Saturday, April 22, 2006
It's Earth Day. Let's Celebrate!
Who says you have to be a shallow, wacko-left, faith-not-facts type to celebrate Earth Day? Here are my suggestions for commemorating the day.
I propose that we celebrate Earth Day in the following ways today, none of which we're likely to have in common with Albert Gore, Jr.:
First, read this Wall Street Journal editorial about environmental progress in the last 26 years. It mentions Al Gore a couple of times, but only in passing. It reports too many facts for Gore also to be very relevant at the same time. If you discover that you prefer frenzy to facts, go watch trailers of the new Al Gore movie and don't trouble yourself with the rest of this post. I'm not providing a link to the movie, because I prefer not to encourage the perverted three-way marriage of bad science, bad politics, and destructive economics. But if you find instead that you have a taste for facts and information and, you know, actual knowledge . . .
Drop a line to your local public library, suggesting that they purchase Steven F. Hayward's book, Index of Leading Environmental Indicators 2006. (It's an annual report, so it's something you can do every Earth Day.) Better yet, buy one and donate it. Feel free to walk or bike to the library, if it's within range.
Then download an electronic copy of the report (from a link on the same page) and read it yourself, free of charge. If you're looking for quick, light reading, this report isn't your best choice overall, but you might like the "Miscellany" on page 28. The "Climate Research Highlights" beginning on page 38 are pretty interesting short reading, too. And the whole report, which considers science, economics, politics, and other topics, as they relate to the environment, is a refreshing variation on the quasi-religious, hand-wringing, switch-off-your-brain devotional material spouted by some politicians and the Big Media Acronyms.
Once you've reached environmental overload . . .
Pause for one more moment to thank -- earnestly -- whatever higher power you acknowledge that our leaders in their finite wisdom did not chain us to the Kyoto economic suicide pact.
Then change the subject. Go for a hike or a drive. Stop by the airport to watch airplanes. Grill a couple of good steaks. Browse at Borders. I'm going to the theater. Or if all these are too much action for you, you might try reading this funny, PG-rated Robert Kirby article about the birds and the bees in our quirky Utah culture. Read it aloud to someone you married. (Note: If I recommended the Web site Kirby identifies, I'd include a link. I don't; frankly, it sounds embarrassing, maybe even tasteless. It's Kirby's writing I enjoyed, including his identification of yet another pricy fad which is catching fire in our narcissistic little Zion. His article is as far as I'm suggesting you go.)
Copyright 2006 by David Rodeback.