I think it’s nice we have an Earth Day, and all — don’t get me wrong. I’ve just never been a “the Earth is our mother” type of fella, and it is to that breed of well-meaning but oft-intolerable environmentalist whom Earth Day belongs. We haven’t always done a very good job of tending our planet — and in many areas, we still have a long way to go. Instead of finding ways to make clean, renewable energy sources like wind and solar economically viable, we’d still rather burn oil and coal; and there is a distressingly large number of people who are absolutely convinced that global warming is something a bunch of no-good scientists just made up a few weeks ago. And would it kill us to plant more trees?
So I can get behind efforts to fix all of that. It’s important, for us and for the generations that will have to live here after us until the Sun vaporizes the oceans and turns the Earth into Mars. But why is the Earth our mother? Because it’s the source of all life? Okay. But why stop there? Without the Sun, there would be no Earth. No one ever calls the Sun our mother. Or . . . grandmother, I guess. What about the massive cloud of stellar gas that collapsed about five billion years ago to create the Sun in the first place? Is that our great grandmother? Then there’s the star that had to die and explode to make that cloud . . . It just goes on forever.
Anyway, aside from actually going out and doing something positive for the environment (which I forgot to do), the best way I can think of to celebrate Earth Day is to debunk some of the myths propagated by assholes like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, who see the depredation of the natural world as the duty of every American.
—PolitiFact’s aggregation of public statements about the environment, and how true or false they were, is right here.
—And finally, a site I was turned onto by plwinkler, the indispensable Skeptical Science, which argues forcefully and persuasively for the reality of anthropogenic climate change, and the need to confront it.