Happy Energy Independence Day

Marketers trampled over each other in 2010 to promote Earth Day on its 40th anniversary.

But this year, it been more like “Dearth Day,” as the environmental movement continues to lose steam in the face of a sagging economy and rising prices.

The New York Times this morning reports that sales of eco-friendly products have dropped precipitously as mainstream consumers seek cheaper alternatives. 

I blame the economy, too. But something else is afoot here: Climate change naysayers have persuaded a lot of consumers that “global warming is hooey.”

Unfortunately, that also means that the commitment to energy efficiency has dwindled, too. (And that’s continuing to help drive up the cost of energy, putting more pressure on eco-conscious products. That’s a vicious cycle none of us can afford.)

So what to do? Heres’ a radical notion: Why don’t we recast Earth Day next year as Energy Independence Day, so we can begin to unite tree huggers and Tea Partiers behind a common cause.

With apologies to the late Earth Day founder, and celebrated Wisconsin Senator, Gaylord Nelson: What does it matter what we call April 22, as long as we get the job done?

Earth Day cookie courtesy Crown Plaza Hotel, Philadelphia (from a business trip I took last week)