We won’t change the way we are, the things we do, until we fundamentally change the way we think about ourselves, about other living beings, about our relationships with them and the planet that hosts us. To the extent that Earth Day helps us do that, it’s a good thing.
But at the pace we’re going, Earth Day 2051 may see the survivors on their hands and knees begging forgiveness like the ancient ancestors we love to deride.
All across Canada, including in Halifax, folks say they really care about the environment. In National Geographic’s annual “Greendex” survey, Canadians are among the only people in the world who identify the environment as a higher priority than the economy, unprompted. In multiple other public opinion polls we rate it as one of our most important public policy goals.
Yet Canada ranks second-to-last among the Greendex nations in the environmental impact of our housing, transportation, food consumption and general purchasing behaviour. We like our stuff big, fast, imported, convenient, meaty and abundant.
And so, Earth Day has become like the Christian Lent, an unofficial repentance of sorts, when we appease an angry Mother Earth by combing a few plastic bags from out between her trees. Overworked, under-funded and under-publicized environmental groups pour what little resources they have into a desperate frenzy of event organization, coordinating hundreds of corporate volunteers who find themselves forced outside for a chilly April afternoon to plant trees and smile for the cameras, logo prominently displayed.
All in the hopes that our multiple environmental crises will gain 15 seconds of fame on the nightly news. “The emphasis on Earth Day has typically been on action,” says veteran environmental activist Satya Ramen. “Get out there and do something to save the planet, resulting in countless tree planting and garbage clean-up events instead of meaningful action---voting for politicians that make the environment a priority.”
posted by JACOB BOON, Dec 11/14
The Energy East pipeline is causing turmoil. comments 7
posted by ARIANE HANLON, Sep 11/14
Despite decades of use, the all-natural insect repellant isn’t safe enough for Health Canada. comments 2
posted by EVEY HORNBECK, Aug 21/14
Come on in, the water’s fine. comments 1
posted by JACOB BOON, Aug 14/14
David Wheeler has learned bunches about fracking. comments 1
posted by GEOFF DAVIES, Aug 7/14
Before surveying the land and finding the gas, before boring the wells and breaking the shale, questions must be answered. comments 4
posted by JACOB BOON, Jul 10/14
Chemical treatment proposed for Dartmouth lakes clogged by weeds is more expensive, more dangerous than sustainable eco-friendly solutions comments 3
No graduation now or ever. Let this serve as a very important message!
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