Earth Day: Media Aftermath

I’ve finished my organic vegetarian dinner (don’t be impressed, though, I had a chicken sandwich at a national chain for lunch), and I found a few new colors of hydrangea and mint seeds at the Grocery tonight: good earth day.

I’m impressed with the media: they managed to be breathless about the Democratic nomination and the importance of Earth/Going Green/Climate Change simultaneously. With all the coverage today, though, the best article on the subject was published Sunday.

The NYT Magazine carried an article by Michael Pollen (author of “In Defense of Food” and “An Omnivore’s Dilemma”) on why personal sustainability matters. Sure, it’s easy to win my affection by talking about gardening and Czechoslovakian revolutionaries, but his article touches on more than that. Give it a read, if you’ve ever felt like you can’t do anything about climate change, or need a refresher in today’s sea of greenwashing, or even if you’ve got that notion that only the free market can deal with climate change effectively.  Something for everybody, and well-written, to boot.

From the article (after his request that, as a first step, people attempt to grow something edible):

“[G]rowing even a little of your own food is, as Wendell Berry pointed out 30 years ago, one of those solutions that, instead of begetting a new set of problems — the way “solutions” like ethanol or nuclear power inevitably do — actually beget other solutions, and not only of the kind that save carbon. Still more valuable are the habits of mind that growing a little of your own food can yield. You quickly learn that you need not be dependent on specialists to provide for yourself — that your body is still good for something and may actually be enlisted in its own support. If the experts are right, if both oil and time are running out, these are skills and habits of mind we’re all very soon going to need. We may also need the food.”

Also, he mentioned that Jimmy Carter put solar panels on the White House! Imagine that! Reagan took them right back down, which doesn’t surprise me even a tiny bit, sigh, but they were up there once, and that’s shocking. Why does that have to be shocking?

And in a quick 180, worst coverage of Earth Day goes to WorldNetDaily News. Well, “News”. Their contribution was an article about how uppity women who insist on working out of the home are one of the biggest threats to the environment out there. Maddening, if it weren’t so originally perverse and totally laughable. Found the link through Feministing, who has an excellent response.

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