Thursday, April 23, 2015
The Earth Day Feely-Goody Follies
Yes, today is Earth Day, and no, I'm not attending any Earth Day rallies, festivals, or other gatherings -- and haven't in years. I gave up on them in disgust, years ago, when I saw that they were nothing but feely-goody festivals of self-righteousness where people who pride themselves on virtuous ecological consciousness get together to swap ain't-it-awful stories, swap ineffective tips on how to live more Green, make cheerfully loud demands about what other people should do, and go home feeling wonderfully pleased with themselves. *Sigh*
You can find new ideas and techniques springing up all over the Internet, all the time, about how to do things like conserve water, clean out waterways, improve the lives of wildlife, make clean energy, make energy-efficient buildings, farm and ranch and fish more efficiently and soundly, and so on -- and you can apply these in your own life as much as you like, or can afford. By now everybody connected to my Facebook page knows about my efforts to plant an orchard of rare and endangered fruit-plants. I'm hoping we can save enough by the end of the year to put a solar electric generator on our roof. Those are small things, but real. There are plenty of small-but-real improvements that anybody can do to improve the biosphere, and as I said, you can easily find them on the Internet -- even in an hour's search on the public-access computers in your local public library. This is a lot more effective than a day's worth of rallies and speeches and making yourself feel good for attending.
Likewise, when it comes to dealing with the ecological Bad Guys, the Internet is more effective than self-celebratory speeches. The numerous sins of Monsanto, despite its multi-million-dollar TV ad campaigns and lobbyists' bribings, have been exposed repeatedly on the Internet and shoved under politicians' noses by way of electronically circulated petitions until nobody can ignore them any more. More than that, the Internet makes it possible to start and spread rival industries -- such as home solar or wind generators, cellulosic ethanol production kits, 3D fabricators, and even Thorium nuclear reactors -- that have the potential to break the power of the cartels that are the major polluters. The phenomenon of Internet crowd-funding has even started chewing into the financial industry, providing start-up money for new businesses while bypassing the banks entirely. This is a quiet but growing revolution that will democratize the economy like nothing since the land-rushes of the 19th century, and it's in the hands of an informed and intelligent population with a serious preference for the ecologically sound.
This is an ongoing change, not fanned and satisfied with once-a-year feel-good festivals. This is the revolution I'm trying to be part of. This is why I spent Earth Day watering my seedlings and comparing local solar-power companies, and ignoring Earth Day entirely.