Conflict of Interest Fuck Earth Day
posted by April 20 at 10:16 AMon
This Sunday should be “the last Earth Day,” says Alex Steffen* of WorldChanging, the ordinarily sunny-side-up sustainability web site. His argument: Earth Day accomplishes virtually nothing, and lulls us into a sense of complacency about the very large, very real changes we need to be making in our everyday lives:
The biggest problem with Earth Day is that it has become a ritual of sympathy for the idea of environmental sanity. Small steps, we’re told, ignoring the fact that most of the steps most frequently promoted (returning your bottles, bringing your own bag, turning off the water while you brush your teeth) are of such minor impact (compared to our ecological footprints) that they are essentially meaningless without larger, systemic action as well. The strategy of recycling as a gateway drug — get them hooked on it and we can move them on to harder stuff — has failed miserably. We can do better.
[…] What may be worse is the recent plethora of “green issues,” “green guides” and special Earth Day sections that have blanketed our media. A decade ago, we would have been excited to see green ideas (even lame ones) given such prominent play, but these days, such editorial eco-ghettos strike us more as an admission of skewed priorities, with ecological sanity presented as a product feature, like a well-designed cupholder, rather than as a fundamental strategy for avoiding widespread collapse.
Much more, including ideas for what you can do to make more than a symbolic difference, here.
*AKA my significant other, hence the conflict-of-interest tag.