Whether you consider the fact that Earth Day coincides with Vladimir Lenin’s birthday is a coincidence, I will leave that conjecturing up to you. What I can tell you is that Earth Day is the same Big Government bullocks under a different guise.
Silent Spring is the new Bible, Al Gore is the new papal authority, recycling and carbon taxes are a form of sacrifice, consumption of resources is a sin, and we are the stewards of Mother Earth fighting against the satanic corporations (i.e., the “bourgeois establishment”). It seems to have all the elements that a religion does, now doesn’t it?
Mao’s Red Book has been replaced by An Inconvenient Truth. The fight for the proletariat has been replaced by the fight for Mother Earth. Capitalism is just as evil as it was in Stalin’s heyday.
The only subtle difference between the environmentalists and the Communists is their gradualism. Rather than rebel against the system, they would rather use the system to bring about their main goal—control of man’s consumption. The “altruistic” endeavor of cutting back on carbon emissions is not only inefficient, but it stifles at the very essence of economic freedom, which is exactly what irks me about mainstream environmentalism.
Instead of wearing hemp clothing, eating tofu, and working in a sustainable garden for just one day of the year pretending that you actually care about the environment in a self-righteous, holier-than-thou manner, how about actually being a part of the solution rather than the problem? Ronald Regan is infamous for saying that government is part of the problem rather than the solution. More government regulation will only exacerbate our problems.
We can fallaciously blame capitalism, or we can use the very modus operandi that has helped the environment. In the “good ‘ole days’” of Soviet power, air quality was poor [still is, if I recall] and rivers had so many toxins that if you threw a lit match in a river, it’d light up like a Christmas tree. The joy of capitalism is that it actually has better safeguards for protecting the environment. There is no incentive for a businessman to consume as much as possible. As a matter of fact, the less resources that he consumes, the more revenue he makes. Plus, the other joy of capitalism is the advancement of technology it brings. Having better products means better usage of resources. It’s not rocket science, but it apparently goes over the head of Al Gore and his ilk.
Does this mean there are not any environmental problems? Of course not! I’ve commented on this before, but the real issue here is not anthropogenic global warming. It’s our consumption patterns! Very few on either side understand the concept of a balance. The “either-or” mentality is highly fastidious. There is no way for man to exist without consuming resources. If the environmentalists took their hype about emitting carbon seriously, they would put a bullet in their brains because every time they exhale, they emit carbon (i.e., they’re part of the problem, not the solution). I, of course, do not advocate such nihilist behavior since it is immoral as well as foolish. However, the aforementioned logical step means that on some basic level, not even the environmentalists believe their own credo. On the other hand, this does not give us license to abuse and pillage what we do have. This is where most sound-minded people would agree. It’s just that the environmentalists take it too far with their anti-consumerist mentality.
If consumption is our issue, then recycling won’t suffice. There is a reason why reduction in consumption comes first in the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” motto. It’s difficult to get people to reduce consumption. We live in a materialistic world where consumption of goods is the end all. While I find that highly disappointing from a religious standpoint, something still needs to be done about American consumption patterns, which have dramatically risen since the 1950s. The trend is worse in the sense that we are responsible for a bulk of the world's consumption:
I don’t condone the government coercing people to reducing consumption. Rather, the external pressure used should be societal pressures to be more environmentally sound. We, as individuals and consumers, need to make decisions that are good both for our wallets and the environment. The sooner business can use technologies to produce such goods, the sooner we can truly ameliorate and salvage what has been lost.