Why the green movement is doomed to remain a superficial trend at best

Preserving wilderness means establishing limits. We say, in effect, we will go this far, and no farther, for development. We agree to do without the material resources the wilderness might contain. David Brower was fond of saying in the late 1960s that if stopping dams in the Grand Canyon meant economic sacrifice, then the United States should choose to be that much poorer.
~Wilderness and the American Mind, Fourth Ed. Emphasis mine.

Yes, I know, another Angry Post. I solemnly swear that I am up to no good that Friday’s post will not be angry.

I touched on this in a round-about way in “Hypocrisy.” I hope I’m wrong. I would love to be proven wrong.

But the green movement is doomed to fail because the majority of Americans are entitled little punks who throw a shitfit worthy of a two-year old if you deny them something. “The customer is always right.” “I’m going to have as many kids as I want even though we have to be on welfare.” The gas price debacle last year…no quote necessary.

Most Americans don’t want to get beyond “10 Easy Steps To Save The Environment!” Hell, my mother didn’t want to recycle until “it becomes as easy as trash is now.” She’s recycling now, and apparently that makes her all environmentally friendly even though she lives in a house only slightly smaller than the state of Nebraska. Now, if you live with four or five other people, a large house is justifiable. But the average American doesn’t need a pickup truck. And my parents don’t need two dining rooms.

What if we arrested development on new land? What if we said “You can’t build a house on a lot that didn’t already have a house on it.” And thus quit allowing people to build McMansions on mountains in Colorado. It would no doubt be repealed quickly.

Now, there are a lot of people out there doing really cool things. Giving up plastic, giving up electricity, going carfree, living out of RVs and tiny houses, renting apartments for life, or living in a loft smaller than my bedroom on top of a mountain completely off the grid making a mere $25 a week stipend. You see a pattern here? Moving beyond the “Ten Simple Things” requires a sacrifice. Put the baby down, it’s not that kind of sacrifice.

Don’t blame it on my generation. This shit started long before Mr. Rogers (supposedly), motivational posters, and special little snowflakes. It was a natural offshoot of the rise of consumer culture. “Sure, you can just ‘see’ the Pokemon, give it back to your friend, and complete your Pokedex that way, but isn’t it better to actually own all 151 251 386 three zillion Pokemans?” Baby steps from share to own to entitled. It’s your god-given right as a ‘Merican to own all bazillion Pokemon and no one should be allowed to stop you.

Newsflash: it’s not. Gas-guzzling cars, McMansions, welfare checks because you fail at birth control. You’re not entitled to any of these.

The only things you require are clean air, clean water, good food, a place to sleep and something to cover yourself with. Everything else is whipped topping.

Until we’re ready and willing, as a country, to make sacrifices, the green movement will be nothing more than a hypocritical trend.

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2 Responses to “Why the green movement is doomed to remain a superficial trend at best”

  1. Dargon Says:

    But I want to sacrifice the baby, and I completed the first pokedex through a number of trade and trade back transactions.

    In any case, as I have established before, I really don’t care much about the green movement. I like my electricity, my internet, my car, etc. None the less, as has been established, I’m not big on living excessively. That being said, I must agree that even the people who proclaim themselves to be green are likely unwilling to make the sacrifices necessary to be truly green. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that once they realize their Prius and their Walmart vacuum aren’t enough to save the environment, most so called greenies will drop the trend like their parents dropped them when they were children (and yes, that was an insult on the trendy greenies).

    That being said, it is possible to use stuff in a manner that will reduce rate of consumption, or even at a rate equal to or slower than resource reproduction. Take paper for instance. Paper farms grow new trees at the same rate they cut them down, so the tree population there is steady. Switching to a more fuel efficient vehicle (and not one that ends up using more resources to build than a comparable gas-guzzler does in it’s lifetime (looking at you, Prius owners)), or using public transportation or biking/walking will reduce the fuel consumption rate, extending the life of the resource, allowing more time to come up with alternative sources. My point here is that it is possible to maintain a lifestyle that is less detrimental to the envirronment while continuing to advance science such that the same lifestyle can be maintained at an even further reduced detriment, or even net gain for the environment.

    If you want to go completely off the grid, that is fine, but living a reduced lifestlye is nothing to be scoffed at.

    • cwnmamau Says:

      As much as I’d like to go off the grid, I won’t do it if I have to give up my computer. Or the fridge.

      And I never completed the Pokedex on any game. I was too lazy and didn’t care.

      And how the hell is “How to break up with a guy…” at all pertinent to what I just said? Go, WordPress, go!

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