Yesterday was Earth Day, the 44th anniversary of the first day set aside in 1970 to consider ways to be a better steward of our natural resources and our only home. The first Earth Day was organized after the Cuyahoga River in Ohio caught fire in 1969 as a result of all the industrial waste being dumped into it.
To celebrate this year’s event, I decided to go out and hug a tree. When I came back in my arms were wet from the previous night’s rains and I found a tick on me the size of a Volkswagen, leaving me to wonder what’s so great about the Great Outdoors anyway. I mean, isn’t that why God made Netflix, so we wouldn’t have to venture out of the house and get wet and risk horrible bug diseases?
Let’s face it, the Earth is not our friend. In fact it keeps trying to kill us and what have we ever done to it besides rape all its resources, pollute all its air and water and snake leaky pipelines through its skin? That’s why we were given it, right? We realized from the get-go that it was never meant to be a garden spot, that’s why we picked that first apple.
Ask those folks who lost loved ones in that massive mudslide out in Washington state a few weeks back if the Earth is our friend. Ask that guy who was in his bedroom in Florida minding his own business, probably watching Netflix, when a sinkhole opened up beneath him and swallowed him and his house if the Earth is our friend.
I’m telling you, this planet has it in for us. It’s already whacked the dinosaurs and now it’s after us. Setting aside one a day each year to try and placate it doesn’t seem to be working. And, not only that, it has powerful friends and allies.
As if to say, “I’ve got your Earth Day right here, bub,” the universe flung another huge meteor or perhaps asteroid at Russia this past weekend similar to the one that injured more than 1,000 people and did millions of dollars worth of damage last year over the Russian city of Chelyadinsk. This one, over the city of Murmansk in northwestern Russia, did no damage and, as a result, was immediately annexed by Vladimir Putin.
And the incoming fire is expected to continue all week. The annual Lyrid meteor shower had the gall to peak on Earth Day and will continue through Friday with as many as 20 meteors visible per hour. Those aren’t fireworks celebrating the occasion, those are incoming mortar rounds.
The human mind-set when faced with an enemy as well-armed and as devious as nature is to fight back. But, considering this is the only home we’ve got, maybe it is a good idea to consider a little diplomacy for a change and not just on one day each year.
Marty Russell writes a Wednesday column for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.