Wednesday, April 22, 2009

obligatory earth day blog post


If you are a happy idealist, please don't read this.

So, its Earth Day and everyone is wearing green. Businesses are telling us how to buy their products through greenwashing hoping that we will give them the green they actually care about. Networks are touting green initiatives they ignore every other day of the year. Products using too much packaging are telling us how environmental they are and everyone is using this as an excuse to show off their green cred, earth piety or once a year conviction.

It is kinda like Easter and Christmas for nominal Christians, a time to think about something we will forget about until the next time it is all over the media. While I should appreciate Earth Day and the sudden emphasis, it is hard to get myself excited. It is the same reason I don't get excited about Black History Month and MLK Day, relegating something so important to a day, week or month, so we can appease our guilty conscience for the rest of their year. Yes, it is a start. Yes, it is better than nothing. Yes, we have come a long way. But, I am more concerned with what people do and talk about on the Monday after Earth Day than I am on Earth Day.

I am cynical because I think you either care about your impact upon the earth and take it into consideration when making decisions or you do not. You either think about how your decisions and lifestyle effect other people, animals and the environment or you do not. No Earth Day emphasis is going to change the minds of those that do not care. It will only guilt them into silence for a day.. or they will act like it matters to them because they want others to think they are with it (see most corporations and many churches).

I am also a bit cynical because I attended my first Earth Day Celebration 20 years ago, convinced it would change things. I took the whole thing seriously and put my money where my mouth was. I was considered a freak by most of my fraternity brothers and my Christian friends. Luckily, we have come a long way, not because of earth day celebrations, but because of people like Al Gore making movies and churches finally getting on board.

However, what was an emphasis a couple of years ago, probably due to gas prices and scare tactics has become familiar and even uninteresting to many in light of recession, good gas prices and someone that may actually kinda like the earth in the White House.

So, do something for your planet today (of course, if we did what our planet really wanted, we would cease to exist). Or don't. Just don't act like you care unless you really do.


3 comments:

Jason said...

"of course, if we did what our planet really wanted, we would cease to exist"

That line is the only line in your blog I must disagree with. Otherwise, nice rant. 99.9% agreement.

God's command to man was to "care for and rule over" the other creatures on the earth. While it might seem like the earth would want to revolt against the beings that were put in charge (after all, look what we've done to the place). However, the earth needs us to fulfill our God given responsibility. Many species will not survive without mankind's care and inteligent leadership. That is hard to swallow, but the earth does need us as much as we need the earth.

Anonymous said...

Can't see Gore as a good example of progress given his personal energy consumption and conflict of interest (GIM) in the questionable cap-and-trade system. I will admit, he runs an effective marketing campaign.

John V

Rick said...

Jason,

Thanks for stopping by. I was being a bit sarcastic and over the top on that statement, imagining the earth, saying "you know what would really help? Leaving me alone and going away." I don't really think that is an option and know that God does not want that, but I can see the earth wanting to be left a lone for a few hundred years. Luckily for us, the earth is not kicking us off.

Thanks again for commenting.

John- My comment about Gore was not meant as an endorsement of his policies or lifestyle. It was merely meant to say that his film seemed to kick things up a notch in the conversation around the nation and even the church. So, Gore as "preacher"= effective, Gore as disciple= not as effective.