The Hypocrisy of Being Green

The Hypocrisy of Being Green

This hub was previously published on a blog, I realized that this was way more appropriate to the Hubpages format than a personal blog. It is a little dated since it references a slightly controversial issue of Gore promoting environmentalism while flying around on a jet.

Arnold Schwarzenegger downsized from a humongous Gulfstream jet to a midsize Hawker. He's setting an example. He's being green. Or is he? Let me start off by saying that he foots the bill for his transportation, so the state of Kawliefornia is not paying a single dime. However, even the "smaller" jet he is now flying on consumes anywhere from 300 to 800 gallons from our fuel trucks depending on how much they have in their tanks when they arrive. But either way you look at it, that's a lot of fuel, and that's a lot of pollution. However, let me add that the pollution from private aircraft cannot compare to car pollution concentrated in large cities, especially cities like Sacramento which lies in a valley that traps all the bad air all summer long unless we are lucky enough to get a Delta breeze - I love those.

The fact that Al Gore rides around in private jets to give big speeches on spreading the global warming propaganda, has become a big cliche. Of course the damage he's doing is minimal in comparison with the changes we need to make in our way of life if we want to conserve the natural world and better our health. But on the other hand, it would have been the right thing to do for him to make the gesture, as Arnold has done, to show support for green living and the willingness to sacrifice. You ask me what Gore should have done? Ride the bus, a bus that runs on veggie oil. Willie Nelson does.

You see, there's a difference between talking the talk and walking the walk. Gore says it. Willie does it. And there are many well meaning people who are doing it. The yuppies are buying bio-diesel and the more daring or more fringe eco-conscious edge of society is sucking cooking oil out from behind Chinese restaurants all over the country.

Three parties benefit from that arrangement. First, the restaurant owner doesn't have to worry about paying to get his used vegetable oil carted off, or at least his expenses are decreased depending on how much a veggie driver can put in his tank on a regular basis. Second, the veggie driver can now run his vehicle virtually for free. Third, everyone else benefits because the harmful emissions from a diesel vehicle modified to run on vegetable oil are nearly zero. There is a fourth benefit: The exhaust coming from a veggie diesel smells just like the restaurant the oil came from. So when you're behind that car, you will get an uncontrollable craving for Chinese food or Burger King and stop at the next grease joint you see. This benefits the restaurant owners. Of course what fried food does to our health, is another matter.

So where are the wind turbines? The solar panels? The green energy cars? They're coming. As long as liberals keep pushing, these things will come about. There are mandates to force automakers to make a certain percentage of environmentally clean vehicles. People are putting solar panels on the roofs of their houses to supplement the power they get from PG&E, which reduces their energy bill and allows the power company to use less coal to make energy, (but I doubt that they are happy about it). Of course there's the niggling matter of what effect making those so-called green cars, solar panels and wind turbines have on the environment. Cars are primarily made out of steel, plastic and hundreds of other toxic chemicals that spew into the air at the plant. Can solar panels just be thrown into the landfill when we are finished with them? I don't think so. And wind turbines kill birds, (and they're made by harmful manufacturing processes).

The problem with the American public is that we want dessert after every meal. We want our vices and we want our luxury. That's why every technological solution to the environmental pollution problem is doomed to failure. We are not thinking forward because we are unwilling to make the sacrifice to achieve a greener state of living. If we truly wanted to be more eco-conscious, most of us could get on a bicycle and ride to work or school. That would be the fastest solution. The harmful by-products of making bicycles can never compare to the toxic production process of making cars. We need to support local growers instead of the oversized grocery stores that sell garbage anyway. Did you know that if you look at least half the labels on any food product in the store, you will always find sugar listed in the ingredients? Why? because it's addictive, and a cheap way to add flavor to dull and processed food. Don't believe me? Next time you’re at the store, check any soup label. I have been unable to find a can of soup that doesn’t list sugar as an ingredient except for one brand in the natural foods section at Bel Air. I pay a lot more for that soup, but anytime I'm feeling sick or lethargic, I just heat up a can of that vegetable soup or Minestrone, and I pick up better than coffee. Same goes for sliced lunchmeat and hot dogs. We know hot dogs are bad for you, but they also contain sugar.
We are a consumer-oriented society, and it's killing us, both on a personal and national level. An Amish man was once asked about joining the Amish community, and the response was to start living simply where you are, cut out the stuff you don't need. We can do that. Not all at once, but piece by piece and over time, we can get there. Just start small. Instead of driving the SUV, ride your bike one day out of the week to fill part of your shopping list. Drive slower. Drop the ice cream box and make plans to go to the farmers market next weekend. Limit the time you spend in front of the TV. You don't need to buy a Prius, and you don't need to start wearing clothes made out of hemp. Just start small, do what you can, and learn as you go.

I doubt that gloves are necessary for biodiesel.
I doubt that gloves are necessary for biodiesel.

