So…yesterday was Earth Day. Typically I grit my teeth and do my best to ignore the whole thing. Why do we need a whole day dedicated to this subject? Aren’t we barraged with it everywhere we turn already?
I thought I was doing just fine with “waste not, want not”, “use it up and wear it out”, frugality, stewardship, and gratitude for what I have. Apparently, my old-fashioned ideas do not embody the requisite level of religious fervor. I’ll stick with Easter, Christmas, and Thanksgiving and continue to skip days loaded with pagan overtones. I suppose I should be grateful that the paganism has been reduced to overtones, well, only in contrast to the full-blown earth worship that has occurred on some Earth Days past. Consider 1990, for instance, when ABC aired “The Earth Day Special” – it was packed with Muppets and featured Bette Midler as an ailing Mother Earth who desperately needed to be saved. I’m not sure what offended me more – the paganism or the long-term damage to my psyche which resulted from watching my beloved Muppets turned propaganda props.
This year’s Earth Day nonsense was far more subtle, but I think it’s more disturbing (yes, even more disturbing than the abuse of Muppets).
Linda, keen observer as she is, caught this year’s Earth Day gem, delivered to the world all day long in the form of the daily “Doodle”. (I didn’t know that’s the name of the daily image the powers-that-be at Google choose to display on the main page of their site, but that is what it’s called.) Google’s Earth Day feature was a whole lot more than a doodle – it was loaded with all sorts of bells and whistles, including a running animation, optional video play button, and a special search icon that took visitors to a Google search of “Earth Day” so site visitors didn’t miss a second of festivities and fascinating information. Fish, birds, flowers, trees, you know, all the flora, the fauna, the sun, the moon, the stars, a valley, some mountains, you name it, nature at its finest and all so cute…just cute. Very impressive, indeed.
For those who missed the fun, some enterprising individual loaded the whole thing up to YouTube for the world’s viewing “pleasure” well into the future:
So, anyone else notice what’s missing from Google’s idyllic version of the earth?
If you need a little time to look the image over, I’ve provided you with some music to think by…
The answer is: PEOPLE
Readers will excuse both Linda and myself for having little doubt that man’s exclusion was very likely deliberate. Man just ruins the place, apparently. We can’t know what the powers-that-be at Google were thinking about the subject, but the exclusion of mankind from Earth Day seems so much like some maps we’ve seen and some theories we’ve read which unabashedly seek to exclude people from as much of earth’s surface as possible.
Seems nutty, doesn’t it? And like stuff you couldn’t make up if you tried. And most people wouldn’t try. But the United Nations and others have. That map was apparently drawn up as a result of the UN’s Convention on Biological Diversity, which was opened for signing at The Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. I simply tracked down a few of the sources cited on the map and didn’t list or link to all of them here. Speaking of Google, if you really want to wig yourself out, go Google some of the entities listed on the bottom of the map…
Meanwhile, I’ll conclude this article on a humorous note, well, an ironically humorous note. I’d like to express gratitude to a guy named Phil over at Slate.com for serving up the perfect article to underline my point. The title alone is worth mentioning, “Google Doodle: Earth Day Doodle Has a Few Science Errors”. Well, that’s what the folks in charge of loading up the titles called it. My pal Phil called it, “Noodling Google’s Doodle”. The irony is the article goes to great lengths pointing out what’s wrong with the imagery, such as the incorrect phases of the moon, that the moon in crescent has the wrong color (or something), and that the shapes are wrong, etc., etc., etc. Phil DID point out something else I noticed, too, which is that the earth is depicted as flat, which I found hysterically funny. Who’re the flat-earthers? Hmm. In any case, Google’s science errors re: the moon were worth pointing out by the Slate author, but the omission of human beings, not so much, I guess.
A song to bring the point home: All God’s Creatures Got a Place in the Choir . . .
Simulated Reserve image from: