Red, White and Blue-Green: An Eco-Friendly Fourth of July

This Independence Day, in spite of the fact that I teach American History, I’m looking forward rather than back.  Maybe it’s motherhood, or rising gas prices, or melting glaciers, but it seems as though boundless independence might not be working for our country at this point.

We’re free to use as much fuel, energy, food, and water as we’d like.  We’re free to toss recyclables into the trash and drive Hummer limousines. The pursuit of happiness has pushed us into a level of consumerism that would have baffled our nation’s founders.  (I can’t help but mention here that they were imperfect as well—some of them using slavery to support their own luxurious lifestyles.)