Sunday is Earth Day. Since its start in 1970, Earth Day's environmental issues have become political and economic. However, if we annihilate life on the planet, our arguments, excuses, and selfish interests will go down like the Titanic.
We just mourned that famous steamship's 100-years-ago demise on April 15, 1912, dead on its maiden voyage, billed by the press as "practically unsinkable," perhaps inspiring the braggadocio remark, "God Himself could not sink this ship."
Curtailing self-destructiveness is now called "greening." We speak of green jobs, schools, investments, activism, etc. Almost 167 years ago, Henry David Thoreau lived alone for over two years beside Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts. Besides self-reliance and simplification, he understood "green." He wrote that "not yellow but green is the color of its [the sun's] flame" drawing forth "the grass blade like a long green ribbon." If it dies to its root, like human life, it "still puts forth its green blade to eternity."
Kermit the frog prophetically sings, "It's Not Easy Being Green." And, let us add, it's not easy staying green. Unfortunately, the only green some see are dollar marks.
Donald Trump illustrates. He was best buddies with Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond the last four years as Salmond supported Trump's $1.2 billion Aberdeen golf development plan. Locals and environmentalists protested destruction of rare sand dunes, birds, and wildlife. Trump played deaf, emphasizing tourism and jobs created.
Now, Salmond backs the creation of an 11-turbine wind farm near Trump's golf resort, and we're seeing "the Donald" engaging in his well-known fits of anger. He feigns concern that the wind machines will visually damage Scotland's landscape. He is again deaf: to the need to generate electricity free from climate change emissions; to his own previous arguments of creating jobs.
Trump's motives are clear, as are those of others denying basic physics of manmade global warming: (1) Carbon dioxide traps heat; (2) There is a buildup of carbon dioxide due to man's environmental irresponsibility; (3) We are trapping ourselves under a "heat dome"; and, (4) According to Eli Jacks, National Weather Service meteorologist, "Heat is the No. 1 killer out of all weather hazards."
Also undeniable: carbon emissions increasing; unprecedented tornadoes, floods, droughts, and other extreme weather; pollution and noise deteriorating ocean health; icebergs melting, seas rising, islands and coastlines at risk; rain forests and species disappearing. We ended 2011 with these headlines: "Billion-Dollar Weather Disasters Smash Record." The Associated Press called it "an almost biblical onslaught."
Studies indicate 95 percent of climate scientists are convinced of global warming but only 13 percent of the public know that. We deny facts and turn this human issue into Republican vs. Democrat, capitalism vs. socialism, religion vs. science. If we continue, we'll never know the joy of the original Earth Day: "And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day" (Genesis 3:8).