Editorial: Plant Earth makes a comeback

Forget Guns and Roses or the Rolling Stones. Earth Day has the real comeback story.

The celebration of eco-consciousness was well suited for the early ‘70s, when it first came about, then society took a bit of a break from the whole better planet thing. Now, green is in, but is it doing us much good?

What started as an event for hippies and tree hugger types has now developed into a mainstream movement. Realization of the issues we as a people faced has sprouted the in-vogue hip thing of the moment, as well as the inevitable commercialization of it.

And that might have something to do with why the fight for environmentalists seems so uphill. It would be interesting to hear what Gaylord Nelson, credited with the foundation of Earth Day, would think about tubeless toilet paper rolls or compostable chip bags (the latter of which was pulled from shelves for being too noisy, which says a lot).

When it comes to the earth’s health, the issue seems so much bigger than any of us. Yet it’s all of us together that have walked the path we find ourselves on, and that have the power to change the course if we so desire.

In recent memory, things have been not so encouraging. For example, despite resounding agreement that this nation’s course when it comes to the use of fossil fuels is one of folly it is one we’ve been unable to solve. President Jimmy Carter made a big show of putting energy policy front and center, yet now in the Obama administration our leaders are still trying to find a way to reduce this country’s dependence on foreign oil.

It’s easy to complain about taxes and government policy when being raked over at the pump, but the average American uses nearly 450 gallons of gas a year yet fuel thirsty trucks are flying off assembly lines. The price of electricity and heating fuel is soaring yet heating and cooling our homes accounts for 56 percent of our at-home energy usage.

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