You heard me. I’m glad Earth Week is over.
Now I can get back to my regular routine of destroying the Earth with only the normal heaping of guilt on my head.
Here’s the thing. I care about the Earth. I care about being a good steward, and all that jazz. I recycle, and I dump only minimal amounts of toxic waste into my local lake. I care about justice and trying to be less of a lazy, stupid American. But if there was one movement that could stand toe to toe with the fervent zeal of the most evangelical churches today, it’s environmentalism.
And every year, Earth Week is environmentalism’s high holy week. For a few days, people pretend that the environment is super-important to them, so we make a few little sacrifices to make ourselves feel like we’re making a difference, and then we forget about it by May. Sounds a lot like Lent and Easter, come to think of it.
And while all this grand celebration is taking place, and Mother Earth is being worshipped and the offerings are being laid at the altar, and everyone’s working themselves into a frenzy about the need to save the earth, I can’t help feel a little left out…
…because I’m a doubter.
And if doubt is somewhat unacceptable in church, it’s blasphemy in the church of environmentalism.
But I’ve got to get this off my chest. I’m a global warming doubter. And if there’s one cause that’s risen above the rest in environmentalism, it’s global warming.
I’ll give you that the climate may be changing. In fact it’s probably changing, because it sort of has a history of doing it all the time. But I doubt the part about humans being the primary cause of it, or the idea that humans can make much of a difference to fight it if it’s natural. I won’t get into why I doubt. I suppose it’s for the same reason some people doubt the church’s message. But like some atheists, I feel I can be good to the earth without believing that the Earth is going to hell.
If you believe in global warming, fine. I’m not going to try to convince you otherwise. I admire your zeal.
But after a week of Earth worship, I can think of a few things worse than global warming.
Three Things Worse Than Global Warming
The phrase, “People have been noticing the climate changing…”
With all due respect, no they haven’t. Humanity is in a constant state of severe attention-deficit-disorder, and people have very short memories. American sitcoms last barely 22 minutes. The climate takes a long time to change. There’s no way people have paid attention long enough to notice anything. They’ve just convinced themselves they’re seeing the climate change.
I can name for you one time people did notice the climate change, and it actually was (partly) the humans’ fault: the dust bowl. The dust bowl was real environmental change. If I were a grandma today, I’d just be laughing my wrinkly old butt off at all those dang hippies who think they’ve wrecked the Earth. Then I’d shake my cane at them and say, “Back in my day, young people knew how to cause a dat-gum decent environmental disaster! Now take off that stocking cap and get a job!”
This last winter was pretty bad. It snowed a lot. And everywhere I went, I heard people comment on how much snow was falling. To which I had one thing to say:
“Dear God, it’s snowing? In the middle of winter? May God have mercy on us all.”
All week I watched as my students at school were pumped full of stories about their parents noticing the climate changing. There was actually a nationwide podcast of a live-action Magic School Bus with a very poor excuse for a Ms. Frizzle saying those words verbatim. I have always wanted to punch Ms. Frizzle in the face, but never this much.
This reminds me of the second thing that’s worse than global warming.
Hummers are huge wasteful vehicles. There is technically no reason any citizen would ever need to purchase a modified military vehicle for the purposes of filling with groceries. Whenever I see a Hummer on the road, while I’m driving in my tiny Ford Escort, I always picture the driver as a soccer mom on her way home from a pet store with a big box of kittens…Kittens which she will load into the catapault she has in her front yard in order to hurl the kittens at oncoming traffic. She does this because she hates nature, and that’s why she drives a Hummer in the first place. If you drive a Hummer, please prove me wrong.
While I think Hummers are ridiculous, I support your right to waste your money on Hummers, cheap beer and NASCAR tickets. I waste my money on all sorts of things you would probably call ridiculous.
But you know what’s way more wasteful than Hummers? Volcanoes. Seriously, where is Greenpeace on this? Volcanoes are huge environmental disasters. Last time that volcano in Iceland erupted, it polluted the air for a year. Are we just going to sit back and let it do that again? Get Tommy Lee Jones to stop it, or sacrifice a virgin, or get someone over there to plug that thing up. Maybe dump all the Hummers in it or something…or all the DVD copies of Volcano. Man, what a terrible movie.
Volcanoes to me are like God looking at every Hummer owner and saying, “You call that wrecking the climate? Watch this.”
Oh yeah, speaking of Volcano…
Environmentally Themed Movies
Okay, we get it. Save the earth. Don’t drink out of plastic bottles, stop using toilet paper, whatever. Most environmentally themed movies are pretty dumb anyway. But once in a while, a movie seems decent. Then they sneak it in there. Matt, YOU are killing the Earth! Then you’re going to get told that you need to take action, or at least blame someone else for not taking action.
Case in point: Avatar. Totally over the top in it’s anti-American environmental message, and it’s prominent featuring of Sigourney Weaver as a blue cat woman. Heck, they even released the DVD on Earth Day. You know, James Cameron, DVDs aren’t biodegradable. Nice job, Captain Planet.
If movie makers aren’t careful, their environmentally themed movies may become almost as ham-fisted as Christian movies.
Okay, I’ve said it all. I don’t hate the Earth. I’m just the guy who doesn’t want a religious tract on environmentalism. Can I go back to just trying to be a good steward now?
What about you? Are you a tree hugger? A global warming preacher or doubter? Do you drive a Hummer, or are you trying to do something good for the planet without being caught up in the hype?