Monday, June 6, 2011
The Hijacking of Greenness
by J.S. Holland
When I was a kid, see, back in the 60s, 70s, and 80s, the so-called "Green Revolution" meant that we wanted, quite obviously, to get rid of pollution and the evil individuals who control and pollute our food supply. Now, that's not rocket science, is it?
Back then, it was mostly the liberals who wanted to stop the polluters, obviously, and it was mostly the conversatives who wanted to let them keep on smoggin'. Somewhere along the way, everything changed and it's all topsy turvy. Nowadays, the people who are telling me what not to eat, what not to buy, what not to drive, what not to believe, what not to think, are the liberals.
Now, instead of being told that we need to fight the polluting megacorporations who are destroying the Earth, the burden of greenness is now being dumped on the citizens. Suddenly the focus is not on the smokestacks at Rubbertown, it's on how YOU AND ME are supposed to work harder to "reduce our carbon footprint." Suddenly the focus is not on the lies, coverups, incompetence and malfeasance surrounding environmental disasters like Fukushima, it's all about how YOU AND ME are supposed to work harder to recycle our trash.
Instead of bitching at me because I don't recycle my milk jugs, how about bitching at the companies who continue to create the damn plastic in the first place? And the politicians who allow it to go on? And the businesses who act as enablers for it all?
Look at this idiotic sheet of "green stamps" (heh) from the U.S. Post Office (who are, you know, just such a green organization) that suggest some green "helpful" hints, the kind that might come from Heloise if she was suffering lead poisoning.
"Reuse bags." Problem is, when I reuse an old grocery bag or bring my own cloth bag, the plastic bag that I didn't use IS STILL THERE. And it will end up in the environment sooner or later regardless. The solution to the problem is not to burden me with the duty of being bag-conscious, the solution is to eliminate the bags from being manufactured in the first place.
"Choose to Walk." Uh huh. "Ride a Bike." Aren't these the same thing, since the meaning behind them is "don't use cars as much"? Believe me, I love to ride my bike, but it's not a realistic mode of transport to go from Anchorage to Downtown every day. It just isn't. And I promise you, dear reader, I do walk - a LOT - more than you, I'd wager, and more than whoever designed these dumb stamps. But I do it because I like to walk, not because I think it's going to help the environment.
"Use Public Transportation." No. Fuck you. YOU go use public transportation. If I lived in a city that had a great bus system I might try it but I don't. I'm not standing in the hot sun waiting for the next late bus operated by an unsafe driver for the privilege of sitting next to a crazy person. Not gonna happen. And damn sure not for the sake of "being green." There are so many people on Earth now, even if we all switched to ride-sharing and bus-taking and in so doing cut automotive emissions drastically, it still would just be pissing in the ocean compared to what chemical companies spew into the environment on a daily basis. I will not listen to a lefty-hipster's spiel about "sustainable living" as long as Monsanto, DuPont, and Rubbertown are permitted to exist. (Not to mention the electromagnetic pollution field that we have been soaking in all our lives.)
"Use Efficient Light Bulbs." Aha! NOW we get to, I suspect, the real reason this whole sheet of stamps even exists - to promote these godawful CFL bulbs by presenting them side by side with other popular modern ideas of saving the planet.
And the inclusion of this light bulb scheme here furthers my conviction that "Green Living" is not only completely hijacked, it's long dead and buried somewhere in the desert.
Don't believe the hype, kids. The Earth does need saving pronto, and your health does need to be protected now more than ever, but the true solution has nothing to do with bullying citizens about their "carbon footprint". Wise up.