Tuesday marks Earth Day. Ah, Earth! That frail and beautiful world we inhabit! That teaspoonful of color in a dark sky! This precious stone set in a silver sea, this sceptered isle — I’m sorry, start describing Earth with floral language, and suddenly you wind up in John of Gaunt’s deathbed speech.

Earth is like mothers: something we celebrate once a year on its appointed day but spend the rest of the year trashing and pelting with litter.

Sure, we celebrate it, but have we ever evaluated it critically?

Maybe it’s time we did.

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Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost blog, offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day. She is the author of "A Field Guide to Awkward Silences".