Wednesday, April 22

Earth Day 2020. Don't stop the celebration.

Thrive Global
Today we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Organizations have all kinds of ways for us to celebrate the Earth. Today. And yet. . .

I read a few interesting news stories today. The first from The Guardian about how we might finally, finally start recognizing the importance of taking care of and protecting the Earth, the environment.

We are at an interesting inflection point. Many of us have read or seen stories about clearing air and clearing water. New Delhi skies free of pollution. Water clearing in Venice. Sea turtles being able to nest in peace. . . as long as Florida beaches were closed. I'm sure there are dozens of similar stories.

The fact is that with the pandemic, the Earth has been able to take a break. Less noise. Less movement. The world is a lot quieter. It seems as though the lockdowns around the world have had a startling impact on many things, and mostly in a good way.

Not economically, I know. People are suffering. There are no easy choices when it comes to managing a pandemic. I cannot even imagine what state and city government personnel are going through as they weigh all of the challenges, watching state budgets crater and knowing the people in their states and in their cities are in dire situations. Not everyone will agree with Dan Patrick's assertion that "there are more important things than living and that's saving this country."

Meanwhile, in the Great Lakes region, where I live, the Environmental Protection Agency has decided that protecting the Great Lakes, specifically Lake Michigan from which thousands of people get their drinking water, isn't all that important.

The EPA, charged with protecting the environment because it's, you know, actually in the name of the agency, has loosened restrictions around "a class of cancer-linked chemicals." Nice. There are two stories on that: one from the Chicago Tribune and another from The Hill. The former bends liberal and there are a whole bunch of Democrats in Chicago.

This isn't the first rollback of the EPA rollbacks and I doubt it will be the last. It just seems so unfortunate that we have such grand opportunities to make significant positive changes on so many fronts and it seems we are likely to miss nearly every one of them.

Even so, every opportunity to celebrate the Earth is a good one. And may you sustain and maintain those celebrations for days to come.

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