04.19.2012 1

Hippie Earth Day!

By Rebecca DiFede — In 1970, a senator from Wisconsin by the name of Gaylord Nelson invented a holiday to celebrate all of nature’s wonders, now known to the world as Earth Day, and celebrated each year on April 22.

Throughout the years it has become a day for reminding those Americans who dare to drive non-hybrid SUV’s or refuse to install cumbersome solar panels on their roofs they are endangering the welfare of the planet.

Major cities across the country, including New York and our very own Washington, D.C. host festivals to celebrate this “green” day, drawing crowds of crazed, dirty, patchouli oil-scented activists from all corners. Anyone who has not gone through twelve steps to reduce their carbon footprint is identified as the enemy, and rallies often break out in defense of Mother Earth.

But hold on, does this really need to be classified as a holiday? A day to celebrate grass, trees and flowers as if they are doing something extraordinary for us?

Yes, they provide lots of things that are essential to our survival, however it is not as if they are sacrificing their lives to do so. They are simply doing what they are programmed to do, as simple organisms. The trees in the Amazon rainforest did not give up their dreams of being on American Idol to stand in South America and release oxygen…they just did it. They’re trees, and that is what their sole purpose is.

Holidays, at least in America, are special points during our calendar year where we celebrate something, whether it be a religious figure, an occasion or a particular person who has made an indelible mark on our country’s history. As far as I am aware, no plant or animal has ever been president, ended a war, fought for civil rights or risked its life to defend our liberty.

And if there are any tree huggers out there who think that in fact trees do have dreams and feelings and are in fact sacrificing them for our benefit, then perhaps you should see a doctor.

One odd fact about the inventor of this meaningless holiday is that he is from Wisconsin, not known for being an extremist state. After creating something like this, that would grow to gain popularity from hemp-lovers everywhere, one would think they would hail from a Haight Ashbury-type commune. A place where the concepts of “reality” and “logic” are a bit blurred.

Senator Nelson simply wanted to pay homage to his environmentalist passions, and to teach others to give thanks to nature and conserve its beauty by protecting it from abuse.

So on this April 22, remember to go outside, get some fresh air, and thank your local foliage for providing you with oxygen, but please don’t worship it.

Rebecca DiFede is a contributing editor to Americans for Limited Government.

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