Earth Day waits for an Encore

April. Welcome to Earth Day 2012, the 22nd day of the month. Forty-two years old, Earth Day remains a vital presence on every continent.

It might not seem so: Pollution is ever-present as motorists rush to the gas pumps to fill their tanks. Manufacturers dump refuse into oceans, lakes and rivers. Consumers litter sidewalks and subway cars. Species disappear because of threats to their natural habitats.

Even parts of Mount Everest are strewn with trash and then cleaned by volunteers. Scientists warn of global warming, while many disbelieve and scoff at their claims.

But, Earth Day gives hope that planetary inhabitants understand the risks, and desire changes – at least symbolically – to 'own up' to their responsibilities. There’s always fresh air ... new generations.

The hopes of Earth Day start with the individual. We may never get back to The Garden, but there's always the garden.