Earth Day Phoenix 2013Here’s an easy and non-challenging way to get back into a new week: Think about celebrating Earth Day.

I’ve written about this event before, more than once, and luckily there are a few items that you can still add to your busy, Earth-loving schedule. (Sorry, Tucson; your city’s events largely occurred on Sunday the 21st.)

First, if you have the time, stop by the City of Phoenix’s festivities, beginning at 11 a.m. today. Organizers promise: “You’ll learn about recycling and sustainability, take home useful giveaways and share your enthusiasm with thousands of environmentally minded attendees.”

More information is here.

ASU School of Sustainability logoIf you’d prefer a more scholarly approach to the day, head over to ASU’s School of Sustainability, where a speaker asks (and answers, I suppose) the question, “Who is responsible for climate change?”

The 4 p.m. lecture will be delivered by Naomi Oreskes, a UC-San Diego professor.

Bidder 70 movie posterFinally, if the visual is more your cup of tea, then a movie on Monday evening may be just the ticket.

“Bidder 70” is a documentary about a young man (and former ASU student) who, “in an act of civil disobedience, derailed the outgoing Bush administration’s Bureau of Land Management oil and gas auction. As bidder number 70, [Tim] DeChristopher bid $1.8 million and won 22,000 pristine acres surrounding Utah’s national parks. He had no intention to pay or drill.”

DeChristopher incurred the wrath of the federal government, which charged him with two felonies that could lead to a 10-year prison sentence.

The movie screening is free, but RSVP here.

All of the School of Sustainability’s activities and events are listed here.

Happy Earth Day.

Earth Day may be this weekend, but green issues have been on my mind a lot this spring.

That may be due a recent Solar Summit I attended, or my test-drive of a Nissan Leaf. Or it may be because of the great April issue of Arizona Attorney Magazine. In it, lawyer Jennifer Mott provided a wealth of information for lawyers seeking a little sustainability in their practice.

You can read the whole April issue here.

On this Change of Venue Friday I provide a few quick links to Arizona options available to people looking to celebrate Gaia, nature, Earth, parks, forests, public spaces, or whatever else strikes your fancy.

Let’s start with Tucson, where a festival has been dedicated to the cause.

And here is a list of events in Flagstaff.

In Phoenix, Local First Arizona has compiled a list of activities.

Meanwhile, over at ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability, they celebrated Earth Month (show-offs). They’ve held a wide variety of events since April 1. But on Saturday, April 21 there is a (wait for it) … Solar Oven Cook-Off. Here’s the information. No detail on whether you bring your own hot dog (or tempeh).

An example of a solar cooker

Have a great weekend.

Last year on this day, I wrote about Earth Day with at least some degree of optimism.

As I sit down this morning, though, the environmental picture looks less than robust.

Because a Flagstaff newspaper reflects my own outlook this week, I share an editorial from them.

“Earth Day 2011 … takes place amid a cloud of disappointment over a year that, by most benchmarks, seemed to take more steps backward than forward. The three biggest threats to global survival—non-renewable fuel use in transportation, power production and agriculture—seem more ominous than ever.

“If Earth Day is to be more than a once-a-year pep rally for a greener planet, it has to engage head-on the debate over jobs and a sustainable environment. Public education, at some point, must be tied to realistic political strategies that appeal to more than just the converted.”

Read the Daily Sun’s complete piece here.

Here’s how I began my Earth Day: Wanting to kill a bird.

A woodpecker, more specifically. He has grown very comfortable on our roof, and greets the (near) dawn with his rat-a-tat-tat on the metal vent stack rising from our bathroom.

Not the brightest woodpecker, I’m guessing. But even though “Dick” (so named by me because he’s a real pecker) may not be damaging our wood, he still is sending me around the bend.

No need to worry, though. I understand that no harm can (intentionally) befall Dick. Because he is a migratory bird, he is protected from foul play by the likes of me under the auspices of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. Good thing for Dick I’m a law-abiding man.

And that’s just one way that the law interacts with the densest of the Solar System’s terrestrial planets, also known as our blue marble named Earth.

Reading the history of Earth Day, you unearth (get it?) all kinds of tidbits. For instance, according to Wikipedia (the un-Shepardized version of all learning):

  • April 22 is also the birthday of actor Eddie Albert of Green Acres, who was a staunch environmentalist and spokesperson for the National Arbor Day Foundation. Albert spoke at the inaugural Earth Day ceremony in 1970.
  • April 22 is the birthday of Vladimir Lenin.

Smile, Comrade, it's Earth Day

That last may be the funniest factoid of all, due to all the fallout that ensued. By selecting April 22 as Earth Day, the progressives irked a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, who  said, “Subversive elements plan to make American children live in an environment that is good for them.”

So there.

The Wikipedia entry adds that Lenin was never noted as an environmentalist.

"Comrade Lenin Cleanses the Earth"

Really? I guess they’re not counting ethnic and other cleansing, as evidenced in at least one poster from his time.

 

And while I was meandering on the Earth Day/lawyer nexis, I came across one other person: Kathleen Rogers.

Kathleen, whom you may not know, is the President of Earth Day Network … and a lawyer who went to the law school at the University of California–Davis (Go, UC!).

More to the point, she previously held the position of … wait for it —

Chief Wildlife Counsel for the National Audubon Society

Kathleen Rogers

Holy scat, that’s a great title. I mean, who among us hasn’t had to herd a few cats. But “Wildlife Counsel”? That’s ridiculous. 

 

And if Earth Day isn’t about aspiring to a job with a cool title, what is it about? To say otherwise is simply pessimistic, political ideology.

So happy birthday, Vlad … I mean, Gaia. You may be a mother, but you’re our mother.

 

(For more on the environment/socialism/degrading Western values connection, you really should read a 2009 editorial in The Washington Times. The authors compared Arbor Day to Earth Day. Arbor Day, they claimed, is a happy, non-political celebration of trees. Earth Day? That’s a pessimistic, political ideology that portrays humans in a negative light. Hate that.)