Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Goofy Green

The problem with us foolish Americans (as if there was just one problem) is that we think the world revolves around us. I think, at the heart of any anti-American sentiment, you’ll find the same root idea.

Of course the images starting to trickle home from China are reminding us that we are not alone on this third rock from the sun and that it takes more than a cavalcade of soccer moms following all of the latest “green” trends in order to save our silly little planet before it gets pissed off and kills us all.

Green. Heh. It’s a joke. It’s a marketing thing. It’s just not real and it’s just not practical.

The athletes arriving in Beijing for the Olympics have been issued protective face masks by our government, who obviously realize that poor air, caused by harmful pollution, can start decreasing a person’s lung capacity in less than one day; and that decreased lung capacity can lead to poor performance on the field of competition.

How nice that they put forth such effort to make sure our American athletes make a good show of things and win lots of medals, reminding us of how very superior we are to the rest of the world once again.

We also show the world our “superiority” by championing movements like the whole “green initiative.” Look at us! We recycle! We care! Be like us! Of course, we fail to realize that we’re being hypocrites—but that’s hardly news.

China is the shining example of what’s wrong. Their pollution induced, algae filled beaches, their unbreathable air, their insistence that it’s the weather that causes the problems; not the fact that their standards for industry, in terms of pollution are virtually non-existent.

And now for the fun part! Let’s see, who enables the Chinese? Who has decided to import all of it’s manufactured goods? What country, once the industrial giant of the world, has passed that baton on to a country which allows the very air it’s citizens breath to kill them? Hmmmmm?

If you guessed that the old US of A was that very enabler, you get a gold star and a chocolate chip cookie my friend. That’s where the hypocrisy comes in. We recycle. We buy our Hybrid cars. We use our cloth diapers. We make sure our retailers are serving us our fast food burgers in biodegradable containers, right before we go out and buy our plasma televisions, our gizmos and gadgets, flugelbinders and flopnobbers—all of which are made in China, unregulated and without the slightest concern for the world around them.

In order to actually “go green,” you’d have to purchase products that are made, in their entirety, in countries which have strict regulations set up for the manufacture of goods. Otherwise, you’d simply be doing good with one hand, while erasing that good with the other. Oh, and those countries don’t exist, for those of you who might be interested in trying. Even products made in environmentally accountable countries still use Chinese parts.

Now, I’m not saying that it’s not noble to do your part in living green. I’m not saying that every little bit doesn’t help. I’m simply pointing out the naiveté of thinking that you live an environmentally conscious life if you’re also buying products made in countries like China. And let’s face it, we ALL have products made in those countries. They make everything now. The American manufacturer, in part because of the high standards our own government places on environmental regulations, has gone the way of the Water Buffalo.

We are now dependant upon the very cause of the disease for every whatchamacallit we own. The steps we make here in our tiny little corner of the world are meaningless compared to the backward leaps made by the new nations of industry.

We are left with our righteousness. We are left with our indignation. We are left with a planet which is dying of a disease that we’re trying to cure with Chicken Noodle soup and Mom’s comforting words.

If you want to “think green,” you have to think globally, not just locally. It’s a great big world out there my friends. Using a cloth shopping bag isn’t going to save the Polar Bears, unless that bag is filled with a little less hypocrisy and a whole lot more common sense.

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