Earth Day should be every day. That’s the opinion of some in corporate America. Auto supplier Delphi informed me this morning that its “real-world technologies make every day Earth Day.” Or maybe it should be cover for anti-green activity—another piece of email was Save Our Sound’s latest diatribe against the Cape Wind Project. And maybe Earth Day shouldn’t happen at all—maybe, in 2009, it “sucks.”
There are different schools of thought. Grist’s Earth Day coverage included a tongue-in cheek “Screw Earth Day” video about “MILFs” (“Happy F***ing Earth Day!”) that takes a really long time to get to its simple point, and also a thoughtful series on whether Earth Day still matters.Here's the video:
Personally, I’m of the opinion that Earth Day has been greenwashed to death, and it’s a shame that Monsanto and ExxonMobil will probably spend more on Earth Day advertising than all the hard-working green groups put together. But every little town that holds an Earth Day event does something valuable. The event should become decentralized at this point—do your own thing with it. This is a particularly acute time to be celebrating the Earth--we're poised to take a giant leap forward with initiatives that will really make a difference (including legislation that encourages my own subject, electric and plug-in hybrid cars).
I’m hosting an Earth Day panel for my town’s celebration, which isn’t until next month. And this Saturday I’ll travel to a local health food store for a cool regional event that, this year, also includes river walks and open space tours. The vendors are mostly local organic farmers and nonprofits. What’s wrong with that?
Brita Belli, my successor as editor of E/The Environmental Magazine, is riled by the “screw Earth Day” approach. "Seems to me that Earth Day is decidedly a ‘doing’ holiday,” she says. “So whether I’m giving an interview, or practicing it personally, I try to make that the focus. I’m helping out with a local community garden for kids, personally. The whole snarky/irreverent stuff gets tiresome pretty quickly.”
I do like using humor to get across green points, but sometimes the joke’s on us if people don’t get it. And speaking of Earth Day events, I’m going to be on Fox Business News tonight (6:15 p.m. EST) talking about global warming. Wish me luck.