April, 2008, and Earth Day is upon us.
My first experience with Earth Day was as a funky, sandal-wearing hippy event a few weeks after Picnic Day at UC Davis. Though it had been going on for at least a decade before, and while the environmental movement was fairly main-stream, the day itself still hadn't risen above subculture status. The shaggy, shabby, sandal-wearing aspect didn't resonate with me, (coming from a somewhat straight-laced background,) but I had an inkling of the importance of the subject.
All that is different now. The price of gas is rushing past $4 a gallon, (and $6 or $8 is probably not too far away—how long before $4 seems like quaint nostalgia?) most waste management companies offer curbside recycling as well as trash pickup. Organic produce and products have a venerated space even in mass merchant retail space.
Even Bush and co. grudgingly acknowledge the reality of Global Warming, a startling reversal from a few dozen months ago.
Everybody has gone green—it's no longer just the domain of the sandaled tree-hugger—and there are few people who don't know what Earth Day is about, or don't embrace it.
All this is goodness, in a way, even as the message gets distorted with empty feel-good "green-washing". I guess we're all waking up from our collective dreams of denial, and realizing that something has to be done.
We're on the cusp. We're on the verge of having gone green.