the Manhattan Institute writes:

Wow, it’s Earth Day again already? Didn't we just, er, celebrate it? Of course, it feels that way partly because of a political and media elite that wants us to think of every day as Earth Day.

Those last five words takes me back nearly twenty years.

Of course, Earth Day was established in 1970. But it wasn't until 1990 when it really started to take off in earnest. I say that because it was the first time Earth Day events were organized in Thunder Bay, Ontario.

There was an event at Hillcrest Park which was situated just above my parents' house. My father was initially going to accompany me but when he saw people holding hands in a circle he balked.

But I, as a young, idealistic 17-year-old with a bleeding socialist heart, would not be so easily deterred. So I walked out of the house and climbed the long stairway that led to Hillcrest Park.

The ceremony wasn't very long as I remember. Everyone who was in the circle got a chance to say something.

Well, I figured I should say something that would attract attention. It came to me. When it was my turn I let out the following:


It illicited mostly laughter.

But here we are nearly two decades later and it has come to pass and not necessarily for the better.

We cannot decry our dependence on foreign oil if we are unwilling to extract and develop it ourselves.

Other forms of energy are worth exploring but it remains to be seen if they are cost effective and can meet our demands.

I agree that human beings are the stewards of planet Earth and we have an obligation to take care of it for ourselves, our children and succeeding generations. Of course, how we go about it is the question.

One slogan I do like, "Think Globally, Act Locally" applies here.

What might work wonders in Boston might be impractical in Berlin. What would be disastrous for America could be heaven sent in Australia.

The best thing I think we can do for the environment is to conserve the areas in which we live and work.

We do tend to decry liberal celebrity activism with some justification. However, one celebrity who I think is doing good works is Bette Midler. In 1995, she founded the New York Restoration Project. Her organization brings together individuals, community organizations, the private sector and government to revitalize neglected city parks and open spaces. In observation of Earth Day in 2009 the NYRP in partnership with City Year New York and Bank of America are today planting hundreds of trees in East Harlem.

If these environmental activities are the sorts of projects contribute to the long term betterment of local communities then I'm all for Earth Day.

1 comment:

Vincetastic said...

Great post. Earth Day should be everyday, it is good that there is at least one day to spread awareness. Here are some suggestions on what you can do to help the Earth:, you can add your own suggestions.