Yes, people first jubilantly celebrated Earth Day in 1970. While the day itself is stronger than ever before, some think the celebration is a big slap in the face of the environmental movement. In other words, it is a mockery.
In the article, “Earth Day ennui,” Curtis Brainard of Columbia Journalism Review writes, “It’s not like Earth Day is the only occasion journalists have to write about the many ecological challenges we face, or even the best. As with any anniversary peg, the coverage can feel gimmicky if it’s not handled with care, and although it may sound cliché, every day should be Earth Day for the press.”
Brainard’s Earth Day angst stems from yesterday’s trendiest topic: the doodle on Google’s homepage, depicting a river, mountains and other “earthy” images. The snazzy coolness of the image was on everyone’s tongue. Instead of reporting on actual environmental issues, like climate control or seismic airguns, social media and online news sites focused too heavily on the doodle. It was just a doodle, an inaccurate one at that.
The purpose of Earth Day is to bring awareness to the need for environmental protection. On Earth Day, at least, media outlets should cover important globally conscious news stories, not merely things that are trending, a la the Google doodle. Earth Day (every day, in fact) should be about green education, digging through the cracks and finding newsworthy stories about the efforts of people to help the environment, be it an urban farmer in the rusty bowels of Detroit or an eco-friendly real estate company in dusty Des Moines.
At Cold Stream Farm, we recognize the importance of Earth Day and do our best to spread its gospel, whether it is supplying bare root trees or educating people on the best way to fertilize.
What do you think? Shouldn’t every day be Earth Day?
For more information on the Google doodle and Brainard’s angst, you can find his article here.