All across the nation this Friday, teachers and yuppie parents will take children out to plant a tree, or spend 45 minutes cleaning a beach, or bring a sack of cans to their local recycling center for Earth Day. Then, the next day, they’ll wake up and resume their role as an ignorant yet active participant in a global socio-economic system that damns their children and their children’s children to a world of hunger, instability and want. It is so emblematic of our era that we push the most important issue facing our species to one day, then systematically commodify, commercialize, and kiddie-fie it until we no longer see its importance.
What’s worse is that we live in a city that identifies as green. What a joke. Being ecologically just is not a marketing tool, it’s an essential step towards avoiding a process that would adversely affect the most disadvantaged first, then sow the seeds of political upheavals and societal collapse in the developing, polluting nations. But of course, firms and politicians take advantage of our misguided aspirations. Take the 2015 lackluster Paris Climate Talks—an event that was sponsored by Nissan, EDF, and other greenwashers—which calls for the weaning off of fossil fuels by the end of the century among other too-little-too-late measures. These are initiatives that should have been taken decades ago; at this point, any action is simply minimizing fallout. I won’t even mention the conservative opinion in this nation, but the liberal side does the minimum to satisfy constituents. This issue calls for radical change to face an exponential process, not moderate incremental policy and political gridlock.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t celebrate Earth Day, you should, but you should do so in a way that recognizes the immediate threat that climate change poses to our world. Maybe instead of planting that tree or posting that status you’ll get involved; email a representative, educate yourself, or research local organizations to truly help our bleeding earth.
—Jason Bono, News & Managing Editor