Earth Day, 2011

   From our vantage point, it seems that somewhat fewer Earth Day events have been planned this year than previously. This is a shame, as the need for vigilance on all things ecological has perhaps never been higher.
    If we are allowed to speculate, the absence could be a product of the still-struggling economy. When people are worried about the bills, health care costs, and saving for the future, it can be difficult to be actively concerned about those things at a slight remove. Then, too, fatigue could be an explanation; there is so much to be done and the problems, such as climate change, water contamination, and species loss, are so great that it is easier to look away.
    This is where Earth Day, which is a week from tomorrow, fits in. It was created in 1970 at a time when the environmental movement was gaining strength, but its message of concern and shared responsibility should resonate even more today. In our hurry to get on with the exigencies of daily life, we must never forget the world around us — the only one we have.