I spent most of Earth Day trashed out of my mind. The festivities at Anisq’ Oyo’ Park pushed the holiday to an alcoholic extreme, making even the most prudish of students into slothful sex machines. While I enjoy exploiting social awareness holidays as much as the next man, I do care about the environment. And the Bush administration apparently doesn’t, as we pilfer and pillage over all continents for non-renewable resources, slowly driving ourselves into oblivion. This may seem like a cynical, apocalyptic viewpoint, but it’s unfortunately true. We are on the cusp of a global catastrophe, and we all have beers in our hands.
See, our major news outlets tend to marginalize environmental issues, as if they were mediocre partisan concerns. What were the front-page issues of the past few weeks? Terry Schiavo’s death? Michael Jackson’s dipshit trial? Tom DeLay’s ethical allegations, which are obvious to anyone with a degree in common sense? We are a country of scandal and distraction, immersed in all that doesn’t matter. Environmental news is forced onto the bottom-feeding back pages, while abortion, prayer and pregnant celebrities get the top headlines. It may sell papers, but it has no substance.
There is substance, however, in our environmental legislation – quite tragic and surprising. The new federal budget degrades and pushes down environmental programs, much like schoolroom bullies pushed me down as a child. Overall, they’re slated for a $1.9 billion reduction, with especially noticeable political pimples in certain areas. The Superfund, a toxic waste clean-up program, has been especially gutted, as taxpayers, instead of polluting industries, are now forced to foot much of the bill. This isn’t benign, like whiskey in the holy water – we’re talking about some nasty-ass chemicals, like phosphates, chlorides and other scary-sounding nomenclature. I enjoy being an exploited pawn in the corporate agenda, so I don’t mind. But Mr. Rogers did teach me about responsibility, so I’ll have to side with the enviro-geeks.
Water quality programs and scientific research have been cut by millions, and endangered species recovery is being snubbed, even though over 200 endangered species are nearly extinct because of a lack of funding. Personally, I hate all endangered species. If I saw a condor flying around, I would shoot it just out of principle. But when churches don’t even pay property tax, there’s no excuse. These issues deserve our respect, as alien as they may seem to the typical American. I’d rather my tax dollars rescue a bald eagle than reinstate a puppet government. And if you think that’s illogical, well, you can kiss my bald eagle ass.
The scariest part, however, is that the human race is endangered itself. After oil and gasoline run out, what the hell are we going to use to power our Hummers[? Hydrogen? Spinach? Good tidings? Spinach-powered cars are badass, but they’re probably not scientifically plausible. Since oil also powers everything else in civilization, we’re screwed like a DP party slut on a Saturday. This should be a nonpartisan issue, but unfortunately, Republican honchos don’t seem to get it. Maybe their massive Halliburton paychecks make a difference. Spread the wealth, Cheney. You’re rich and well-fed.
So, my dear Nexus readers, take Earth Day seriously. We’re in a very important transition period for the human race. If we keep ignoring the environment, major problems will plague us as a species. As a worst-case scenario, order would break down, the polar ice caps would melt and we’d become wandering nomads like Kevin Costner in “Waterworld.” If you’ve seen that shitty excuse for a movie, you understand. Our future is precarious.
Matt Cappiello is a Daily Nexus staff writer.