Greenies Against Greenwash!

A couple of interesting “greenie” articles…if only because one doesn’t have to follow through to each and everyone of their conclusions to agree with their observations: much of what is being touted as solution to (alleged) planetary environmental problems is “a way of making you think” begging the question of “what difference does it make?

From RISMedia: “All This Talk about ‘Green’…It’s Enough to Turn ‘Ye Puce” by George W Mantor (March 17, 2009):

You can bet that in the next few months someone will chastise you for not being “green” enough. […] Car companies are going “green” and so are refineries, builders, and just about every other industry with any exposure to the public. As a matter of fact, even manufacturers of ammunition are producing “green” bullets. These would be particularly appropriate, I suppose, for shooting environmental activists. So, what is this “green?” Is it new? Where did it come from and, why now?

[…] “Green” isn’t a thing as much as a way of thinking. Or, a way of making you think.

[…] Being Greener. The first phase had already taken place. They switched to “greener” office products: recycled paper, bamboo paper clips, solar powered calculators; a bold switch from chemical adhesives to certified organic muselage ground from the bulbs of renewable wild Hyacinth.

I was musing about some of the consequences, like the move to far costlier refillable pens. They still buy the same number of pens. What they didn’t consider was that the pens weren’t wearing out or running dry, they would “disappear” long before they ever ran out of ink. It would have been greener to simply chain the disposable pens to conveniently located writing surfaces.

As I waited for the light to change, my eyes were drawn to the gutter where the exact composition of the decaying soggy mass was indiscernible, but I did notice that some of it was turning green. And, it sort of begs the question, what difference does it make […]

From Orion magazine: “Forget Shorter Showers – Why personal change does not equal political change” by Derrick Jensen (July/August 2009)

WOULD ANY SANE PERSON think dumpster diving would have stopped Hitler, or that composting would have ended slavery or brought about the eight-hour workday, or that chopping wood and carrying water would have gotten people out of Tsarist prisons, or that dancing naked around a fire would have helped put in place the Voting Rights Act of 1957 or the Civil Rights Act of 1964? Then why now, with all the world at stake, do so many people retreat into these entirely personal “solutions”?

[…] An Inconvenient Truth helped raise consciousness about global warming. But did you notice that all of the solutions presented had to do with personal consumption—changing light bulbs, inflating tires, driving half as much—and had nothing to do with shifting power away from corporations, or stopping the growth economy that is destroying the planet? Even if every person in the United States did everything the movie suggested, U.S. carbon emissions would fall by only 22 percent. Scientific consensus is that emissions must be reduced by at least 75 percent worldwide.

Or let’s talk water. […] See the disconnect? Because I take showers, I’m responsible for drawing down aquifers? Well, no. More than 90 percent of the water used by humans is used by agriculture and industry. The remaining 10 percent is split between municipalities and actual living breathing individual humans. Collectively, municipal golf courses use as much water as municipal human beings.

[…] Or let’s talk energy. […] “even if we all took up cycling and wood stoves it would have a negligible impact on energy use, global warming and atmospheric pollution.”

[…] Or let’s talk waste. […] Let’s say you’re a die-hard simple-living activist, and you reduce this to zero. You recycle everything. You bring cloth bags shopping. You fix your toaster. Your toes poke out of old tennis shoes. You’re not done yet, though. Since municipal waste includes not just residential waste, but also waste from government offices and businesses, you march to those offices, waste reduction pamphlets in hand, and convince them to cut down on their waste enough to eliminate your share of it. Uh, I’ve got some bad news. Municipal waste accounts for only 3 percent of total waste production in the United States […] .