Selfish is the New Green

The New Green: Bike Racks on your Porsche Panamera. Lloyd Alter/CC BY 2.0

It's odd, reading Margaret Wente in the Globe and Mail as she dismisses David Suzuki and the entire environmental movement. Where she writes:

The problem isn’t that the environmental movement has failed to explain this message. It’s that people have rejected it. Mr. Suzuki fears the consequences for the planet and the human race will be catastrophic. I’m more optimistic. Doomsday cults have been wrong throughout history, and this one will be no exception.

Remember that this is not Fox News, it is Canada's sober and responsible National Newspaper. Peggy goes on to extol the wonders of our current age:

Far from running out of fossil fuel, we seem to have a new bonanza of it. Human ingenuity keeps finding new and better ways to tap the Earth’s resources. A technological revolution is unlocking vast new reserves of energy around the world, including, some day, from the Arctic Ocean. None of this will be zero-risk or problem-free. There’ll be setbacks, mishaps and, probably, occasional disasters. But there’ll also be a gusher of innovation, wealth and jobs.

Not a word about climate change. It no longer exists. Carbon isn't an environmental issue. But in her own back yard, the megaquarry is.

Then it is even odder, going to the Green Living Show in Toronto, finding a third of it devoted to food, a third to cars, and about a third, a sort of home show of green gizmos. Some interesting things, but the world will not be saved by probiotic yoghurt and plug-in hybrids. It all seems a bit surreal and half-hearted.

The green movement is dead, and it appears to have been replaced with the Selfish movement. Put solar panels on your roof and make money from the government."It's better than the bank." Eat the right food. "you will live longer, better." Drive the plug-in car. "you will save thousands in fuel costs." It is not about the environment, it's not about the climate, it's all about you.

Peggy is like the rest of us her age, playing a mind game. We know that the worst effects of climate change will happen after we are gone; in the meantime, let's not block our views with turbines or lose that income from those tar sands. Let's stop that quarry that is too close to our hobby farm but dig a hole the size of Florida in Alberta.

Selfish is the New Green.

Tags: Conspicuous Consumption | Tar Sands | Toronto

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