Political Education

Global Earth Day

Today is April 22. Other than being my friend Corine’s birthday, it is also Global Earth Day.  Anyone in the United States who grew up in the 1990s remembers Earth Day activities in their school.  We were colouring eggs and being told that this is the Earth and that when we eventually broke our egg, because we were first graders, that was us destroying the Earth with pollution.  Or was this just my elementary school?  Being a teacher in Eastern Europe, I have seen Earth Day activities here on a regular basis.  So it really is a global event.  Here is my question, is Earth Day just a show, or is it really doing something?

We have all heard the “Go Green” statement all over the radio, news, Internet, and from annoying, overly-political celebrities.  But does it help when the political climate doesn’t allow for politicians to strictly enforce environmentally-friendly policies?  When the economy doesn’t allow for businesses to afford to pay the higher cost upfront for energy-efficient things that will save them money, normally, in the long run, and when the American culture still likes bigger and larger things–how does the idea of going green help?  I am glad to see that the Hummer craze has died down, but I think the cost of gas has caused that more than a fundamental shift in the cultural paradigm.  We are told that we could do X, Y, and Z to help the environment, but the majority of people, once they become adults and have the ability to make these sorts of decision, are too lazy.  Or maybe the group of people currently in power who didn’t grow up with Earth Day and made to feel horrible in first grade when his or her egg broke jumping rope.

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