Thursday, April 22, 2010

Uncharacteristically Somber Earth Day Post!

Every year around this time, the programming in America goes green for a bit and everyone remembers they're supposed to care. I'd watch the specials all year round if they were on, but it's likely good for my mental health that they're not.

I watched a "history of Earth Day" special Monday night, a NOVA on California's energy policy Tuesday, and last night (finally) saw Food, Inc. Things that I might have watched over weeks or even months at other times of the year come lined up back-to-back when Earth Day rolls around...

So how do you do everything you're supposed to be doing? How do you make good choices when the whole world seems to be working against you? I've made a conscious effort over the past year to eat better, and what I've found is that the more I educate myself, the harder it's been to find good food. And it's like that with everything from energy consumption to recycling. The more you learn, the more there is to learn. How do you keep up with it all?

For those of us who are paying attention, the information inflow in mid- to late-April can be overwhelming. I'm finding it's actually the rest of the year when real progress is made. The rest of the year, the information trickles in at a manageable rate, and you integrate it, and you make the best decisions you can with the knowledge you have, and you work all the time to educate yourself further.

And sometimes the things you learn just might surprise you. Take the guest on The Daily Show last night. Fred Pearce has written a book called The Coming Population Crash and Our Planet's Surprising Future. He thinks this overpopulation thing might just work itself out. We might level off somewhere in the 8 billion range. We might dip below our carrying capacity gracefully, and not as a result of widespread disaster.

Is he right? I don't know. But it's nice to hear an optimistic view of the future for once.

So anyway, Happy 40th Earth Day! I'm going to...I don't know...go change out some light bulbs or something...

Comments on "Uncharacteristically Somber Earth Day Post!"


Blogger Malin said ... (5:36 AM, February 14, 2011) : 

You're so right! The more you try to learn, the harder it gets to make good decisions - there are just so many factors to consider regarding everything.

That doesn't mean we shouldn't try, of course. After all, the is only the one earth and as far as we know, we're pretty much stuck on it so why not help it survive - and ourselves...?


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