Editor’s Note: This post was submitted by James Kennedy of Culinist.com. If you have something you think Ploomy readers should know, you can submit your articles here.
An End to Being “Green”
Driving a Prius isn’t eco-friendly, organic beauty products don’t reverse climate change, putting an organic tomato in your shopping cart provides you with a tomato, nothing more. Our individual environmental footprint is completely negligible on a global scale. You are helpless. Stop trying to save the environment. You can’t. Want to know why? Because we live on a big planet that has existed for billions of years that rotates around a burning star. And it doesn’t really care what you do. Yes, you are responsible for fucking it up. Join the club–it’s not that exclusive; as of date, we’re looking at about 6.8 billion members.
In the 70s, environmentalism to the masses was something like “don’t litter”. I don’t throw things on the ground because it’s ugly and kind of white-trashy, not because it’s “green”. Now, we have many more pointless ways that we can individually “green” our lives. Let’s buy some bamboo silverware and I’m going to make sure I buy the Dasani “eco shaped” water bottle. That should help prevent a mass extinction.
Shell Oil recently had an ad (eventually pulled) that had smoke stacks emitting flowers. Marketing nonsense, non-reality, non-helpful, non-worth-paying attention to. You aren’t doing anything to improve anything by buying “green.” We are still consumers at the mercy of the marketing that has put us in the position to feel guilt in the first place.
The Industrial Revolution changed the way societies operate in hopes of providing a higher quality of living for the population. We can create things for cheap, we can do it consistently, and people can have more with less. This extends to where we live, how we interact and how we consume. We can acquire a great deal at a very little cost. Cost to us is loosely defined as money, but there are less tangible costs associated within our consumption. What I’m talking about is the social cost that we’ve passively absorbed. We are as helpless as ever. We don’t grow our own food and we have little relationship with where anything comes from. How have we so readily put our prosperity in the hands of a select group that we don’t know, can’t communicate with, and let’s face it, could really give a shit about what they’re selling? Is this really how we want to be spending our lives, working a mindless job to come home to a bunch of useless shit that has no relevance outside of its material worth? Is this really our culture? I wouldn’t say it is culture, probably a lack of. The problem with industrialism isn’t what we’ve gained, but more of a question of what has been lost.
I am not necessarily an environmental advocate and I surely am not always a practitioner of good health. I care about relationships–the most basic of social fabrics. I want to participate in a positive forward looking society that doesn’t emphasize what I do, but focuses on how we do things. The pre-industrial system was not broken; it needed improvement. The industrialized society today has gone much too far, placing greed and efficiency above social interaction and general concern for each other’s well-being. We worry about all of the problems around the world today, how we can stop the violence and hunger in Africa, how we can help victims of natural disasters in Asia, but what about us? How are we helping the guy down the street, not by handing him a welfare check, but by supporting local economies? Unfortunately, most of us couldn’t really give a damn about tradition, the skills passed on through generations, the intangible value that handmade items carry. We just want it now and for as little cash as possible. This cycle repeats itself, over and over, leaving us eventually with the shell of a once great American economy–one that provides for itself by ensuring that its members are provided for. I’m not anti-globalization by any means, I am against taking advantage of people for financial gain in the many forms which it occurs, internationally and domestically. If I recall correctly, Thomas Jefferson was a proponent of the family owned freehold, not of a corporate owned fuck fest.
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Let’s face it, the same marketing system that is pushing “green” is the same one that has been telling us what we need in our lives for the past 50 years. Stop listening and start understanding. In order to have any advancement in our society, we need to start looking out for one another. Support people that would support you. Stop giving faceless corporations your money and start giving it to people you can shake hands with. Learn about the fucked up things companies are doing and make it clear that you won’t stand for it; promote the people that are doing things right. Stop being a target of marketing, and start calling things what they are.
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