I don’t rant on this blog. Oh, I’ll rant at you if I have you in person where you can’t get away — but no one really wants to hear another person complaining…and they definitely don’t want to read about someone complaining. But this one’s been bugging me for a while.
The whole global warming thing.
I don’t know why people are arguing about it. Honestly. Who cares if you can prove that the earth warmed 800 years ago. Who cares if our planet should be strong enough to deal with the crap we churn out.
My question is simple: why does it hurt to be a little ecologically responsible? Why does recycling upset some people? Why does Fox News still argue against global warming (calling it a myth). Seriously.
If we can preserve some of the planet…awesome. Do we have to have a reason to do it? We’re all consumers (damn, townies!) and we’re all going to buy. But if you can buy the recycled products over the non-recycled products and it costs you 10 cents, why not? If you can forgo drive-thrus to save a little bit of smog…if you can recycle, compost, and otherwise divert garbage…what’s the harm? If you can watch energy consumption (thereby keeping emissions, both from Coal and Nuclear low), why not?
It’s like there’s this underlying theme with the corporate world — they don’t want people to feel guilty as they fill up their SUVs (hey, I have a minivan but we’re thinking of downsizing), or buy their uranium lollipops, or crank their AC units to 18 degrees* — nope, don’t want you to feel guilty while you’re consuming, so we’re going to fight against this global warming, so you can live your consumer life, so you don’t actually have to think about what your dollars are doing.
*Seriously, Walmart and Home Depot — turning off one bank of fluorescent lights is doing nothing…turn down the AC a few degrees — I shouldn’t need to wear a sweater in the middle of the summer.
My info actually comes from Penn and Teller’s Bull$#it, which is a great HBO TV show that takes a really liberal view of a crap load of things. Now I will admit that while many of their opinions are specious at best, there are a few of them (like recycling) that I think are pretty valid.
They’re not against recycling per-se, they’re against the mindless busy-work that recycling has become. We have machines that can automate pretty much every tedious task on the planet, but sorting recycling is still a mind numbingly repetitive and time wasting task (which I look forward to almost as much as I look forward to billing customers every month).
Here’s my thing. We as a society need to keep the obstacles against doing eco-friendly things low, and if we don’t then people simply won’t do them. Will I move down to Queen and Adelaide so that I can walk to work? Hell no, I prefer not being shot in the face on my way to work. Will I stop using drive-throughs so that Al Gore’s stretch SUV can drive another 200km? Sure.
Here’s a thought, let’s have the government outlaw the Hummer. Then let’s move down to large pickups, and what about emissions tests on diesel vehicles? I was behind a bus the other day that was pumping out the most disgusting black bile that I’ve ever seen. Said bus had 3 people on it (including the driver), is that ecologically more sound than having 3 cars that have passed the Drive Clean emissions standards on the road?
Hummer (the vehicle)…yes, get rid of it. Keep the other one.
Many valid points. I wasn’t actually ranting about eco-anything really. More I was ranting about why there’s an entire industry that fights against being environmentally responsible.
Sure, I know you could trace a lot of these mediums back to their sources — manufacturers, big oil, etc…but I don’t understand why people have to believe it.
Brian, you are exactly right — these things have to be feasible. I’d love to be able to buy a hybrid. But I can’t afford. I’d love to replace all my windows. I’d love to do all that stuff…but I can’t afford it.
But I can recycle. I can compost (looking into that one — really waiting for when we move), I can forgo drive-thrus…I can try to conserve energy…
Because to me, I don’t care if Fox News is telling me that global warming is a myth. I don’t see how any of this stuff hurts anyone.
BTW, Brian, Aaron Klesh (aka Evan Tanner) was a recycling sorter…
Kari, that’s reminds me of the old cub motto in regards to when we went to cub camp which was something to the effect of, “leave it exactly like it was when you found it”
I am not sure how anyone can argue that we don’t need to consider the footprint we’re leaving here And it’s even more odd that people want to pick apart that Live Earth deal last weekend. Because if even 10% f the people watching get more self aware about their contribution to the global dilemma, then, something has been achieved.
Ryan, Kari, it’s good to know other people out there, that I like and respect care about the same sort of things I do. You’re bringing your children up with the right kind of passions.
Then why it shit sakes did you not let the raccoons ‘recycle’ your spent diaper mine?
First, drop the line breaks. The comments do it automatically now.
Ohhh, an anti-recycler? Nice! Fox News tells you that little tid-bit of information about recycling, my friend? That by recycling you’re actually DAMAGING the environment? Hahaha! (that a good natured laugh, BTW, not the Bill OReilly ‘you’re an idiot laugh’)
Sigh. Exactly what I mean — there are entire mediums devoted to trying to alleviate your guilt when you decided to toss your plastic and newspaper. Why? Because you said it yourself: you don’t like to sort through materials.
Some resources exceed the initial manufacturing of the virgin product, namely, water consumption…but looking at the overall environmental there are major advantages to recycling…(http://www.davidsuzuki.org)
Okay, global warming, I get that…but recycling? That’s a WHOLE other bottle of gas (see what I did there? Clever no?).
What exactly is the benefit of recycling? Diversion? We have so much useless space here in Canada that we could turn Manitoba into a giant garbage bin and we’d never have to deal with garbage again. When you start doing the research you’ll find out that the ecological footprint of recycled plastics and papers is much higher than the footprint of new. Particularly paper, which has to be bleached (ugh), pulped (double ugh), strained (to remove the bleach), and processed. What happens during that process is so gross. Plastic is just as gross, and it’s only recently that manufacturers have figured out things to do with recycled plastic (like that cool new wood/plastic hybrid that exists now).
Plus there’s NOTHING worse than doing the weekly “digging through my garbage to sort the paper from the plastic from the metal” dance, especially in the middle of winter.
I’m on board with the no-drive thru rule, and I’ve actually gone out of my way to not go through drive throughs…of course it doesn’t help a whole lot that my wife then turns the car back on while I’m inside to keep the AC going. Grr.
I read a bumper sticker recently ( on a Hybrid car no less)that summed up this entire debate for me perfectly. “Live simply, so others can simply live”. I like it…I think that may be my new signature line.