New York Times article on Earth Day


Happy Earth Day

Today is the 40th anniversary of Earth Day.  But some may argue that this day has become almost an irony, a tragic shell of its original intentions.  What Fortune 500 company doesn’t publish a sustainability report?  What large government agency doesn’t employ an environmental department?

But are we really better off?  Do we really as a whole society give a shit about the earth?  I’d say yes and no.  Business understands the marketability of being green, not to mention the possible cost savings of energy efficiency, recycling, material reduction, etc.  The internet grants near-unlimited access to knowledge, thereby empowering the concerned consumer to see beyond clever advertising to the real facts.  And climate change is being discussed on a global level, with an increasing sense of urgency.

But the downside is that so much environmentalism is being shoved at us, some people are stuffed and can’t take anymore.  This is evident in the rejection of the climate change theories, the resilience to accepting renewable energies, and the fear that business will probably suffer from increased environmental regulations. 

In the end, the earth doesn’t need saving really.  It can survive ice ages, tropical periods…it’s what the earth does.  It shifts and evolves, dynamically, slowly, sometimes violently, but it is always changing.  The battle cry to save the earth should be the battle cry to save humans.  The earth will live, with or without us.  It’s humankind that needs saving.