Few adults may know it, but kids across the country are about to celebrate a holiday: Earth Day, which is April 22. Schools will take a break from normal instruction to discuss the importance of preserving the environment. That may sound like a harmless activity, but too often Earth Day becomes a platform for pushing an ideological brand of environmentalism. Parents need to pay attention and ask their children's teachers what's their plans are for Earth Day.
Unlike most holidays, Earth Day expressly focuses on youth. No gifts will be exchanged and no Easter Bunny will deliver jelly beans in biodegradable packages (undoubtedly the process of refining all that sugar alone offends true Earth Day enthusiasts), but galvanizing young people to become involved in protecting the environment is the day's express purpose.
The first Earth Day was held in 1970. Senator Gaylord Nelson, Earth Day's founder, endeavored to bring national attention to the cause of improving the environment. He saw the success of anti-war activists in raising awareness about their cause through demonstration and “teach-ins.” He wanted to enlist the same spirit in the cause of the environment. Today, schools across the country—and even around the world—participate in Earth Day events.
This sounds like a smashing success. And not just for Senator Nelson and environmentalists, but for all of us who benefit from a healthy, clean environment. After all, we all want to protect the planet and have the next generation grow up appreciating nature and the importance of maintaining our natural habitat.
Yet Earth Day organizers too often go beyond promoting that simple message and use the occasion as a platform for advancing a political ideology. Global warming, for example, is a frequent topic on Earth Day. Schools tend to echo the message of global warming alarmists, claiming that man is causing temperatures to rise with potentially catastrophic consequences for our planet and mankind. Many schools even show Al Gore's movie An Inconvenient Truth. That film may have won an Academy Award, but it is widely recognized as propaganda, with a judge in the United Kingdom finding that it grossly exaggerates even the most dire predictions about global warming's potential harm.