No easy solution

By   |  July 4, 2008

The Green “Revolution” is starting to grate on my nerves.

OK, it makes me a horrible human being to admit it, but it’s true. It’s been something I have been wanting to get off of my chest for some time now. All those stickers in the bathroom telling me to ‘Think Green – take only what you need,” the banners promoting carpooling . . . they only serve to anger me.

It’s not the conservation that angers me; it’s the fact that everyone should have been behaving responsibly this entire time. People shouldn’t need a sticker telling them to only as many paper towels as they need (which makes me wonder – how many paper towels were people taking before the stickers, and what exactly what were they doing with them?) or to carpool if they can.

We should have been conserving this entire time, not just because it’s now the current fad. I have always tried to live my life as conservative as possible (I can thank my depression-era grandmother for teaching me this important lesson), so it’s really irritating when I have environmental zealots chastising me for my lifestyle choices. One memory that comes to mind is a friend from northern California that made me feel bad for a lunch pack I had purchased for the purpose of being mobile while traveling – apparently it had too much packaging for her taste and she felt it appropriate to criticise my purchase. (This coming from someone who has no problem taking advantage of others, yet when it comes to the “environment,” it seems that as long as she recycles her cans, flushes the toliet only when absolutely necessary, and limits her Taco Bell consumption to once a week, then she’s on Mother Earth’s good side.)

While I think it’s important to conserve, recycle and reuse as much as possible, I honestly don’t think the problem is going to be solved by a few individuals. And I highly doubt that a sticker is going to stem the flow of apparent paper towel over-usuage.

What we need are bigger-than-life solutions. We need innovation and Big Ideas. We need solutions that will change the world and the way everyone sees things, not stickers and quick-fix patches.

What do I mean by quick-fix patches? Hybrid vehicles are quick-fix patches, not a solution. We are still relying on the combustion engine and oil. What about using food as fuel? Well, we all know how that’s going.

We are heading into a very uncertain future. Change needs to be more than a fad; people’s fancies and what’s considered “cool” are short-lived. Change needs to be implemented and something we live, eat and breathe. You see, it’s not Earth I’m worried about – the planet was fine millions of years before us and will continue as such when we’re long gone. What we need to worry about is preserving our environment for our sake and our children’s sake. Otherwise, we’re doomed.

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3 Comments on “No easy solution”  (RSS)

  1. Yes yes yes jsel and JC89! I agree that it seems to have become more marketing-focused rather than solving the actual problem.

  2. I totally agree. The one thing that worries me most about the green revolution is that it’s becoming more of a green trend. What we need is people willing to dedicate themselves to the science of solving environmental problems instead of the art of marketing the issue. The less Prius-driving tight-fit Save-the-Planet shirt wearers there are, the sooner we’ll be able to realize how serious the issue really is.

  3. “People shouldn’t need a sticker telling them to only as many paper towels as they need (which makes me wonder – how many paper towels were people taking before the stickers, and what exactly what were they doing with them?)…”

    haha lol…

    I like your perspective, and I agree. Caring about pollution should not be trendy, it should be logical. I remember drawing picture of how to stop pollution in 4th grade and the environmental movement that was going on at the time — mid 1990s. These things will keep coming back, I’m sure. Self-patronizing among an already saturated society of self-patronizers doesn’t bring any power to a cause, and neither does pretending you can one-up other people by being nitpicky about lunch boxes. It’s completely retarded. If people want to really care and improve things, they should fight for a change in the cornerstones of our economy and energy-use and not try to temporarily bandaid the earth with green bumper stickers from Berkeley. And they should do so on a mature, reasonable level instead of mixing their “care” into other things like punk rock and $25,000 hybrids.

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