Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Hippies, Earth Day, PETA... This Isn't Good!

So, today is Earth Day. Yeah, can’t say that the day is really one to take notice of. While I do enjoy nature and I appreciate many of the beautiful things that it has to offer, I have other priorities in my life at the moment that take precedence over the natural world. While some people will certainly be appalled by that statement, the truth of the matter is that Earth Day is a celebration for those that have the time, money, or skewed priorities. Some even embody the whole trifecta.

When you go on the Earth Day website you can see that this day was created to take advantage of the people already protesting and the work of a bestselling author. By combining the two and telling those people what to think, what they consider ‘what is really going on’, you have a brand new day and the rapid growth of a movement that now judges the world and condemns people and companies if they offer the slightest doubt as to their conclusions.

Each year, Earth Day -- April 22 -- marks the anniversary of what many consider the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970.

The height of hippie and flower-child culture in the United States, 1970 brought the death of Jimi Hendrix, the last Beatles album, and Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water”. Protest was the order of the day, but saving the planet was not the cause. War raged in Vietnam, and students nationwide increasingly opposed it.

At the time, Americans were slurping leaded gas through massive V8 sedans. Industry belched out smoke and sludge with little fear of legal consequences or bad press. Air pollution was commonly accepted as the smell of prosperity. “Environment” was a word that appeared more often in spelling bees than on the evening news.  Although mainstream America remained oblivious to environmental concerns, the stage had been set for change by the publication of Rachel Carson's New York Times bestseller Silent Spring in 1962.  The book represented a watershed moment for the modern environmental movement, selling more than 500,000 copies in 24 countries and, up until that moment, more than any other person, Ms. Carson raised public awareness and concern for living organisms, the environment and public health.

Earth Day 1970 capitalized on the emerging consciousness, channeling the energy of the anti-war protest movement and putting environmental concerns front and center. 

While the people who originally started this whole movement may have fully embraced the utopian ideals and honestly encouraged those to be conscious of their actions and the repercussions on the environment, that sense of purpose is all but lost. Environmentalism is now nothing more than a business venture with dictatorship ideals. And now, if you don’t fully subscribe to the theory of climate change and support all of the policies, regulations, and legislation that furthers the cause of environmentalism that translates to the simple fact that you are a racist. That is the extreme that now exists and is largely thriving.

While I believe that there is much that we don’t know when it comes to the environment and the exact impact that we are having on the planet, I firmly believe that we should be cognizant of our actions and use that mythical thing called common sense. We cannot completely reverse our way of producing and living in this world overnight but we can make incremental progress. However, overregulation and EPA power grabs are stunting the progress that could be made by forcing people and companies into rushed compliance which not only has the long term negative environmental impact but also the immediate economic impact of overleveraged entities and reductions in the labor force. Additionally, prices for things like gas, electric, and basic industrial commodities spike and cheaper alternatives are shipped in from overseas where production isn’t as highly regulated.

But, I guess these environmental evangelicals could be worse… they could work/volunteer for PETA. Then again, environmentalists probably support PETA because, if anything, they prove that the Dodo isn’t extinct after all. Okay, rant over, time to go hug a tree.