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Apr. 22, 2008
Earth Day Reflections from Dean
It's April 22nd, and you know what that means? Earth Day! This last weekend, there were so many different celebrations happening around town, it's only natural that we have an entry documenting the festivities—and what better town to feature than Berkeley itself? Dean, our trusty PR guy and enviro guru shares a little something from the weekend.

For the first time in years, I thought I'd check out an official Earth Day celebration, what with global climate change putting the environment back on front pages. So I dropped in this past weekend on Berkeley's Earth Day celebration, likely the largest annual gathering of its kind in the SF Bay Area.

I had expected the urgency of global warming, emergence of clean tech and even a little quasi-political leadership on the environment (can you say Al Gore?) would have made for an event attended by key representatives from every element of society, all offering a sense that our nation is moving powerfully to address our planet's very survival.

Surprisingly, Berkeley's gathering felt a lot like Earth Day circa 1980. The crowd had a bit of a hippie-feel to it. Most of the booths showcased grassroots efforts, high on ideals and low on budget. You could buy journals made from recycled book covers and cute organic cotton shirts with eco-sayings for your little ones. Or test your skills on a climbing wall at the Clif Bar booth.

Newer to the scene were a few solar energy companies, the latest in eco-conscious cars (electric, hybrids, car share services) and an emerging community effort to put solar on all of Berkeley's schools. Great stuff, all of it, but it still seemed like we're trying to stop a huge tidal wave with a couple of tiny buckets. Time is short. The grassroots work on climate change needs to grow rapidly. I know part of the environmental solution is to start at home, one-by-one, influencing neighbors and modifying lifestyles.

But I can't help hoping that next year's Earth Day celebrations will have a stronger presence from government, politicians, private enterprise and major social organizations if we're going to slow climate change and preserve our planet. Maybe it's up to all of us to really start insisting that those groups join the effort, or vote them out at the ballot box and spend our money with those who care.
Posted by:
Dean, the PR Dude

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