- - Wednesday, April 22, 2015

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

America celebrated the planet Wednesday with the gaudy red, white and blue charm guaranteed to turn a tree-hugger green. Earth Day was first observed 45 years ago when most baby boomers were teenagers, and now the candles are dripping all over the birthday cake. It’s only natural. Repetition becomes routine, and routine hides the original idea, which is rendered meaningless. It doesn’t take a campaign to care for the planet, and some of the Earth Day observances are starting to look a little silly.

Sunday was Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day in Washington, and thousands celebrated by descending on the National Mall to enjoy a free concert (free stuff always attracts a crowd), and to hang out and throw trash in America’s front yard. A sea of paper cups and Styrofoam food containers was left behind as evidence of how deeply the environmental masses love Earth. It’s a characteristic of human nature, we suppose, to celebrate a fashionable cause in principle while contradicting it in practice.

The bureaucrats at the Environmental Protection Agency, ever on the scout for opportunities fix what ain’t broke, are installing solar-powered park benches in five American cities. “These new solar-powered, air monitoring park benches provide minute-by-minute data that can help citizens better understand air quality,” explains Gina McCarthy, administrator of the EPA.

Park benches, which have been around for centuries, serving without help to accommodate generations of American bottoms, apparently get notoriously rough treatment from kids on skateboards, looking to “grind” on flat surfaces. Other abusers stub out cigarettes on them and pigeons who didn’t get the memo leave unpleasant surprises.

The Earth Day Network is about promoting environmentalism globally. The organization blew past its annual goal of counting a billion “acts of green” before the big day arrived. Such acts include persuading do-gooders to sign “the largest climate petition to save the world,” to “tell local, national and international leaders to phase out carbon.” A pledge to reduce energy consumption counts. So does a promise to plant a tree.

NASA observed the occasion by posting on its website the “selfies” it snapped of Planet Earth from space. Viewers were urged to send pictures and video of their favorite places on Earth to their social media followers. Among all the known planets, and no doubt even some of the unknown, there’s said to be no place like Earth. Until NASA returns to its extraterrestrial mission and starts visiting orbs, however, we’ll never know.

Rampant environmental extremism distorts priorities, and the worship of nature takes on greater value than nurturing human life. In California, little fish have water rights mere humans don’t. Severe drought grips the state for the fourth consecutive year, and millions of gallons of water are diverted daily from reservoirs to keep a delta smelt happily swimming while 38 million human residents suffer water restrictions that hold back the economy and cost thousands of jobs. We know the delta smelt are actually there because a recent state survey actually found one. Just one.

Environmentalists apart and aside, Americans have many things to be grateful for on Earth Day 2015. The bounty of fossil fuels is one, with a gallon of regular gasoline currently selling at $2.47 nationwide, down 33 percent from a year ago. If a 3-inch fish is entitled to an abundance of water, surely an American man or woman is entitled to an affordable gallon of gas. That’s just earthy common sense.


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