Today is Earth Day 2012, a day filled with celebrations of the environment and all the things being done to try and improve it and make it more sustainable . You can go to events where you recycle your old paper tax records, your motor oil, your cellphone, computers and other electronics.
You can go to festivals and visit the booths of green nonprofits and solar energy companies, take part in composting workshops, learn about wildlife protectors and electric car companies. You might even get the chance to hug a person wearing a polar bear costume.
You can participate in beach cleanups, ride your bicycle with large groups in parades or march in protests against coal-fired power plants, polluters and planet-pummeling profiteers. You can even watch NBC-Universal TV and see how they turned their logo green and laugh at their funny PSAs about cutting your energy use or carbon footprint.
But what you cannot do at any Earth Day event – or any other day’s events – is change the sense of urgency of the U.S. government or the majority of our population about taking the immediate and dramatic steps necessary to avoid runaway climate change or the hell and high water that’s coming with it.