What if we create a better world for nothing?

I believe in trying to get a balance between individual freedom on the one hand and social responsibility on the other.
~Chris Patten

This is funny and cool and all, really.

And I’m all for creating a better world. I’d love to see fewer cars and more bicyclers and walkers. Smaller cities and more wilderness. Better food and happier people. Ways of moving and living that don’t pump so much noxious crap into our air. It would be awesome.

But I’d rather do this in a way that doesn’t rely on a fear-mongering us-vs-them mentality. I will not have people staring down their nose at me because I drive a car. I will not see others harangued for only being able to do so much. I will yell at you, yes, for driving a big silver Suburban and being unable to properly drive or park said Suburban. The average American does not need a Suburban. The average American could get by just fucking fine with a small car. But it won’t be a better world if we’re too busy playing “greener than thou.”

Nor do I believe it would be a better world if we legislated people’s actions. I may vehemently disagree with your choice of vehicle, but it’s your money and your right to spend it as you see fit…if you wish to blow it all on some over-sized, over-priced, and quite frankly, extraordinarily ugly vehicle, be my guest.

And I don’t want to live in a world where everything is “too much.” Every bit of fossil fuels burnt is “too much,” every drop of water polluted is “too much.” For fuck’s sake, you don’t scrub yourself down to the muscle to make sure you get every bit of dirt off of you, do you? No, you get yourself clean enough. At some point it becomes inefficient and even harmful to make yourself cleaner. Same goes for the planet. There is a point where ridding ourselves of every last bit of anthropogenic pollution and waste is foolish. Due to our lovely media and its tendency to make things completely black and white, we seem to have lost the knowledge that yes, CO2 is a good thing. Like most things, it’s bad in excess. We can have our cake and eat it too…if we cut it in half. Just remember that a cake is no good unless you eat it.

I do think we can gain a lot from limiting our waste and pollution. But I also think, given the current trends of the “green” movement, that we also have a lot to lose. A lot to lose. This isn’t a nice simple “better future” vs. “crappy future” scenario. The future will be neither all better or all crappy. It will be both, in different ways. Instead of simply jumping on board the climate change bandwagon and blindly going for it, we should instead weigh our options and realize that we have to strike a balance in everything.

2 Responses to “What if we create a better world for nothing?”

  1. WhiteFox Says:

    I especially agree with the legislature point you brought up, and am glad you did so.

    Few changes are fruitful when they’re forced on a culture through politics, and both sides think differently. A change in the very heart and mind of people themselves is going to be needed in order for “eco-friendly” policy to be sustained in the mainstream, and that sort of change tends to be gradual.

  2. “We can have our cake and eat it too…if we cut it in half. Just remember that a cake is no good unless you eat it.”

    I like this.

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