Earth Week Leftovers

Earth Day came and went without much real fanfare earlier this week (my environmental policy students mostly yawned when I brought it up), so it’s almost hard to recall that for a while back in the late 1990s the Green Weenies tried for a time to make Earth Day into Earth Week: Earthpalooza!  Erathonaroo!  Or something.

There are a few loose ends of this this week’s scant observances worthy of note.  Starting with Wes Stephenson in The Nation arguing “Let This Earth Day Be The Last” (language warning):

Fuck Earth Day.

No, really. Fuck Earth Day. Not the first one, forty-four years ago, the one of sepia-hued nostalgia, but everything the day has since come to be: the darkest, cruelest, most brutally self-satirizing spectacle of the year.

Fuck it. Let it end here.

End the dishonesty, the deception. Stop lying to yourselves, and to your children. Stop pretending that the crisis can be “solved,” that the planet can be “saved,” that business more-or-less as usual—what progressives and environmentalists have been doing for forty-odd years and more—is morally or intellectually tenable. Let go of the pretense that “environmentalism” as we know it—virtuous green consumerism, affluent low-carbon localism, head-in-the-sand conservationism, feel-good greenwashed capitalism—comes anywhere near the radical response our situation requires.

So, yeah, I’ve had it with Earth Day—and the culture of progressive green denial it represents.

My my, such standards they keep at The Nation these days.  From here Stephenson devolved further into a primal scream complete with all the usual clichés about the lateness of the hour . . . scientists are warning us . . . mendacious fossil fuel companies, etc.  But the screed still seems incomplete somehow.   Hmmm.  What’s missing?  Wait—where are the Koch brothers?  Stephenson must have forgotten to consult The Nation’s style sheet.

Meanwhile, over on, Brad Plumer passes along this completely unrevealing news about what the Climatistas really want to do in their heart of hearts:

In December, the Tyndall Centre hosted a conference on “radical emissions reductions” that offered some eye-popping suggestions: Perhaps every adult in wealthy countries could get a personal “carbon budget” tracked through an electronic credit card. Once they hit their limit, no more vacations or road trips. Other attendees suggested shaming campaigns against celebrities with outsized homes and yachts.

Gee–I wonder how people get the impression that environmentalists want to take our freedom away and control our lives?  Though I do rather like the last part of that about shaming celebrities, except how do you shame people who are shameless?  Just how many houses and private planes does Hollywood megadirector James Cameron have anyway—the same James Cameron behind the current Showtime documentary on the peril of global warming?


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