This is the fiftieth anniversary of the first Earth Day, first officially celebrated on this day in 1970, with its roots in the nascent environmentalist movement, Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, the exaggerated effects of DDT and everything else, back-to-the-landers, hippies reacting against the bourgeois mentality of their (to their jades eyes) stultified, suburban post-War upbringing, and so on. There was no global warming back then – in fact, the fear, if anything, was a return to another ice age, which is still, to many experts, geologically more plausible.
It is a day I normally don’t mark, as an ideologically motivated celebration, which may celebrate a good thing – proper care of this planet – but not in its proper order, nor in the right way, and more on that in a moment. To paraphrase Christ, the Earth was made for Man, not Man for the Earth, and the purpose of life here is not to maintain this planetary ‘spaceship’ for as long as possible, before, as Stephen Hawking suggested, finding a way to populate other planets. No, the form of this world is passing away, and will end at some point in the future, when these heavens and this Earth will be dissolved, and we will all be judged not on our environmentalism and how many children we didn’t have, but on our faith in the one, true God and His Church; our hope in what endures and is of perennial value; and, most of all, our love, charity, for our fellow human beings.
Everything else, as Saint Paul says, is dross, if not used for these end, and especially if goes contrary to these ends.
That said, we do believe that a proper care for this beautiful planet is part of that love for God and neighbour – for who wants to live in a polluted, smog-infested garbage dump, a la much of industrialized China? In my own numerous forays into the great outdoors, I often pick up garbage tossed away by other less-mindful people – who, I think in my darker moments, likely voted for Trudeau, but I try, oh, I try, to think good thoughts (see, charity, above). But the cleanliness of the Earth is so that it may be enjoyed by humans, and lots of them, in a rightly ordered way.
‘Tis sad that a good portion of environmentalists see their fellow humans as a metastasizing cancer in the very protoplasm of Gaia, and are licking their chops – was it not the bizarre Prince Philip who mused he’d like to be reincarnated as a deadly virus to reduce the world’s population? – that on this half-century Earth Day most planes, trains and automobiles, along with factories and mines and machines, are mostly quiet, the economy at a standstill. Fish are even returning to the canals of Venice!
All right, but what of it? There is plenty of other water for fish to frolic. And why worry about the poor gondoliers, when the Chi-Coms – before whom the Prince Charleses and Trudeaus of the world kowtow in obsequious obeisance – are spewing billions of tons of who-knows-what toxins into the airs and rivers of the Hidden Kingdom. Where is the condemnation of their profit-the-only-object, human and environmental degradation, economic slavery, and now, as evidence evinces, their engineered viruses, across the globe?
As Our Lady of Fatima warned, Communism – which may be described as the political manifestation of antichrist – would spread its errors around the world, and we’re seeing more evidence of that with each passing day.
But on a hopeful note, for the victory is not theirs in the end, in this forced quiescence, this is a good window for all of us to reflect on what it does mean to ‘use’ the planet we are on, and who the bad guys really are. It’s not the homeschooling families raising gaggles of giggling virtuous children.
So, if your vocation be to marriage and family, go forth and multiply, so that many persons made in God’s image might enjoy this beautiful, God-given world, before enjoying an eternity with the same God in an even better place.