Earth Day 50 Rant

It’s the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day and, as much as I’d prefer to celebrate all the progress we’d like to think we’ve made, there is overwhelming evidence that many of the “Green Solutions” we’ve been sold are also devastating our natural world.

Biomass, solar & wind energy, in particular, are extremely problematic due to the rare earth minerals and other toxic materials required to manufacture the components, the inevitable obsolescence of the technology within a short time-frame, the massive destruction of forests to fuel incinerators, and the terrible pollution created throughout the process.

Recycling is a sham promoted by chemical companies who have gotten rich on both the creation of plastics and the export/commodification of the waste products. As a result, the chemicals from the burning, discarding, and degradation of plastics are ubiquitous in our soil, our oceans, our air, and our bodies.

We have been overshooting the planet’s carrying capacity for decades and seem hell bent on continuing destructive patterns of consumption, even while under quarantine. While there are signs that the planet can heal quickly when we actually stop doing some of our daily activities like driving, the pollution production machine is still chugging along outside of our view, driven by the “developed” world’s never-ending need for MORE.

We still use language that frames any culture or society that operates with reverence for the natural world and concern for the well-being of future generations as “primitive” or “backwards.” I suggest that our society has become so focused on power and possessions that we are literally decimating the entire biosphere for short-term pleasures. I believe that virtually all people are well-intentioned (at least in their own minds) but I ask, in all earnestness, what kind of culture elevates excessive consumption at the expense of all life on Earth?

Perhaps we are the ones who have it backwards? I suggest we have much to learn from people, indigenous folks, especially, who have clung to ways of living that promote real sustainability, spiritual connection to ourselves and each other, and true justice for all living things.

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