Sunday, January 22, 2012

Thin Green Veneer

I have a moment at last, free of indentured editude. See how much I love all of you? I get thirty minutes to myself and I produce something for your entertainment. Um, out of kindness. Yeah. Not narcissism.

I had a moment in which several unrelated incidents, memories, and ideas all connected. But not like a kid's dot-to-dot where one already knows the end product. It was more like a zone of Zen. A cone of clairvoyance. Maybe even a savant sphere. And put your elevated eyebrow of doubt back where it belongs.

The increasingly popular, warm-fuzzy-inducing, and redundant public service messages about saving the Earth are increasingly popular, warm-fuzzy-inducing, and redundant. But we all knew that. And having a rich famous human explain how to save the Earth? Emotional reaction-inducing, but hollow. Like asking a turtle for parenting advice.

Knew that, too.

Here's what I really noticed for the first time. None of those messages about recycling and being green mention things that will actually save the Earth. None. Because none of them mention buying less stuff. No gardening or shopping at thrift stores and garage sales. No Yankee ingenuity (don't flinch at that, Southerners, y'all been Yankees since 1865).

Americans: Cash in your clunker for a new car! A five-mile-per-gallon savings! Working more for the payments will be a breeze because of the sweet ride! Acquiring and processing thousands of metric tons of raw material  for that new car will easily be offset by that five mpg!
(In all fairness, buying a hybrid's a different carbon-footprint story: But no different in taking on a new debt.)

Bottled water companies continually flaunt the use of less plastic in containers. I'm sure that reduces the mass of a shipment and makes huge differences in the fuel costs for delivery. A filter in your fridge or tap? C'mon, those don't work.

Tobacco companies had to create anti-smoking ads after the big lawsuit: "Kids and teens - you're smart. You're tough. You're independent. You don't need anyone telling you what to do.....andbythewaydon'tsmoke." As engineered, ads met the literal punitive requirements and helped increase rates of smoking. Can't help but wonder if The More You Know about being green is brought to you by the same marketing firm. They both seem to have Mein Kampf memorized. It's all a thin green veneer on the not-to-emission-standards engine of economy. A green shell on the back does not a turtle make.

In my continuing quest to be less caustic to non-reptiles, I won't end there. I found a fascinating way to create what you non-indigenous humans can't grow or dig yourselves - a home. (Biting sharp tongue. Repressing species-ist slur.)
Built out of something already manufactured and not being used - leave the raw materials raw.

Houses built from shipping containers. Enjoy the idea and ingest the guilt!

DWD made me add this last one. Sorry.

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