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Replace Earth Day with Human Achievement Day

I’m against Earth Day, because it elevates nature over humanity; I think it should be the other way around.

Some writers who are skeptical of environmentalism have suggested alternative insights into Earth Day. John Tierney in the New York Times offers seven lessons from the 40 years of experience since the first Earth Day:

  1. It’s the climate, stupid
  2. You can never not do just one thing
  3. “Let them eat organic” is not a global option
  4. Frankenfood, like Frankenstein, is fiction
  5. “Green” energy hasn’t done much for greenery – or anything else
  6. “New Nukes” is the new “No Nukes”
  7. We are as gods and have to get good at it

Writing in USA Today, Bjorn Lomborg suggests that we consider a “fundamental lesson” over the past 40 years: “You cannot expect people to care about what the environment may be like 100 years from now if they are worrying about whether their children have enough to eat.” Lomborg concludes:

Our goal should thus be twofold: first, to confront the most immediate problems facing the third world; second, to provide developing countries with the energy technologies they need to create a green, prosperous world. Surprisingly, these goals seem to turn off many in the environmental movement. But while they will use Earth Day to writhe in collective shame at the damage that greedy, gas-guzzling Western consumers are delivering to the fragile planet, the rest of us should celebrate our environmental successes and chart out a reasonable path through the challenges that remain.

But the best recommended response to Earth Day comes from Daniel Ben-Ami, on his Ferraris for All site:

Earth Day should be replaced with a Human Achievement Day which could look at human advance in many areas including art, engineering, medicine, science and economics.

2 Responses to “Replace Earth Day with Human Achievement Day” Leave a reply ›

  • I'm old and nostalgic, but also cynical so I'm for Arbor Day. Let's all plant a tree, especially in the mostly treeless, western United States, and we can water it and nurture it like it was a small child. And we can all recite Joyce Kilmer's poem about trees. Earth Day like all the hippie environmentalist movements of the late 60s and early 70s has been co-opted by the advertisers and the corporate world as a pretense of saving the planet. Witness NBC's Green peacock. Furthermore, it gives people an opportunity to worship nature as a substitute for the Real Presence, and to feel morally superior. Bah, humbug!!!

  • Earth Day should be replaced with a Human Achievement Day which could look at human advance in many areas including art, engineering, medicine, science and economics.

    This is the way I think we should go. The concept of Arbor Day is nostalgic but it is less relevant today than it was before. I am impressed by the comment above and even the average citizen is starting to think about the ramifications of Earth day.

    So plant a tree but do some other things to improve the planet.

    Shirley McDermott

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