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Earth Day 2008 – Is IT Really That Long Ago?

I can remember the first Earth Day. I even remember Earth Shoes . . . . anyone else?

Last year Grist posted on their web site the art of youngsters who had won the International Children’s’ Painting Competition on the Environment. This was the winning selection by Charlie Sullivan of the UK. Below is part of Charlie’s explanation of his art.  It’s pretty sobering given that Charlie was 12 when he won the contest.

The silhouette of a figure in my painting represents government and global businesses idle hold over the world. In the background the reds, oranges and yellows represents the fossil fuel power plants and warming of the planet while those that could act use the umbrella to shelter behind. The umbrella pictures the world being turned inside out and upside down by the wind. Therefore we must all act to save the world from being polluted. Global warming is an issue that we can all do something about by the 3Rs; reduce, reuse and recycle.

The Union of Concerned Scientists, an organization to which I belong, has a fantastic website.  There are a few publications: ‘Catalyst’ a news magazine, ‘Earthwise’ newsletter, and in depth reports.  “Exxon’s misinformation campaign” ~

While publicly expressing concern about global warming, oil giant ExxonMobil has quietly funded organizations that portray climate science as uncertain. This disinformation strategy parallels the tobacco industry’s campaign to confuse the public about the dangers of smoking.

Not that I’m a fan of Benedict XIV . . .  he is calling for mindful stewardship of the Earth.  I’m more impressed with the environmental mindfulness of the Dali Lama.  He doesn’t appear to be of the ‘do as I say, not as I do’ crowd.  Although this is an interesting read:

While the Vatican does indeed care for the environment, few seem to have noticed that the Holy See is the only state in the world that has not signed a single environmental treaty, presumably due to serious concerns over environmentalist ideology not to mention the heavy reporting requirements such treaties inevitably load on small states. Considering the time and energy devoted to the Kyoto Protocol, this would seem to be a conspicuous stain on the Vatican’s environmental bona fides. which means we must not exploit but use them to glorify the Creator, primarily by serving the needs of our fellow humans.

To anyone familiar with Catholic teaching on the environment, Benedict XVI’s position is familiar: human persons, created in the image and likeness of God, are called to exercise dominion and stewardship over the rest of creation. Plants, animals, and the rest of the environment are gifts from God,

So, Happy Earth Day.  Go – dig in the dirt or plant something!

Update:  Earth Shoes: