This is an amalgam of different research, articles, data, and info to challenge you and what you define as “GREEN”.Â At this point, I define it as cash…. and realize the only way to a healthier environment is personal accountability and personal sustainability.Â It isn’t buying things, it is choosing not to buy things that will help this world… aka “*OUR* environment” – because all we are altering is the capacity for us to inhabit the planet.Â The planet will be fine after we are gone…. let’s not make this about some altruistic exertion to save a networked system of entities.Â This is about our survival, our passion to help ourselves, and to right the wrongs we have accidentally accomplished that perpetuates a cycle of guilt which causes us to do things for show, more than really helping in powerful ways that might get in the way of our style or expectation of living at our current means – which is all about comfort.
Step away from your beliefs for a moment, and dig philosophically about what it means to be green, how to be better….. and whether you are just part of the culture of consumerism, or part of the solution.Â In the end, it isn’t what we buy that will save us… it’s what we don’t buy, and how we are able to engage the politics of food on a worldwide level.
Monbiot said “Green consumerism will not save us”.Â I think it’s a massively important piece – for the mindless liberals who just go with the flow without any dedicated research, thought, or capacity to delve in and deal with the complexity of our current “green movement”.Â Start here, and mull it over.Â You don’t need to change anything, yet.Â Just think about it… and be open minded as you stroll through the below articles.Â One of the pieces says it best… “our science is way behind our public opinions”.Â The truth is that we don’t know what’s right… and rushing headlong to save the planet may actually have a negative impact in the long run.
Let’s also remind ourselves that this isn’t about planet earth… this is about our tenuous grasp for survival on it.
The green movement has been hijacked, and has become nothing more than a marketing terms for feel good products.Â Some are legit, some are revolutionary….. but for the most part it’s a scam that we have mindlessly bought in to.Â We have all been tricked as consumers to think we are actually acting as intelligent, altruistic people.Â That’s a sham, and it’s disingenious.Â We are all mindless zombies being manipulated by guilt and marketing dollars.Â So before you go to an Earth Day festival and throw away a paper coupon for a hat made of recycled fibres, and toss a cup that was recycled from post consumer waster….. why not just no consume that stuff at all?
In fact, the green movement?Â It’s basically an argument for white people…. what’s more, it’s basically to show how rich and educated you are.
The real problem is that organic farming doesn’t produce efficient yields to justify the use of space, organic farming in some countries is destroying the rainforest (buy organic, kill trees), farmer’s markets have a massive destructive effect in that carbon output is many times the normal truck to grocery store output, and much, much more in this eye opening Economist piece “Voting with your Trolley” -(if that link *ever* should die, here’s backup link to the same article.)Â This may be even more important, cathartic, and traumatic to your “belief system” surrounding green food than anything you have ever read.
Organic Farming on the whole certainly may not be sustainable, to say the least:
Like carbon offsets…. It is also meant to alleviate personal guilt, and not much more….
Not only that… it does such a good job absolving people from their true responsibility, they are actually WORSE for the environment.
If you still don’t get why carbon offsets are nonsense, think of it as cheating.. can you absolve yourself from infidelity, with something like http://www.cheatneutral.com?
With things like biofuel, it becomes even more complex:
Castro slams biofuel, suggesting that it impoverishes third world economies.
This is in light of some of the most complex, interconnected, and important political, environmental, and social aspects of our day.Â You heard about the tortilla protests?? The rich people that felt guilty about their consumptive habits tried a new method of consuming….. driving up corn prices and impoverishing the poor guy that just wants to eat dinner.
Fair Trade also doesn’t solve the main problem of over-production, while at the same time isolating and hurting the small mom and pop farms, while the larger farms with lobby groups get Fairtrade to work for them!
The moral of the complex story?
If we consume more in a new way, become “different” consumers, pay for our consumption differently….Â is it really offsetting?Â Or is it simply making us feel warm and fuzzy?
If you offset it, did it happen in the first place?
The simple fact is… if we think we can consume our way to a better world, we are totally and completely doomed.Â I am sure we like the idea of something as simple as shopping solving our personal ethics crisis… but that’s ridiculous.Â In all of our hearts, we know it.Â As an Economist reader stated, why should something as prosaic as buying an apple become a tell all of your education level & personal ideology – while giving you the false sense of security that you are actually *doing* anything to better the environment.Â You aren’t.Â Stop being smug about it.
As George Monbiot suggested – it’s fallacious to think that buying something could possibly help the environment.Â In fact… if you really want to help – STOP BUYING ANYTHING YOU DO NOT NEED.Â Then, take the time to define what “need” vs. “want” means to you.
In honor of Earth Day, I am forgoing it – instead of capitalizing on an idea that was meant to bring positive dialogue, all I see is the capitalistic tendency to market and spread worthless stuff & junk masquerading as products to make you feel better about who you are and the lack of control you think you have on your impact here.
It’s all about ego… the idea is to not have a demonstable impact on the earth – and in fact, to make it seem like you were never here once you expire.
Most people are too vain to be able to comprehend that, and certainly don’t wish that to be the case.Â You can’t take your huge house,Â your endless rooms, your cars, or tech devices with you… but you surely can leave them behind to show how big a person you were.Â Little do you know that it’s all your relatives and surviving kin sorting through the mess, saying to themselves, “Wow what a tremendous asshole this guy was”.Â Driving a Prius doesn’t make you green, it just makes you look stupid if you haven’t weighed the complexity of fabrication, construction, and battery waste against other cars without those problems and with just as good fuel efficiency.
He who dies with most does not win.Â He who dies with no impact or tangible legacy is forever part of the cycle and system.Â The problem is so is the first guy, and he is the only one people remember.Â The challenge is helping people remember those that lived to be forgotten.
Reduce, *REUSE*, Recycle
Do not buy things you don’t need, especially if they are labeled or marketed as green (they are duping you).
THINK about this (not to say you aren’t, but think harder than going with a liberal public opinion sentiment).
It’s not what you buy, it’s what you don’t buy. < —- repeat this.