Happy Earth Day 2009 everyone! I don't get too worked up today though. It's not that I don't believe in Earth Day. I do. It is just that I have always had a problem with this holiday. Not with its intent-I'm all for it! It's how it's practiced- often the way many Christians go to church once or twice a year-at Christmas and Easter- celebrate Jesus and His teachings-and then go back to living a life disregarding The Way the other 363 days of the year. I see many Earth Day Revelers the same. They plant a tree-ride their bike-then go back to over consuming and not addressing the real issue at stake when it comes to protecting the planet-Population Sustainability!
Earth Day Founder, Democratic Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin viewed the stabilization of the United State's population as one of the most (if not the most) important factor to preserving and protecting the planet. Among his most resonating quotes back in 1970 was this
"It's phony to say 'I'm for the environment but not for limiting immigration.'"
You can not have a sustainable planet (or country) when your population is growing unfettered. Adding one million plus people to the US's already burgeoning 300 million plus people will not yield earth Friendly results. So instead of planting a tree in your lawn this Earth Day, how about working toward a sustainable immigration and population policy. I haven't heard anyone in Congress, the President, or the mainstream Environmental community talk about this. Accomplishing a sane and sustainable immigration and population policy along with a reigned in attitude toward materialistic consumption would be an Earth Day achievement that I would gladly celebrate-and every day-and I'd even plant a tree in commemoration. So, Happy Earth Day everyone- now get to work making the planet and the United States truly earth-friendly by addressing immigration and population reduction. There's a lot at stake and it'll be much more difficult than recycling your Evian water bottles.
Oh yeah-and for Right Wing extremists who mock the whole concept of Earth Day by consuming more-you're far worst (and despicable I may add than the folks who want to do the correct thing but are misguided or afraid to tackle the real issues of population and immigration. Richard Nixon was president when our first Earth Day was celebrated and he proudly signed into law shortly afterwards the Clean Air and Clean water Acts. Many in the Republican party today need to remember how some of our greatest environmental achievements in this country came under Republican administrations.
Earth Day Bonus- Click here to read my 1996 UW Daily Earth Day editorial-classic Romano with the same message more or less.