Don’t Celebrate Earth Day


Eric Compas, Environmental Science/Geology Professor

Eric Compas, Environmental Science/Geology Professor

How should you celebrate Earth Day? I strongly recommend not doing so. Planet Earth is going to be here for billions of years regardless of what we do. The Earth doesn’t need our help at all. Earth Day…bah humbug.

 Here’s what I suggest instead: Learn about how climate change is and will be impacting your community and the places you love. While some change is inevitable, there’s still time to alter the course of climate change to minimize its impact on the places we live, work, and play. We do still have significant choices yet to make as a society, as a species. We can still make a difference. Find out how some corporations and lobbyists are subverting democracy. Two-thirds of Americans from both political parties want government actions on climate change. While the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 was a good start with its climate provisions, it’s not sufficient to avoid the dire predictions that scientists are warning us about. Call your representative, write them an email, and let them know their climate change policies will get your vote. Avoid apathy. While I can’t prove it, I believe the fossil fuel industry wants you to think there’s nothing left we can do – it’s inevitable and that you’re powerless. It’s not true.  Make some changes in your own life. We’re not going to make the big changes that are needed without government policies, but that doesn’t mean our individual actions don’t make a difference. They set an example for others and make the bigger climate change solutions more viable and attainable. 

Do these things to “celebrate” Earth Day. Don’t do them “for the planet” or “for Mother Earth” or “for biodiversity.” Do them for yourselves, your friends, your family, and your future loved ones. Planet Earth will still be here, but they’ll need some place to call home. That said, our campus Sustainability Office has planned several fun activities! You may want to check those out, too.