Contrarian free-market environmentalist that I consider myself, I don’t know that I necessarily oppose the idea of designating a day on which we might take a moment to be especially mindful of the resources we consume and the subsequent neighborhood effects of those consumption habits… although, then again, that’s pretty much exactly what — you know — prices are for, but sure. Designating that day based on the co-impetus of some psycho hippie who murdered and “composted” his girlfriend and then turning it into a celebration of alarmism and top-down collectivization (i.e., eco-radicals’ two favorite things), though? Er…

While I’m sure public-school children across America were treated to plenty of indoctrinating lectures to mark the occasion, I almost managed to miss it entirely — which might be because Americans just aren’t ranking the issue as a major priority right now compared to all of our other problems.

Americans' Level of Worry About National Problems -- 2014 Rank Order

Americans' Worry About the Environment Over Time

Another Gallup poll from just yesterday notes that one in four Americans consider themselves “solidly skeptical” of global warming, and while the radical greens would probably blithely deem all of those people as knuckle-dragging, flat-earth-society “deniers,” I doubt very much that every single one of them would deny that climate change is a thing that exists and that has been both warming and cooling the planet at various intervals throughout its existence. If so much of the pubic is reluctant to cotton on to the notion that any warming we might be experiencing right now is entirely anthropogenic in nature and that we must endeavor to halt the changes at absolutely all costs, maybe those eco-radicals should blame themselves and the imminently calamitous scenarios they’ve been peddling for ages without any such disasters coming to pass. Oh, and let’s not forget that just about all of the solutions these radicals like to propose — from the United Nations on down — always seem to involve economic shrinkage, self-impoverishment, forced taxpayer “investment,” and further big-government/supranational regulation. Notice above how environmental concern tends to dip in times of economic hardship, anyone?

Anyhow. In belated recognition of Earth Day, my favorite pieces on the subject were from Patrick Michaels at Forbes on the environmentalist bureaucracy’s relatively short yet decreasingly effective history, and this little ditty on the continuing significance of fossil fuels from Mark Perry at AEI:

energy

From 1949 to 2040, fossil fuels have provided, and will continue to provide, the vast majority of our energy by far, according to President Obama’s Department of Energy. Last year, fossil fuels provided almost 84% of America’s energy consumption, nearly unchanged from the 85% fossil-fuel share in the early 1990s. Despite Obama’s dismissal of oil and other fossil fuels as “energy sources of the past,” his own DOE forecasts that they will still be the dominant energy source in 2040, providing more than 80% of our needs (see chart). …

The full awareness and appreciation of Earth’s natural environment really makes sense only as a greater appreciation of the human resourcefulness and human ingenuity that have transformed natural resources like sand into computer chips, and oil and gas trapped in shale formations miles below the ground into usable energy.