Today is Earth Day. When it comes to Earth Day, I am a Scrooge.
The logic of this observation simply escapes me. See, it occurs to me that, in actuality, Mother Earth is actually rather ambivalent as to whether or not humans crawl around on her. Her systems will be go in some form or another whether or not we manage to destroy her precious atmosphere and die en masse with all of our hairs on fire. The cockroaches and Dick Cheney will still inhabit her new hellish terrain. The real concern as I see it is not the “Earth” of Earth Day. It is whether or not or how long our lease of this real estate will last.
Even if you are inclined to plant a tree or dance around a maypole or to do whatever the hell you do on Earth Day, you’ve got to know that even the Earth has a life expectancy. In about five billion years, give or take, the sun will die. First, it’s likely to blow up, and being as we’re the third stone from it, this place here is likely to get stuck in its fiery demise. Things change and die. As a devout Frisbeetarian*, I accept that this is the way it is. So is the way of the world.
I mean, look. You can drive a hybrid car, you can change your light blubs out, you can unplug everything in your house every night, but the fact is that there are a few core things you can do that will achieve an 80/20 ratio of environmental goodness, things that most people do not do. Eat lower on the food chain. Don’t reproduce. And, of course, stop mowing those god-damned medians. (PB would have had my hide if I didn’t mention the median thing.)
This is where I get a little weird and conspiratorial about the whole thing. Because the fact is that world population has increased exponentially and continues to do so, and I think that, truly, no other factor has had a more pronounced effect on the environment. And more and more of them are developing a taste for cattle meat. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But meat-eating and prolific breeding have more of an impact on this environment thing than your cute little light bulbs that are supposed to last forever but usually don’t.
And, as science stands on the precipice of making it possible for humans to live to be 200 years old, which is what I am convinced will be the next big development in human evolution, and I am also convinced this is why you’re seeing the wealthy elites working so hard to hoard as many resources as they can, especially in regards to health care, because they know that the unwashed masses will be clamoring at the gates for their share of the new fountain of youth—sorry, did I leave the path a bit? I do believe, though, that one day there will be a class of humans with superhuman life spans, causing an even more pronounced effect on the heightened world population, causing an even greater draw on the world’s resources and leading us to have to find new places to put more of our poop.
I know this sounds bleak. But Scrooge was a pretty bleak guy for most of the story.
*Frisbeetarians believe that when you die, your soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck.