I'm guessing some of you might share my distaste for the once-a-year gaga over the Earth, especially when it takes the form of NBC changing its logo color
or Chevron touting its environmental record
. I'm not saying we shouldn't be thinking about cutting greenhouse gases or leaving the car at home to walk, bike, or take transit to work today, but I am cynical about the political and media frenzy that kicks in around Earth Day, and then conveniently disappears for all the un-Earth Days (can you hear the Mad Hatter singing it now from the front seat of his H2?).
I wish I could show you how many emails and press releases have come over the virtual Streetsblog transom, many discussing the environmental benefits of buying more crap, albeit "green" crap. I find it in poor taste to start California's "cash for appliances" rebates on one of the last days we should get up early and drive to the mall to consume. And I can't begin to tell you how tired I am of hearing the word "sustainable" bandied about to greenwash the patently unsustainable lives some of us would like to continue living.
I don't know if there is a name for people like me (don't you dare say curmudgeon!), but I feel the same thing on Valentines Day and Halloween. You shouldn't need an excuse to share love, bedeck yourself in costume or minimize your carbon footprint one day out of the year. If these values are important to you, they should be reflected in your quotidian routine.
Nonetheless, the day is awash in festivities: Some are token gestures and some are more meaningful.
In case you were wondering, Governor Schwarzenegger will celebrate Earth Day with a press
conference in Milpitas, where he'll announce a new solar manufacturing
facility. Mayor Newsom plans to announce as-yet-undefined environmental
legislation at an early-afternoon press conference, and the region's
planners have gathered in Oakland for "One Bay Area," a
conference focusing on SB 375 and the need to develop the Bay Area
sustainably (there's that word again). BART Police are getting out of their cars and patrolling their facilities by bicycle. Hayes Valley Farm
is holding a work day this afternoon if you want to get your urban farming fix
. If you can't get away from the computer to dirty your hands in the soil, Clarence Eckerson at
Streetfilms has compiled a Streetfilms playlist
with 15 vignettes to enjoy.
In the good-news department, TransForm was named the highest impact non-profit in the Bay Area for combating climate change today by Philanthropedia, a foundation that researches and recommends non-profits for philanthropic donations.
"We're interested in helping donors give better and
directing more money to the nonprofits that are having the most impact
in their sector," said Erinn Andrews, Philanthropedia's Chief Operating Officer. Andrews said they had surveyed 97 climate change experts in the Bay Area who lauded TransForm's staff and Executive Director, Stuart Cohen, for their thorough research and dynamic advocacy. "They deserve our
support so they can do even more," said Andrews Read more...