Tuesday, April 22, 2008
I both love and hate Earth Day. I am happy there is at least one day out of the year which attempts to remind all of us dumb, gluttonous, narcissistic Westerners that we really ought to pull our heads out of our asses and wake up to what is going on in the world around us. But at the same time, amid the raising of consciousness and awareness, I sense a smarmy helping of self-congratulatory glad-handing. I mean, how many people really are buying that the President is "green"? I believe it was Ronald Reagan (a stellar specimen embodying the greedy, thoughtless American stereotype) who had the solar panels installed by Jimmy Carter removed. Dubya has as much as said he thinks global warming is a fantasy.
And do we really believe all these goofy-ass green marketing ploys? I am sorry but I do not for a minute think that new cleaner from Clorox is devoid of harmful chemicals. It bugs the crap out of me that the company once known as ChemLawn is now known as TruGreen. Painting your factory a charming shade of avocado or olive does not mean you suddenly stopped making asbestos-flavored widgets and suddenly started making organic hemp-fiber thingamajigs. Although it'd be nice if that were true.
I sometimes get cynical about the idea that one person can make a difference. Those of us who reduce, reuse, recycle, try to reduce our carbon footprint, all that happy horseshit, we see how this whole global warming thing is going and we feel despair that no amount of composting, bottle returning, xeriscaping, thrift-shopping or other -ing meant to help Mother Earth is really going to make a damned bit of difference once Long Island, Los Angeles and Miami start sinking into the ocean. The polar bears have spoken. The bees are departing Dodge, and are no longer interested in pollinating plants to feed our fat, wasteful, sloppy, stupid asses any more. Las Vegas is running out of water, and there are still too many damn SUVs on the road. Trash lines the sidewalks and streets and mars the beauty of my walks in parks and woodlands. I want to strangle people but I usually just shrug, or cry (sometimes both).
But then I see a gorgeous spring day like today, full of promise and colorful blooms and sun-dappled shade, and, well, the cynicism melts away a tiny bit. And I have to believe there is a future, and I am willing to work for it. I am willing to admit I am one of many, many humans who fucked up along the way. And I am willing to be part of the solution.
Every Day is Earth Day, people. I think I wrote that a few years ago, in an article somewhere...ah, yes, here it is. Read it and weep. I did. For we are no closer today than we were then to solving the problem of how to protect the planet (and by extension ourselves) and undo the damage we have done. I honestly believe this is not about cycles and patterns of human evolution over the millennia. It is about too much, too many people, too fast. Speeding up our karma with alarming velocity. If anyone has any bright ideas, I am all ears.