Today is all about “A Billion Acts of Green,” and no, I don’t mean all the money Mark Zuckerberg is making off of Facebook. April 22nd marks the 41st anniversary of Earth Day, the annual effort to “raise public awareness about the environment and inspire actions to clean it up.” This year organizers are encouraging people to observe by pledging to do something small but sustainable in their own lives to help the planet. Pledges can be made online at act.earthday.org.
Though I went to the website to check it out, I thought I had gone to Xbox Live by mistake. There was some kind of leaderboard set up on the front page. So I guess if you get enough pledges, you can win Earth Day. On closer inspection, however, it appeared the items on the leaderboard were actually the pledges themselves. The most popular pledges thus placed higher on the leaderboard. That’s nice- but sorry, I can’t really get behind something unless I can compete directly against others, talk trash with them, and unlock all the achievements. The pledges seemed simple enough. They included things like: Eat More Local Food, Bring Reusable Shopping Bags to the Store, Switch Off the Tap While Brushing, and Raise Awareness About Earth Day. Wait, isn’t that last one kind of a conflict of interest?
Some pledges seemed to take all the fun out of life, like Take Shorter Showers, and Walk or Bike Instead of Driving Places. Man, that last one sounds like work. They also had I Will Use A Water Saving Shower Head. Haven’t these people ever seen Seinfeld? One pledge that caught my eye was Switch From a Desktop to a Laptop as a Desktop Consumes 5 Times More Energy Than a Laptop. Huh…”Hey honey, Earth Day wants me to buy a new MacBook Pro.” Another pledge: Help One Million Children Make Rainbows of Vegetables and Fruits on Their Lunch Trays Every Day at School. Uh oh, looks like this is going to be a busy year for me. Although there were many more pledges, I did take note of this last one : I Will Try to Eradicate Poverty, Support the Needy So That We Can Achieve the Goal of Sustainable Development. Great idea, however, kind of hard to do when major corporations are sitting on record profits but still not creating jobs in this country. But I digress.
I poke fun, but I can see that Earth Day is obviously very important. Though I’ve never participated in any official Earth Day events, my old band The Needs did play at something called The Whole Earth Festival at U.C. Davis back in the 80’s. We did our part by bringing the reggae and ska beats, and somehow that helped the hippies do their thing.
I didn’t realize it would be Earth Day until last night. But some part of me must have known this was coming up. One night earlier in the week, I had a dream. I was in New Orleans with John Goodman. He was showing me the new levees. It seemed like they were working, but not perfect, since Mr. Goodman had kind of a sour look on his face as he pointed to them. He said that there was more much more work to be done. Which is so true, in this day and age of massive oil spills and catastrophic nuclear crises. We need Earth Day now more than ever before.