Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Differences Between Earth Hour and Arbor Day

I didn't realize the vehemence and anger I'd engender from some of my liberal readers when I had my way with Earth Hour on Saturday night. First of all here's the list of things I had on (from Sunday's post):
Three televisions, two computers, four radios, twenty-one light bulbs (some 100 watt, some 60 watt), my fluorescent light in the kitchen, and the oven (when I could have used the toaster oven).
It really was a bit of fun that I did specifically to tweak libs. Yet I got such strong responses to a somewhat jokingly written post. Here's some of the gravy from the comments:
Shaw: The meaning I get from your energy overindulgence is this:
"I'm an energy wastrel because I CAN BE. Why should I do anything to save energy because it doesn't matter, so I'll just show the energy company what a kick-ass, anti-establishment energy hog I can be! Look at me! Look at me! LOOK AT ME!


Satyavati: [referring to my list above] This is probably the most ridiculous, immature, dumbass thing I've ever heard you say.
Harsh.

Now one of the things that Earth Hour was compared to was Arbor Day. And this (and the strong reaction) compelled me to expand on my thoughs and the difference between the politically motivated yammerings of a feel-good event like Earth Hour and something that produces results like Arbor Day.

Now first of all, despite my excess of Saturday, I am honestly interested in saving energy, conservation, and all things that really make our world a better place. Most of this is motivated out of self-interest (lower energy bills), but also by the idea that I can step out into a woods or a field or out by the lake and become a part of it (hunting or otherwise). So let's dispense with any ideas that I don't care about the environment and will not take any reasonable steps to better it.

Which brings me to Arbor Day. This year it falls on April 24.

Okay, I had to look it up. I'm sure you had to as well (thus the link above (and if you didn't good for you)). Now I can't say I've done much on Arbor Day (usually suggesting it as an alternative for the Day of Darkness (February 14)). But let's look at it (from the site):
What is Arbor Day?
Arbor Day is a nationally-celebrated observance that encourages tree planting and care.
National Arbor Day was founded by J. Sterling Morton in 1872.
18-f'ing-72. 137 years.

The point is that something like this, a holiday dedicated to encouraging conservation, has been around longer than any of us. Or our parents, or probably our grandparents. There is a reason for this (other than the fact we never seem to repeal anything passed by the federal government except prohibition): It's because it's a day that advocates something that is a positive, non-political step to make the world a better place. And it advocates specific action: Planting trees. I'm waiting to hear form the Arbor Day is Bullshit crowd.

On a side note, I typed the phrase "Arbor Day is bullshit" into Google. There was lots of slamming of Earth Day (the envirodouche hippie political alternative where people gather to feel good and make a big mess), but merely referencesd to Arbor Day.

Side note to the side note: This is the funniest entry (although the link is dead):
Emo-hardcore bullshit. > Recent Entries .... Happy Day After Arbor day!!!!! I am thinking about just randomly planting a tree in public places. ...
Okay, back to the serious (sort of). Compare Arbor Day and its responses with that of the political bitch that is Earth Hour (and her Big Brother she's banging, Earth Day) and you should see my point. Advocacy for a cause (with an accompanying day) that simply betters mankind is a good thing. A day designed to drive home a political point (manmade global warming hysteria in this case), however, is simply a magnet for polarization, and is treated thus.

So in the end, let's get out there and plant us some trees.

6 comments:

TAO said...

Why should I go out and plant a tree so that you can commune with nature and hunt critters?

But then again with all the utilities you consumed in your hour we will probably end up frying our infrastructure and lose power forever...which means I will need trees to start fires to cook and heat my home...

Whats a good tree to plant that grows fast and burns long?

Arthurstone said...

Yawn.

As Patrick once again is forced to claim "I'm not really as bad as I say I am... I love the earth and all the little creatures in it. I was only tweaking 'libs'.

Same old, same old.

And more same old...

'Advocacy for a cause (with an accompanying day) that simply betters mankind is a good thing. A day designed to drive home a political point (manmade global warming hysteria in this case), however, is simply a magnet for polarization, and is treated thus.'


Only for those who are so eager to be 'polarized'. Glad to know Arbor Day is enough. Whew. And here I thought we were still in some danger from environmental degradation which perhaps a little added awareness might help to mitigate.

Thanks for clearing THAT up.

'Take A Tree to Lunch'.

That's all we need to do.

Jennifer said...

I didn't even know about it, but right now I have better things to focus on. (check out my post, you will understand)

Earth day isn't enough? It represents caring for our environment not simply just "planting a tree." It was a political thing more than anything else, in my opinion.

If someone wants to turn out all their lights and TV, good for them, but I don't see where you are the monster for not doing so.

Dave Miller said...

Arthur, perhaps you remember the famous line from Euell Gibbons noting that many parts of a pine tree were edible.

Perhaps he had a few trees over for dinner in his day.

Patrick M said...

Tao: But then again with all the utilities you consumed in your hour we will probably end up frying our infrastructure and lose power forever...

I'll try to make up for the 50 cents extra I burned for fun.

Arthur: Yawn.

Maybe you should try to stay awake. Then maybe you'd not miss the point. :)

BB-Idaho said...

"Lets get out there and plant some trees." Can we turn on all the lights and do it at midnight, can we huh?