The PC (Politically Correct) Holiday
Mason Beasler
AFA Journal staff writer

April 2020Humans love holidays.

The season surrounding Christmas alone creates billions of dollars in revenue, not to mention the money spent on Easter chocolates, Valentine’s Day flowers, and Mother’s Day cards during the rest of the year.

However, one holiday stands out with its claim to involve billions of people all over the globe in what could be aptly labeled the Politically Correct Holiday, officially known as Earth Day observed April 22.

The holiday was started in 1970 by U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson (D-WI). Capitalizing on anti-war sentiment around the country, Nelson set out to unite all the climate-conscious organizations under one banner. The group now considers itself the driving force behind the formation of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Clean air and water or climate hysteria?
Nelson’s movement initially aimed at reducing air and water pollution, but by the late 1990s, Earth Day had branched out with its campaign on global warming and energy reformation. Now, climate activists practice free rein to espouse a myriad of views, however contrary to fact or reason they may be.

For example, U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) warned the world that it has only 12 years to live if nothing is done about climate change. The tantrums of Swedish 17-year-old Greta Thunberg gained media notoriety when she called for eradication of all fossil fuel consumption across the globe.

The Earth Day website (earthday.org) is a like-minded proponent of these radical causes, siding with the opinion from a United Nations report that humanity faces catastrophe from climate change. The group emphasizes its commitment “to mobilize the world to take on the most urgent challenges of our time – from climate change to deforestation to species extinction.” These “challenges” were labeled by Ocasio-Cortez as the World War II of our time.

In response to frequent outbursts of international alarm over the climate, Heartland Institute, a conservative nonprofit research and education organization, sees things differently. In an article published by the institute, “It’s Time to Abandon Earth Day,” Dr. Edward Hudgins presents the facts concerning the health of the planet, but also suggests that the priorities of climate change activists are out of order.

Climate alarm or scientific sanity?
Hudgins reports that many different global factors have improved tremendously since the 1970s. For example, global human life expectancy has jumped from 60 to 72 in the past 50 years. Over the past 40 years, the percentage of the population with access to improved water sources has risen from 50% to 90%. In the ’70s, 24 oil spills occurred on average each year. In the past 20 years, that average has plummeted to three, with each spill releasing 99% less oil than in previous years.

Hudgins writes that the real reason for these improvements was not climate activists shouting into loudspeakers. It was freedom and capitalism.

“Groundbreaking technologies and innovations come from entrepreneurs and inventors who are setting the path to greater prosperity and unimaginable improvements in human well-being,” said Hudgins. “Let’s juxtapose the improvements to human well-being and prosperity that result from liberty and technology against the now-seen-as-silly Earth Day fetes.”

Shouting from the rooftops that climate change spells doom for our planet, leftist activists and their claims are just as outlandish as a Swedish teen demanding that all world governments do what she says.

Technology and human enterprise sustained by free-market capitalism have done more to improve both the climate and human life than alarmists chaining themselves to trees will ever do.   

A sane response
Heartland Institute will host the 14th International Conference on Climate Change in Las Vegas May 7-8. Presenters will include Heartland scholars; meteorologist Neil L. Frank, Ph.D.; veteran atmospheric scientist (retired from the National Hurricane Center); Kevin Dayaratna, Ph.D., statistician and researcher for the Heritage Foundation; and other experts.

Learn more and register at heartland.org.