It is Earth Day again and it is once again time for Hanna’s Rant on Environmentalism. I have come to believe that over the years, it is no accident that the word “mentalâ€ appears in the word Environmental. I am continually annoyed and amazed at how we have just completely lost sight of what the whole point is of this. It seems to me that a large portion of the environmental movement these days has either lost all concept of sane behavior or is looking to make a fast buck off the process.
Case in point are the slogans attached to the environmental movement.
- “Save the Planetâ€
- “Earth Dayâ€
- “Go Greenâ€
Listen, in case you missed it in your natural history classes or don’t have cable and therefore are never able to watch the Discovery Channel, Planet Earth is a pretty venerable old lady. The last thing she needs is an inept set of human beings stepping into “save herâ€. We could set off 100 nuclear weapons, and Planet Earth would recover just fine. Remember, mega volcanoes,Â massive asteroids, NKOTB. She came through just fine after those disasters. Shrugged it off and kept spinning.
Besides, who really wants to save an oversized rock? Sure we live on it, but to a generation who has their cult picks of Star Trek, Firefly, Babylon 5 and Battlestar Galactica, we know damn well we will be getting off this rock one day (which was made all the more real by the recent discovery of an Earth class planet.)
Nope, these namby pamby planet saving sayings just don’t get personal enough. We need more sayings like “Drive Small Cars to Save Our Own Assesâ€ or “Clean Air — Because We Need to Breathe to Liveâ€
I think we need to bring in our moms to help make sayings too. “There is a starving kid in Africa that would be happy to have that.â€ Or “I don’t care if everyone else is using chemicals on their lawns. Would you jump off a bridge if everybody doing that?â€ or how about “Turn off that damn light! Do you know how much that costs?!?â€
Maybe they are a little way too over the top. That would probably be why I am not in advertising. The point is, we have to stop making this about saving the planet. Environmentalists need to stop being shocked when the average person is just not interested in saving a rock (I don’t care if you think it is something more than a rock and you have proof, most people see it as a rock).
They need to see it as making here (as in here, where I am at any given moment at any given time) a better place. I am not an environmentalist. I use reusable grocery bags not because I want to not fill up the landfill, but because it makes my house a less cluttered place. I frown at the lady up the street who brings in ChemLawn, not because I think it is bad for the planet, but because they put those little signs out saying it is not safe for my kids to play on. I walk a little more than I use to not because I am thinking I am reducing global warming (don’t even think it is a factor) but because my rear end is going to need rear view mirrors soon.
Environmentalists would get much farther if they figured out the WIIFM angle and sold the public on that. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle is not about saving the planet, it is about helping (and maybe saving) ourselves (cheerleaders included).