This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, April 23, 2014:
On Tuesday, April 22, more than a billion people “celebrated” the holy day of green environmentalism, Earth Day, in more than 190 countries. At least that's the estimate of Denis Hayes, the head of the Earth Day Network. Hayes was appointed – anointed – head of Earth Day by its self-proclaimed founder, one Gaylord Nelson, former Governor and Senator from Wisconsin.
That self-proclamation differs greatly from reality. The real founder of Earth Day was John McConnell, a simple man of faith who recognized his duty as a christian to be a steward of the grand creation of God. He would often quote Psalm 155:16:
“The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD's: but the earth hath HE given to the children of men.”
In October 1969, McConnell proposed a global holiday to celebrate that grand creation at the national UNESCO Conference in San Francisco, but soon learned to his dismay that his idea would be shortly coopted by Nelson as a way to promote his radical environmentalist agenda. McConnell took great pains to distance himself from Nelson, particularly noting in his Wikipedia entry: “John McConnell is not associated with … self-proclaimed Earth Day founder Senator Gaylord Nelson.”
Nelson saw his first “teach-in” on environmental do-goodism blossom, with the help of Hayes, into an international celebration of the environmentalists' fondest dream: worship of earth coupled with worship of government who will save it from destruction. It was a marriage in the minds of men unacquainted with Psalm 155.
One of those minds explained the purpose behind Earth Day. Margaret Mead, the great moral leader with three failed marriages and at least two romantic relationships with other women and now considered by the secularists as an iconic “cultural anthropologist,” wrote:
Earth Day is the first holy day which transcends all national borders, yet preserves all geographical integrities, spans mountains and oceans and time belts, and yet brings people all over the world into one resonating accord, is devoted to the preservation of the harmony in nature and yet draws upon the triumphs of technology, the measurement of time, and instantaneous communication through space.
Earth Day draws on astronomical phenomena in a new way … by using the vernal equinox, the time when the sun crosses the equator making the length of night and day equal in all parts of the Earth.
She even got the date wrong. This year, for example, the vernal equinox occurred on March 20, not April 22. Something had to be done about that. In trying to explain the vast gulf between the real world and the phony one conjured by Nelson, Hayes, and Mead, apologists have suggested that they wanted a date that would fall during spring break while avoiding the real reasons for celebrating the Creator and His creation like Easter and Passover. They even reached so far as to suggest that April 22 somehow honored the birthday of John Muir, born on April 21, 1838, 176 years ago. Muir of course was a conservationist, not an environmentalist, at least as that term is used today.
But the real date of April 22, 1970 was deliberately selected to celebrate the birth of the first totalitarian to force his captives to honor the earth by requiring them, at the point of a gun, to clean up the streets and parks. Vladimir Lenin was born on April 22, 1870, and was the dictator who first introduced the “subbotnik” under which his hapless serfs were directed by the government to celebrate the earth by cleaning it up. The first such glorious event was held on April 12, 1919.
But the message was clear: mankind must first be persuaded that the earth is not the Lord's, but belongs to man. And since the government is instituted among men to rule over other men, it must be seen as the salvation of the planet.
This is what is being taught as unvarnished truth in today's schools, as free-market economist Steven Landsburg found out from his four-year-old daughter. In his book, The Armchair Economist, Landsburg explained:
At the age of four, my daughter earned her second diploma. When she was two, she graduated with the highest possible honors from the Toddler Room at her nursery school in colorado. Two years later she graduated from the preschool of the Jewish Community Center, where she matriculated on our return to New York State.
At the graduation ceremony, titled Friends of the Earth, I was lectured by four- and five-year-olds on the importance of safe energy sources, mass transportation, and recycling. The recurring mantra was “With privilege comes responsibility” as in “With the privilege of living on this planet comes the responsibility to care for it.”
Of course, Thomas Jefferson thought that life on this planet was more an inalienable right than a privilege, but then he had never been to preschool.
When Landsburg had a conference with her teacher, he learned another lesson: the environmental agenda is not open for debate. It is a religion, a faith, an ideology that brooks no disagreement or challenge: history doesn't count, facts don't matter, logic doesn't apply. Landsburg explained:
The hallmark of science is a commitment to follow arguments to their logical conclusions; the hallmark of certain kinds of religion is a slick appeal to logic followed by a hasty retreat if it points in an unexpected direction.
Environmentalists can quote reams of statistics on the importance of trees and then jump to the conclusion that recycling paper is a good idea. But the opposite conclusion makes equal sense…
This suggests that environmentalists — at least the ones I have met — have no real interest in maintaining the tree population. If they did, they would seriously inquire into the long-term effects of recycling.
I suspect that they don't want to do that because their real concern is with the ritual of recycling itself, not with its consequences. The underlying need to sacrifice, and to compel others to sacrifice, is a fundamentally religious impulse. (emphasis added)
At bottom, as Landsburg found out, the environmental agenda is based on force. April 22, 2014, Earth Day was the celebration of the 45th birthday of the man-made marriage of worship of the earth and the state.
Why I Am Not An Environmentalist by Steven Landsburg
The Armchair Economist by Steven Landsburg
The real vernal equinox: March 20, 2014