Dearth Day

Just couldn’t come up with a better headline than Grist’s own for yesterday’s Muckraker article. Amanda Griscom Little takes note of the irony I mentioned below about the House’s passage of it’s energy bill yesterday, and also bemoans the lack of activism planned for today:

Today, on the eve of the 35th anniversary of the first Earth Day, the House of Representatives is voting on, and widely expected to pass, a grossly porkified energy bill that would dole out billions in subsidies to fossil-fuel industries, shortchange alternative-energy and efficiency initiatives, and indemnify makers of the gasoline additive MTBE against liability for groundwater contamination. And this time the bill may actually have a chance of passing in the Senate, perhaps as early as next month, after years of stalemate.

This and other dismal news rolling off Capitol Hill of late would seem good reason to make Earth Day 2005 a revolt, not a celebration. Yet when Muckraker searched high and low for organizers of big, spirited, on-the-ground protests, we found little resembling the kind of mutiny the current political moment would seem to demand.

While I think there’s something to be said for making Earth Day more about celebration than protest, I share Griscom Little’s concern over the lack of assertiveness many environmental leaders are showing in the face of the Bush administration’s all-out assault on the environment and any efforts toward sustainable development. Let’s enjoy ourselves today, but never forget that there are batttles to fight.

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