Do you like where you’re living? Planet earth, I mean. Today is World Environment Day. It’s not enough of a holiday to score time off of work, but it is well worth observing nevertheless. More than that, it’s vital. Other holidays tend to be the decaying remains of religiously appointed observances or sops thrown to the Cerberus of patriotism, but World Environment Day impacts every one of us, all of the time. Whether sleeping, waking, working, or playing, it’s in the context of the one planet we have. Even those in space have to check in here to survive. We might try to make World Environment Day an international holiday, but I’m sure we could never all agree to it. Business would collapse if everyone took the same day off, all at the same time. Instead we’re left to dream.
I recently watched The Lego Movie. Although released in 2014 it perfectly anticipated 45 with “President Business.” Overlooking for a moment that Legos represent big business, the film underscored the problem: the only thing hard enough to cut a diamond is another diamond. And the only way to fight business is with business. Perhaps there aren’t enough people to envision what life could be like without the constant stress of having to make more money. It’s a sickness, really. But it’s a pathology we worship. There are some abysses, it seems, into which nobody dares peer. Who doesn’t want to be in charge? And those in charge care nothing for Mother Earth.
We have spent the past two-plus years watching helplessly as the Republican Party has done its level best to lay waste the planet. Rolling back and abolishing environmental initiatives deemed detrimental to “business,” these are folks who need to feel what it’s like to lose a job or two and have to reinvent themselves. Not that long ago, most of the humans on this planet lived on farms or supported those who did. Daily in touch with the planet in a literal way that those who mow with industrial, sit-down lawn helicopters can never be—how can you be in touch when your feet never even meet the ground?—they knew that paying attention to the planet is crucial. But that’ll have to wait. It’s a work day, after all. And a Wednesday, no less. In the middle of the week-long worship at the altar of Mammon. Still, I urge you to take a moment or two today to consider how to save the only planet we’ve got. It’s worth celebrating.