Is it Time to Rename Earth Day?


Image via Climate Progress

The mantra that many in the green movement have been trying to drive home for quite some time now is this: 'every day should be earth day'. And those aren't just the hippy dippies. Those are high ranking officials and Nobel prize winning scientists like Energy Secretary Dr. Stephen Chu. Furthermore, the Earth itself isn't really the issue--no matter what destructive idiocy we engage in, even if we nuke the planet ten times over, the Earth is going to stick around. It's preserving all that life that hangs out around the surface that should be the chief concern. So with that in mind, let's hear the yearly call to rename Earth Day . . . but what to name it?Joe Romm refers us to his entertaining piece in Salon a couple years ago, where he makes the case that there needs to be a new moniker for the day we celebrate the environment.

Here are the first couple paragraphs from that piece:

I don't worry about the earth. I'm pretty certain the earth will survive the worst we can do to it. I'm very certain the earth doesn't worry about us. I'm not alone. People got more riled up when scientists removed Pluto from the list of planets than they do when scientists warn that our greenhouse gas emissions are poised to turn the earth into a barely habitable planet.

Arguably, concern over the earth is elitist, something people can afford to spend their time on when every other need is met. But elitism is out these days. We need a new way to make people care about the nasty things we're doing with our cars and power plants. At the very least, we need a new name.

Romm uses the conceit to riff on the consequences of ignoring climate change--perhaps it should be called 'Water Day', he suggests, seeing as how that's going to be a huge concern for millions around the world, with too much in some places and too little in others.

But I think the general question is a fun thought experiment--obviously, nobody's going to rename Earth Day. It has entered the veritable canon of American semi-holidays, whether you view it cynically, or think it useless, or not. It's here to stay. But what if you could create a day of your own? Which environmental issue deserves its very own day for full consideration?

Water Day? Climate Day? Science Day? Again, this is assuming that these issues actually get their due attention during their eponymous days, and people where to write articles like this one pondering their usefulness.

Also, stay tuned for a review of Romm's new book on climate change, Straight Up, tomorrow (in honor of whatever day he ends up calling tomorrow ...).

More on Earth Day and Names
Survey: What Should We Rename "Global Warming"?
Green Eyes On: Buying for Earth Day

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