I have struggled to answer two questions in my lifetime, one of which concerns the whereabouts of the pet hamster I lost in 1989. The other question, more appropriately, regards the famous environmental slogan “Every day is Earth Day.” Let me present this question angrily, using all capital letters.
Picture me screaming and flailing my arms in disgust as I yell: IF EVERY DAY IS EARTH DAY, WHY DO WE HAVE AN EARTH DAY?
Devoting one day to something that is supposed to be celebrated every day is absurd. It’s like inviting people to your birthday party and then telling them to come again, same time, same place, day after day, for the next billion years.
If every day is Earth Day, why don’t we just have Earth Years? Why haven’t we put asterisks on our April 22 calendar reminders that say, “Earth Day is not actually on this day; scientists decided that this day would be a good time to remind you that it is Earth Year. Oh, and next year is Earth Year, too.”? What good is Earth Day, if it can be blown off as any other old day on the calendar?
I have nothing against the positive ideals Earth Day represents. I simply dislike its stupid slogan, increased environmental awareness and aim to end pollution. Other than those things, the whole idea is just dandy. In fact, today I plan to take a long, relaxing drive in my sports utility vehicle, observing Earth as it was meant to be observed, namely, from a highway. I will also reflect on how Earth provides for me, with its endless supply of natural resources and pure, flawless air.
Earth Day is also a time to respect the miracle of nature. A good example of one of these wholesome miracles is that seven-legged deer that lives by the industrial park in my hometown. Mother Earth is one creative gal.
However, no one should be subjected to this kind of worthless reflection every day. I propose that the “Every day is Earth Day” slogan be forever abandoned. Let’s just keep the hippie celebrations to a 24-hour period, OK? Besides, if we upgrade to Earth Year or Earth Century, we won’t have any one day to really get excited about the Earth. April 22 might be the only day that we could ever, in full public view, embrace a large oak tree. I wish to keep it that way.
Today mostly represents everyone’s personal responsibility to preserve the Earth, at least long enough so our grandchildren can see how screwed up we are. So go outside, make a roaring bonfire and have a picnic. And when you’re done, please don’t litter your garbage all over the place – the least you can do is burn it all in your gigantic, smoking fire. This obligation to Earth should be echoed by everybody today. Get out there and respect nature while you still have the chance! You can start by looking for my hamster.
Mat Koehler welcomes comments at [email protected]