Saturday, April 22, 2006

Happy Earth Day, Don’t Mind The Oil Prices

I had actually forgotten that today was Earth Day until I checked Google. Thanks, Google, for reminding me. That’s actually kind of scary, that I now depend on Google to remind me of those second-tier holidays and anniversaries that we all should remember, but just don’t seem to have the time for anymore.

But Google’s all-pervasiveness isn’t the most disturbing realization I’ve had in the last few minutes. No, the most disturbing was that just yesterday, oil prices broke all records, hitting over $75 a barrel, and yet we will be having Earth Day celebrations all day today.

Fundy Christians like to intimate that scientists and others time news releases to “attack” their holidays. But where are the “War on Christmas” and “War on Easter” conspiracy nuts when something really important like this little coincidence comes along? Nowhere to be seen nor heard.

Earth Day, the day set aside to remind us that we should be, at most, stewards of the planet, is overshadowed by record-breaking crude oil prices. Those prices are being driven by a plethora of factors: US demand, the growing Chinese markets, probable underproduction on the part of oil-producing countries, and growing turbulence in the Middle East. There are others that I’ve missed, I’m sure.

But today’s Earth Day. Many a park will get a spring cleaning, a few rivers will get some work done, and even a few streets will be spruced up. But I’ll bet very few records will be set today, unless they’re oil-based. Tomorrow, we’ll go back to our everyday lives and most of us won’t think a second thought about environmental issues.

Global warming has been in the news so much lately that we just tune it out, even though the newest predictions have cities underwater sooner than ever expected. No one’s even heard of the most recent water pollution problem: combinatory effects of multiple low-level contaminants. And if the press can be believed, then our wonderful chimp of a President is considering nuking Iran. I know late-generation nukes are cleaner than the old dirty bombs, but I doubt the environment will look kindly on more fallout. But hey, that’s in the desert half way around the world. We don’t have to worry about that, right?


I wish. Happy Earth Day.


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"Loyalty to petrified opinion never broke a chain or freed a human soul..." -- Mark Twain


Fire does not wait for the sun to be hot,

Nor the wind for the moon, to be cool.

-- the Zenrin Kushu