I remember the first Earth Day. A good alternative name would've been Optimism Day. There was a general feeling that humans had, over the centuries, impacted the Earth and we all need to figure out how to minimize that impact going into the future. This was about 1970. It wasn't catastrophe. It wasn't political. It wasn't hyper-partisan. It was just humans trying to understand and see if there were things that we could do to be better stewards of our planet. At that time science had not become political. Scientific findings were generally accepted.
But as these things go, the day has been appropriated. It is now partisan, political, and the urgency to do something has been elevated to stratospheric proportions. It seems like everything else in our culture...do it now, life as we know it is in jeopardy, conservatives are troglodytes and to blame, liberals are the only responsible ones left on the planet. Or something like that. It's really sad. I mean, I majored in a life science (Forestry) in college. I've been environmentally aware and responsible for a long, long time. I do what I can. Which in the end is all any of us can do. But as I've said before in this space, there are many, many con men trying to appropriate this issue to their advantage. All I'll say is what I've said...follow the money.
Which brings me to this year's Earth Day and the idiotic, partisan, political nature of the marches. It's really just gotten so far away from the purpose that it is sad. John Stossel, a guy I sometimes agree with pretty strongly, has a great article over at Reason.com. You can read it here. The title is "Earth Day Dopes". Pretty much says it all.