When I read stuff like this

A USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds that more Americans than ever — 60%, up from 48% a decade ago — believe that global warming has begun to affect the climate. A slightly larger percentage think it will cause major or extreme changes in climate and weather during the next 50 years.

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Even so, most people are wary of any government effort to protect the environment by imposing restrictions on how they live, work or get around. A majority of those surveyed in the poll, conducted March 23-25, said they wouldn’t want a surcharge added to their utility bill if their homes exceeded certain energy-use levels. And most Americans would oppose any laws requiring cars sold in the USA to dramatically improve their gas mileage or restrictions on development to try to limit suburban sprawl.

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… I have to agree with Alex and Sarah: Screw Earth Day:

Earth Day, which every year has become less and less the revolutionary event it once was, seems this year to have entered a new phase of meaninglessness. Indeed, this year it appears to gone into a form of retrograde motion and begun to move actively away from the concept of comprehensive sustainability that drives all rational environmentalism. …

The biggest problem with Earth Day is that it has become a ritual of sympathy for the idea of environmental sanity. Small steps, we’re told, ignoring the fact that most of the steps most frequently promoted (returning your bottles, bringing your own bag, turning off the water while you brush your teeth) are of such minor impact (compared to our ecological footprints) that they are essentially meaningless without larger, systemic action as well. The strategy of recycling as a gateway drug — get them hooked on it and we can move them on to harder stuff — has failed miserably. …

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What may be worse is the recent plethora of "green issues," "green guides" and special Earth Day sections that have blanketed our media. A decade ago, we would have been excited to see green ideas (even lame ones) given such prominent play, but these days, such editorial eco-ghettos strike us more as an admission of skewed priorities, with ecological sanity presented as a product feature, like a well-designed cupholder, rather than as a fundamental strategy for avoiding widespread collapse.

… while we mark the day in part to help our kids feel a sense of environmental responsibility, on a planet where climate change alone already (by conservative projections) kills 150,000 people a year (think, roughly, of a 9/11 every week) and the forecast through much of Africa, South Asia and the Middle East calls for nothing but climate misery, the other 364 days of our year look like a smokestack-sized raised middle finger. … with what Jared Diamond calls "a global Somalia" unfolding around the world in large part because of our voracious appetites, our continuing to treat sustainability as an optional good deed fails, somewhat understandably, to lessen the moral contempt many elsewhere feel for us these days.

Yup. The time for "small steps" is long past. It’s time for people to wake the hell up.