Today is Earth Day 2012, a day filled with celebrations of the environment and all the things being done to try and improve it and make it more sustainable . You can go to events where you recycle your old paper tax records, your motor oil, your cellphone, computers and other electronics.
You can go to festivals and visit the booths of green nonprofits and solar energy companies, take part in composting workshops, learn about wildlife protectors and electric car companies. You might even get the chance to hug a person wearing a polar bear costume.
You can participate in beach cleanups, ride your bicycle with large groups in parades or march in protests against coal-fired power plants, polluters and planet-pummeling profiteers. You can even watch NBC-Universal TV and see how they turned their logo green and laugh at their funny PSAs about cutting your energy use or carbon footprint.
But what you cannot do at any Earth Day event – or any other day’s events – is change the sense of urgency of the U.S. government or the majority of our population about taking the immediate and dramatic steps necessary to avoid runaway climate change or the hell and high water that’s coming with it.
The latest news on global warming could not be worse. Climate scientists now agree that we won’t be able to restrict warming to just 2 degrees – which would have been bad enough. Those in the know, including NOAA say there is no doubt that the world’s extreme weather is being caused by climate change. And last week’s The Planet Under Pressure conference, made up of planet’s top scientific experts on the climate issued an urgent plea for action as we reach the tipping points for runaway global warming from which there will be no reversal or respite.
“Civilization is at risk,” they warned.
But no one is listening. You don’t read these stories in your newspaper or on mainstream news sites or see them on your TV news. The fossil fuel industry floods the airwaves and Internet with lethal lies and propaganda in a nonstop assault on reason and intelligence. News of the Mega Millons lottery jackpot and the gunning down of individuals in American cities trumps the most important story of the last 100 years. Distracted by the bread and circuses of our time and doomed by our own lizard brains half of the United States population believes that global warming is a hoax designed to make scientists wealthy. Every Republican running for President of this country agrees with that ruse and vows to eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency. Nothing I do can change any of that.
Faced with this bizzaro world reality I have opted out of futile protests and demonstrations and chosen to do the only thing I can do – increase the amount of renewable energy, energy efficiency, tree plantings and sustainability practices in the most effective way I can. Which is why I now work for EcoMedia, who is responsible for doing all of those things, and more.