Wednesday, April 22, 2009

So this is Earth Day

I had no idea it was Earth Day today....until I went outside my house.

There was a radio ad about Earth Day, Pottery Barn had Earth Day signs and sales on organic items, Caribou Coffee had Earth Day specials, Southdale Hospital cafeteria was decorated with Earth day signs and even had large plastic neon water bottles for sale to encourage drinking more water- because I guess it's natural. There were "factoids" up on the walls that somebody had made and put up like an elementary school classroom.

This holiday is almost as big as Halloween. Who knew? I think I remember Earth Day in college-we certainly never talked about it at Lakeville public schools. I wonder what public schools all over the state are doing today to commemorate this important day. Do you think Mother Earth gets sad if you forget her Earth-day? Argh, ha, ha.

6 comments:

Jim said...

We talked about all that silly stuff in school back when the fear-mongers where worried about the hole in the ozone layer. What ever happened to that? I'll admit that it's good not to stand with your refrigerator door open for 15 minutes, but I have doubts about the significance of the environmental impact.

We each planted a tree/sapling one Earth Day (or some day) in 5th or 6th grade, and I vaguely remember having to pay a dollar for the pleasure.

You learn nearly nothing about economics in public school, but environmentalism is certainly hammered home. Often theory is taught as fact or over-simplified. I doubt some dude with an aerosol hairspray can is going to change much of anything, but that's what they told the kiddies.

Obviously there's nothing wrong with taking care of the environment, e.g., littering is lame, but some of the stuff is just silly and highly suspicious when you figure out who gains from all of the control and money that is shifted around in the name of the environment.

I think a lot of today's Earth Day hype has more to do with it being another excuse to have a sale during a recession than anything else. I guess it was either that or a Secretary Day... err... Administrative Professional Day sale.

Goose said...

Any news from Mars, Jupiter, Venus, or Mercury on their "Save the Planet" days? Or how about the Sun, ultimate ruler and decider of the fate of our planet Earth? Obama must have shaken hands an apologized to their rulers for Earth's sins.

Or how about Galaxy Day or Universe Day celebrations? Since they are the Super-super powers of Earth, how did they celebrate this momentus occasion?

Any quotes from the fish, trees, water, air, and non-humans today? Any past readings from the leaders of the dinosaur movement who collapsed at the entirely preventable Ice Age?

Oh, right, another self-centered liberal make believe holiday, I forgot.

Sheila said...

SPOT ON Jim!

Gavin Sullivan said...

Alas, Jim and Sheila--ozone depletion remains a serious issue, to the environmentally unstupid. And did your public education really teach you nothing about economics? I was introduced to social sciences by these wild-eyed radicals; in their defense, economics was taught reasonably well, in Edina, back then. What economic concept did your public school system fail to teach?

Jim said...

Gavin,

Regarding ozone holes/depletion, aren't we supposed to believe that all the banning of CFCs "solved" it? If it's still a huge problem, why aren't they hyping it like they used to? Because they got some stuff banned and nothing changed, so they're off to the next bigger, better fear... gasp, carbon dioxide... that we have to try to regulate with taxes, bureaucratic committees, world summits (where Obama shows up with 500 people, two jumbo jets, and a half dozen choppers, not that there's a "carbon footprint" there), and so on?

Then you mix the two theories to end up with fun stuff like this:
In stark contrast to the loss of sea ice in the Arctic over the last 30 years, the frozen seas surrounding the South Pole have increased at the rate of 100,000 square kilometres a decade over the last 40 years.

Scientists believe the growth is down to stronger surface winds over Antarctica and more frequent storms in the Southern Ocean – both direct consequences of the ozone hole.

But the team from British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and Nasa warned the ozone hole was only delaying the impact of greenhouse gases on the climate of the White Continent.

If ozone levels recover as expected over the next 100 years, thanks to the international ban on damaging CFCs, weather patterns will return to normal and Antarctic sea ice will shrink rapidly, they said.
So we should be unbanning CFCs to offset our greenhouse gas emissions? Or it's all just speculation and man can't control it or know exactly what is going to happen based only on computer models where scientists guessing/tweaking model inputs, and the model itself, end up with outputs that keep the government grants coming and any scientist who concludes we don't need world government action isn't funded...

The fact that hardly anyone talks about ozone anymore kind of implies it's not a huge issue anymore, even if the hole is still there, growing, shrinking, or doing whatever it's doing to give penguins sunburn or destroy the world or something in between.

Regarding economics, note what I said: "You learn nearly nothing about economics ..."

See the word "nearly" as in not totally nothing but close to it?

I don't doubt you learned a lot more important stuff in the 70's than they teach today after several decades of declining standards, federal intervention, and emphasis on social engineering at the expense of other things.

I would have loved to have learned about sound economics in public school (or college, for that matter) instead of having to come across it on my own. The simple Broken Window Fallacy applies to so many things that most government policy makers don't seem to understand. They all learned that WWII ended the Great Depression when that's somewhat misleading if you're economically "unstupid" (to steal your word). They expand that simple concept to thinking that government spending is the solution to all economic problems, and we end up with trillions in debt, etc. In other words, they embrace the politically easy big-government Keynesian economics and ignore alternatives that are good at predicting (and avoiding, if practiced) disastrous bubbles of false investment.

The odds of a severe economic crisis up-ending our nation and civilization are far greater than some environmental problem drastically changing our way of life. The government can control its economic behavior more than the global climate (i.e., regulate spending, not the free markets; control the amount of money printed and borrowed to sustain the out of control spending, not use environmental theory to find new tax revenue).

Again, I have no problem with reducing pollution (real pollution, not CO2), but there's obviously something wrong with our teaching and learning of economics if we're allowing things to continue on their current course and "hope" to "change" it by doing more of the same, but on a grander scale.

Sheila said...

I think the Aqua Net I used between 1986-1992 probably put a decent sized hole in the ozone layer.

I'm sorry.