Psychology has long recognized a heirarchy of needs - that means until your baser needs are met, like food and shelter, you can't spend time on higher needs like self-actualization and pondering the universe. On Earth Day, with most of the world economy in a dumpster thanks to gross mismanagement by the world powers, the unemployed are not going to care about lobbying for fewer people being allowed to enjoy nature and are more worried about mortgage payments. Greenhouse gas levels are back to 1995 levels - and that is a very bad thing, though it is what environmentalists claim to want.
But prosperity and environmental concern do not need to be in opposition, notes Alex Berezow at RealClearScience, and this Earth Day is a chance to show that. Like Maslow's heirarchy of needs says, the countries that can be concerned about the environment are wealthy, they are not worried about baser needs like electricity and water - and instead want to keep poor people in the dark.
Instead of going back to the 5th century AD, environmentalists need to start lobbying for solutions that are cleaner and help people directly, not ridiculous subsidies for lousy wind technology we know doesn't work and promises of some vague 'green' economy that will appear if the government goes in debt enough. That is an Earth Day we can all join in on.
As Alex writes:
Planting a tree or turning out the lights early is nice, but if you really want to help the planet this Earth Day, send money to a charity that promotes economic development. When the world becomes a richer place, it will also become a greener place.