Happy Earth Day to all, and to all a good night. Let me say first off that I don't particularly care about all the controversy surrounding Earth Day's founder and the things he did that people always bring up. That is to say, that stuff is a shame but it doesn't invalidate what Earth Day stands for. I've cared about the environment for as long as I can remember, since I was young and naive and thought that I should try to scoop all the mud out of the brook in our backyard so the water would be clean. The apathy and contempt shown to the environment by many conservatives distressed me even when I was one. Ann Coulter was merely being more honest than most when she wrote, "The ethic of conservation is the explicit abnegation of man's dominion over the Earth. The lower species are here for our use. God said so: Go forth, be fruitful, multiply, and rape the planet - it's yours. That's our job: drilling, mining and stripping. Sweaters are the anti-Biblical view. Big gas-guzzling cars with phones and CD players and wet bars - that's the Biblical view." She calls herself a conservative Christian. I call her a few other things.
Climate change denial is just a way of dismissing guilt for this ideology. It's very disturbing and embarrassing that many Americans, including our own president, think there's still a real debate about whether climate change is a thing. Most of these same Americans also think that "climate" and "weather" are the same thing, that the Weather Channel founder's degree in Journalism somehow qualifies him to know more than actual climatologists, and that a majority of said climatologists are engaged in a liberal conspiracy to take away our freedom. Perhaps government regulations to protect the environment wouldn't be necessary if Americans would act like adults and do the right things out of the goodness of their hearts, but most of them won't - and that includes liberals, who acknowledge the need to protect the environment but rarely practice what they preach. But I'm not advocating for any particular legislation right now, just for science and common sense. There have been pro-science protest marches throughout the US today and I would have joined the one here in Logan if I had been paying attention and known about it beforehand.
Denying that climate change is a thing is every bit as untenable as denying that cigarettes cause cancer, and indeed oil companies have been taking a page from the tobacco companies' playbook and spreading similar lies for many years. If you're looking for a conspiracy, there's the real one. And many people side with the oil companies because they feel that environmental protections stifle economic growth. Even if this is true, I say so what? How can you be so shortsighted as to prioritize the economy, an entirely manmade illusion, over the environment, the interconnected web of nature on which the very existence of our species depends? Notice I say "our species", not "all life on Earth", for while the latter is certainly also true, it's just as true that life itself will continue long after we're gone no matter how many species we take with us. Let's not flatter ourselves that we have the power to wipe it out altogether. Life finds a way. Now in all honesty, I think Jesus will come and save us from ourselves before that point, but that doesn't mean He'll be thrilled about what we've done to the planet in the meantime.
I attended a screening of the documentary "Between Earth and Sky" at USU last night, which had the good fortune to be made just before Drumpf took office and made it impossible for projects like this to happen. Essentially it's about climate change in northern Alaska, where the "good" news is that winters are shorter and milder than they were twenty years ago but the bad news is that coasts are disappearing by fifteen feet a year and thirty-two Native American villages are on the verge of destruction due to the permafrost melting and the ground crumbling into the sea. As the executive producer who was there hosting the screening pointed out, if this were happening to Florida or Texas it would be all over the news, but since it's way off in Alaska nobody cares.
I rather enjoyed it. The executive producer was the one who had the idea for it in the first place, and he's a soil scientist, so it focused a bit much on soil and got a little too dry for my liking but then it moved on and got better. It featured interviews both with scientists and with some of the endangered Native Americans, and both the scientific data and the human anecdotes correlated to paint the same picture of obvious climate change. I was grateful that when he took questions afterward nobody said anything stupid about it being a hoax or conspiracy. Logan, Utah was merely one of several stops he made showing this film (like today he's in Austria and then he'll be in England), and he praised the community for being beautiful and USU's campus for having solar panels and charging sockets for electric cars. "This is a very forward-thinking community," he said. I think at least a quarter of the people in the room laughed at that remark. Anyway, you should watch the film if you get a chance.
Shining Time Station - If Everyone Did a Little
From the episode "Stacey Cleans Up". While this song is almost unbearably sappy, I hope to get it stuck in someone else's head.
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About the Author
C. Randall Nicholson is a white cisgender Christian male, so you can hate him without guilt, but he's also autistic and asexual, so you can't, unless you're an anti-vaxxer, in which case the feeling is mutual. This blog is where he periodically rants about life, the universe, and/or everything.