Since it’s the fiftieth anniversary of Earth Day, let’s take a break from leading with the often tragic, frustrating, and sad pandemic news, and instead lead with a tragic, frustrating, and sad update on the lack of progress we’ve made since people first took to the streets to save Earth, the place where—regardless of plans to inhabit Mars—most of us still receive our Amazon packages. It’s too bad the Jewish people beat environmentalists to the punch (by about 3400 years) and labeled Yom Kippur the Day of Atonement, because that wouldn’t be a bad tagline for Earth Day. But don’t blame me for the bad news, blame GQ’s Rosecrans Baldwin: The Climate Crisis Isn’t Coming, It’s Already Here. “Before COVID-19, daily life … already provided all manner of full-size upsetting things to feel hopeless and helpless about. Of course, there’s nothing like the shock and terror of plague to recalibrate attention—to make one wonder what comes next.” (Don’t worry, it’s not all bad!)

+ Elizabeth Kolbert: “What the original Earth Day showed is that, when Americans are mobilized, remarkable things are possible. What the past few years have shown is that Americans can be mobilized by the most remarkable falsehoods. To say that the future of the world depends on which of these tendencies prevails is at this point, unfortunately, no exaggeration.”

+ “It’s the worst possible way to experience environment improvement and it has also shown us the size of the task.” The Guardian: Pandemic side-effects offer glimpse of alternative future. (The view from my house in Marin makes San Francisco look so close I could almost touch it. And I would if I could leave the damn house.)

+ Wired with a special issue that has a lot of techniques we’ve already learned to save this joint: How We Will All Solve the Climate Crisis: We only have one Earth. And we have the technology to save it. (I’d be more optimistic if we had the technology to make my Zoom backgrounds less glitchy…)

+ Here’s a photo journey back to the first Earth Day (when wearing masks was still only done to emphasize a point).