Years ago, Earth Day meant something to me and, I think, to many others. But now it has become a gesture as vacant as any other, as evinced by the Day’s political speeches of the world’s greatest polluters. Each week I carry my recycling bin to the edge of the curb and each week I wonder about the point of it all. I'll still do it because it is for me a personal spiritual matter, a private battle against waste, a virtue to pursue, that will likely have no effect past the driveway, only in me, which selfishly suffices. The problem of the "environment" (a word that has also lost meaning) is beyond "doing" something and has returned squarely back to where it started: paradigms against which we are so docile and are unable to change by saving plastic. It is so venous that it covers assumptions so pervasive we can't notice them, let alone think about altering. New is always better than old: that's one assumption, the false sense of progress and its toll on the earth from which "progress" is manufactured and then returned to as refuse that will not decompose for centuries or millennia. The things we invent are far advanced of any ethical discussion, so we’re stuck with things that social and religious intellectuals are forced to scramble around for answers without the benefit of forethought. If humankind can do it (sheer capability) then it must be done with no consideration of lasting impact to the world and its minions. That too is an assumption. Corporate concerns, we now readily admit, must be able to produce profit of “ecological friendly” devices or systems before the earth can derive any benefit from them. Worse yet, Armageddon complexes, so rampant and dangerous, see no value in preserving what will eventually (or quite soon) be obliterated. So the planet is doomed already; just give it morphine and, meanwhile, take what we can of its lands, resources, and beauty, because now the only thing that makes sense is a power-grab that will prepare the fortunate ones for the earth-ending battle. These are all immoralities--corruptions proffered as good, godly, or necessary. Even the “environmentalists,” who speak with verve, go nowhere near the bottom line. So happy Earth Day!