Wednesday, January 31, 2007

This Environmental Hypocrisy Has To Stop!!

I received the following e-mail from an acquaintance of mine:

Hi. I hope this subject justifies a mass emailing. This is a time when the power of the Internet could be effective.

Cheers, Graham

Begin forwarded message:


The 1st of February 2007:

Participate in the biggest mobilization of Citizens Against Global Warming!

The Alliance for the Planet [a group of environmental associations] is calling on all citizens to create 5 minutes of electrical rest for the planet.

People all over the world should turn off their lights and electrical appliances on the first of February 2007, between 1.55 pm and 2.00 pm in New York, 18.55 for London, and 19.55 for Paris, Bruxelles, and Italy. 1.55 pm in Ottawa, 10.55 am on the Pacific Coast of North America.

This is not just about saving 5 minutes worth of electricity; this is about getting the attention of the media, politicians, and ourselves.

Five minutes of electrical down time for the planet: this does not take long, and costs nothing, and will show all political leaders that global warming is an issue that needs to come first and foremost in political debate.

Why February 1? This is the day when the new UN report on global climate change will come out in Paris.

This event affects us all, involves us all, and provides an occasion to show how important an issue global warming is to us. If we all participate, this action can have real media and political weight.

Please circulate this call to your utmost ability to your network.

Graham's a nice guy and I'm absolutely certain his intentions are genuine and sincere. But such faux efforts of yuppies everywhere REALLY annoys me. Why? Let my response to him explain:

Hi Graham,

Thanks for this. But I must tell you with great candor that I think the problem is with "us", the citizens of the world, not the politicians [of any stripe]. Rather than turning off one's electricity for just 5 minutes, what about:

* Turning it off for 8 hours a day, every day.
* Stop driving for all but 2 days per week.
* Having only one car per household.
* Telling the government to instantly triple the price of gas via taxes.

For if people are really serious about meeting the goals of the Kyoto Protocol then this is what's really required. Making a symbolic change like this 5 minute thing is akin to putting a "Free Tibet" bumper sticker on one's car. Do the people who do this really want to free Tibet? You & I both know that if the actual steps were taken to do that then these same people would be screaming about that.

Sorry, but you've touched a raw nerve on the hypocrisy front. Maybe you live your life in an environmentally friendly way. And I commend you for that. I certainly do. I gave my car 4 years ago and now walk, bicycle, and take transit everywhere. I live a very simple lifestyle when it comes to consumerism. But I don't wave a green flag around.

Do you realistically think most Canadians would vote for a party that advocated the 4 bullet points I've listed above? I don't. So this symbolic stuff really annoys me because it further perpetrates a lot of hot air but no real action.



nachtwache said...

Hello, it seems, I need to go back and check my comments more, just read yours, about having a purpose in life to be happy. Thanks for commenting, and yes, I agree, having a purpose is important. I guess I'm looking for mine. I wanted to be a mom since I was small and was fulfilled when my children were at home, I also looked after some other children, volunteered with scouts, guides, the school and facilitating a parents 'n tots drop in, fundraising for all of the above etc... I kept busy, knew lots of people in my neighbourhood, I even thought Sunday school for 1 year, which wasn't really in my comfort zone. Now my kids are adults, I have a fulltime job, we moved and I've lost my support network. When I went through a major depression, I lost contact with most people. I tried volunteering with R.E.A.L. Women, but found my nerves aren't up to dealing with upsetting political and social issues. Now I don't have a purpose, I'm still kind of damaged from our son's teen years. I guess, I'm still healing.
About this post, good for you!
I walk lots, take transit, I don't drive, we have 1 car, my husband drives it. I learned conservation from my parents. Sorry for such a long comment!

Bird of Paradise said...

All those antilogging freaks using 2 x 4s and plywood in their platforms are perfect examples of hypocracy