Just Another Day

by Einar Du Rietz

Happy Environment Day

Time for the World Environment Day again.

Last time I counted, there were 426 Days per year, i.e, those sanctioned by the UN, EU or other international bodies. I know that the year, according to our calender, has 365 (366) days, but you can always combine. My figure (possibly higher by now) of course does not include national or religious holidays, not to mention private ones, such as anniversairies, or those dates we more silently keep in our memories.

The problem with the UN gimmick days is that they too often cost a lot (check out the UNEP press release) and are hard to ignore. Never mind the days of ginger snappers or cats, but for the Environment day, apparently all journalists need to harass people on the street and ask the compulsory questions: What is your worst fear? and What have you done for the climate?

Partly to my surprise, from what I’ve seen in the highly non scientific polls, many people actually take the time to think. Sure, there are the usual I’m-ashamed-I-had-a-steak-for-lunch-and-I-understand-climate-is-changing, but many (e.g. in the private poll I made) pick pollution, sometimes starvation, as clearly definable environmental threats. And more importantly, people in general tend to pick real threats in the fear category, such as war, terrorism, or – more personal – like illnesses, family tragedies etc. Not to mention the current economic situation.

It actually seems they did not suceed in bulding up the frenzy before the Rio summit, equivalent of earlier events. Good so. Personally I’m gonna celebrate the annual family birthdays.

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About the Author: Einar Du Rietz

Einar Du Rietz is a journalist and communications consultant based in Europe. He has authored several environmental reports for the Electrolux Group and written many blogs for the Center for the New Europe at CNE Environment.