This may come as a surprise to some of our readers. But I’m coming out against “going green.” That’s right, I think every single person should turn to the governments and corporations with green initiatives and go :-P. Being Green once meant something, it involved a concern for the environment, an awareness, and a choice to do no harm. Now its a clever marketing campaign. So, fellow concerned humans, we have lost the word Green.
Am I over reacting? Aren’t these initiatives a good thing? Yes and no. They’re a good thing in the sense that its something. At the same time they are the most damaging attack on the environmental movement in history, because it leaves the uninformed believing something productive is being done. But since these changes are little more than a bandaid on a broken leg. What these so-called “Green” companies are really doing is soothing a finally somewhat-riled populace back into complacency. A complacency that essentially gives these corporations and governments a green light to go ahead and do whatever they want, so long as they bill it as being environmentally responsible.
Frostburg State University recently began its Green initiative. I’d give you a link and the name of initiative but it has had seven names in as many months as they endeavor to come up with something clever. They ordered fancy plastic recycling bins, and overruled an suggestion the school simply put stickers on the trash cans they already have. They are buying a increasing percentage of their electricity from so-called renewable sources. They brag amount how much it is, because it shows how serious they are. Too bad they aren’t serious enough to turn the computers off on the weekends.
Organic food producers are generally viewed as being a highlight of our generation’s burgeoning awareness. Unfortunately, Organic(TM) is owned by the government, not by the movement. So organically grown food has to meet certain standards, but the reality is many times the animals and plants live no better or more sustainably than the industrially produced versions. When there are local, family farms treating their animals well who cannot legally claim their food is organic. “Free-range” chickens often live in a barn their whole lives. They’re “free-range” because during the last week of their lives a little door in the back opens up on to a 2 by 2 foot pen most of them never find and couldn’t fit more than a couple chickens. In the mean time, birds kept in a chicken tractor do not qualify.
The next time we have a phrase, we need to trademark it. That way it can’t be twisted out of our grasp and made to serve consumerism.
– Benjamin Shender