Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Earth Day

Today is not Earth Day, that was yesterday. It's the one day a year when we can think about our impact on the environment, then get back to our usual polluting ways for the next 364 days.

What was my experience yesterday? I headed off to work in my reasonably efficient vehicle, enjoying the daily commute and listening to the morning news with the occasional commentary about our city's sad hockey situation. Approaching one of our many "skinny" bridges, traffic comes to a halt, and it soon becomes clear that there's been an accident. Easily 500 or more vehicles come to a standstill and idle contentedly, sending out rhythmic bursts of exhaust from their tail pipes. Nobody is thinking about Earth Day at that point.

I turned off my car during the longer waits, but I probably do it more to save the high priced fuel than the environment. As gas prices soar to new heights, it becomes more and more apparent that cost is not an effective deterrent for driving. If anything, there are probably more cars on the road than ever.

Do I care about the environment? Definitely. I want a clean and safe place for my family and I to live. But change won't happen without some larger changes being made to the way we do things as a society, and with the way things are going these days, it's a long way off. We can't even get a tax break on hybrid vehicles, let alone anything bigger.

Earth Day 2008 effectiveness, from my perspective: negligible

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