In a just a few weeks, environmentalists will be marking Earth Day. But even an eco-saint can’t do enough to save the planet from running out of resources according to EarthDay.org’s carbon footprint quiz.
Earth Day is April 22, the same date as Vladimir Lenin’s birthday. The Earth Day 2013 official website includes an interactive “Ecological Footprint Calculator,” where users can input how much they drive, what they eat, and how much power they use to determine how big their ecological footprint is.
Even a person with the least ecological footprint humanly possible is still destroying the planet, according to the calculator. Taking the test as a vegan who didn’t have electricity in his home, rarely ever bought appliances, spent $5 a month each on gas and electric bills, only consumed electricity that came from green sources, bought only locally grown produce, never rode a car, flew in a plane, or took public transportation, and lived with 7 other people in a specially made green home, would still use up the earth nearly three times over. The calculator said that if everyone lived that very enviro-conscious avatar, “we’d need 2.7 Earths to provide enough resources.”
Very few people live like that (possibly no one does). And common sense tells us that once the ecological footprint meter passes a single earth, the calculator is telling us the planet is doomed. So the ironic message of this year’s Earth Day website is that the Earth’s resources will be depleted no matter what we do about it. Of course, environmentalists have been scaremongering about the end of resources for years and turned out to be wildly wrong.
The other interactive portion of the site is dubbed The Faces of Climate Change. This is an admittedly impressive looking collage of pictures, many of which feature predictable climate change photographs of smog, rain forests and flooding. While many of these pictures are only very loosely tied to climate change, such as pictures of random people and animals with notations explaining that everyone would be affected by global calamity, there are also a few without any explanation whatsoever.
Some seem completely random, like “Happy dog in the desert view,” or the one of a cat watching a baby elephant on a computer screen, and a few uncaptioned “selfies.” And what Earth Day photo collage would be complete without a woman advocating for bra recycling? Most of the pictures that are labeled seem to have the ambiguous captions like “The Face of Climate Change is civic engagement,” which could work for just about anything.
According to the official website, “[m]ore than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world.”
first Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 1970, amidst hysteria about
the dangers of a new ice age. The media had been spreading warnings of a cooling period since the 1950s, but those alarms grew louder in the 1970s.
Three months before the first Earth Day, on Jan. 11, 1970, The Washington Post told readers to “get a good grip on your long johns, cold weather haters – the worst may be yet to come,” in an article titled “Colder Winters Held Dawn of New Ice Age.” The article quoted climatologist Reid Bryson, who said “there’s no relief in sight” about the cooling trend.
Journalists took the threat of another ice age seriously. Fortune magazine actually won a “Science Writing Award” from the American Institute of Physics for its own analysis of the danger. “As for the present cooling trend a number of leading climatologists have concluded that it is very bad news indeed,” Fortune announced in February 1974.
“It is the root cause of a lot of that unpleasant weather around the world and they warn that it carries the potential for human disasters of unprecedented magnitude,” the article continued.
Media hysteria about climate change has been going on for over a hundred years, with the media vacillating between alarmism over cooling and warming.