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Comments 17 comments

someonewhoknows profile image

someonewhoknows 7 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

Biicycles are impractical,in colder climites and sometimes even warm ones most of the time in large cities.Maybe for small towns it would work well.If,we continue to build cars and trucks etc.they shouldn't expect people to buy one every ten years or so.They should build them to last a lifetime.At least make the basic stucture ,the frame ,body,and engine servicable for a hundred years.We don't need to waste time money and energy building five vehicles when we can build one for twice the cost that will last a hundred years and save a whole lot of energy and time for more practical reasons. As for the amish man's reference to the use of hemp for clothing.I say we should have had hemp for clothing all along.We would have been a whole lot better off with all of the products we could have made with it. Henery Ford was growing hemp for fuel oil for diesel engines that were available then,before Alcohol was used for the internal combustion engine.

Then when John D. Rockerfeller discovered that gasoline was usable as a fuel for the internal combustion engine .He desided to start selling it.He had to compete with Ethanol which is the purest form of alcohol that was being used for street lighting as well as the internal combustion engines that first came out on the market for consumers at the time The model -T and model -A both ran on pure ethanol.They could also run on varying combinations of ethanol and gasoline because they had carberator adjustments they could make using device called a choke to adjust the air-fuel mixture.Anyway John d. Rockerfeller wanted to get rid of the competition namely ethanol. So he found a babtist womens temperance movement and convinced them to get women all over the country to have congress ban the production of alcohol for any purpose including fuel for cars.That was in the late eighteen or early 1900's .It was the period in American history called the prohibition era when alcohol was bootlegged by mobsters as a result of the ban until about 1910 I think it was,when it ended finally. By that time John D. Rockerfeller had taken over the fuel market for cars and trucks selling gasoline as well as diesel fuel from crude oil which polluted the air of course unlike ethanhol. The worst part is he was dumping gasoline in the water supply before he found out that it could be used as a fuel as well as displacing ethanol which was clean burning,and non polluting.

Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 7 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

Hi someonewhoknows, thanks for visiting and commenting. I'm pretty sure I didn't mention hemp in relation to the Amish. I have never heard of that. Hemp is an alternative to other sources for clothing, but I once read about a group of people who wanted to reenact a Viking voyage and built the ship and used hemp for rope. The rope disintegrated at sea and they had to replace it with stronger materials.

Thanks for all those facts about alcohol and ethanol, where did you get this information? I have never heard about this.

I agree the manufacturers should build for longevity, but they build in artificial aging for profit, and that is probably the root of our problems - the love of money.

Tzsarra 7 years ago

Nicely done ! Couldn't agree more.....

Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 7 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

I think I go along with Michael Chriton and his book "State of Fear" worth a read! Interesting hub none the less.

someonewhoknows profile image

someonewhoknows 7 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 7 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks Tzsarra, I appreciate the support :-)

Hiya Gypsy, I think I might have read that book, it was all about environmentalist hype right? He did bring up some numbers but I felt his statistics didn't prove much either way, it was a bit scant. It was, however, refreshing to get a counter balance to the environmentalist crackpot views on how the Earth is dying. I think environmentalism is overblown and faith based. That being said, I feel a level of responsibility toward the natural world around us that most conservatives ignore and is rather hard to achieve with our lifestyle.

Thanks for reading and stopping by, I'm looking forward to your next Wales recipe.

Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 7 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

someonewhoknows, thanks alot for the links. The video is interesting, nice to get another view on how fuel sources evolved. The hemp site looks very informative as well, it challenges our assumptions about the past. Thank you!

Pastor_Walt profile image

Pastor_Walt 7 years ago from Jefferson City, Tennessee

A great hub- interesting. read. Thumbs up. In our day it is impossible to seperate science, money, power and politics. Hypocrisy is everywhere!

Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 7 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

Pastor, you're absolutely right, we are aware nowadays how much everything is interconnected: Going to the moon or beyond is intrinsically linked with political winds. Politicians are often directly or indirectly controlled by money and special interests, and so science is at the behest of greed and power and politics. Thanks for commenting.

William R. Wilson profile image

William R. Wilson 7 years ago from Knoxville, TN

Nice hub - I really agree with these ideas. Change for the better isn't going to come from politicians or corporations - it will have to come from people turning their back on this sick society that we have created.

And I've never thought about that 4th benefit of biodiesel before! :-D

Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 7 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks for passing by William, I'm glad you appreciate my humor. I really enjoyed your car hub.

It really does come down to people. Unfortunately way too many are addicted to media, if we could wean them off, perhaps it would be possible to encourage change on a mass scale?

Warped 7 years ago

Those rich kids like Schwarzenegger and Gore may have never hit rock bottom economically and are only acting according to what their audience wants. When you don't know how you are going to pay your rent or if you will have enough milk for the kids for the week, all this green crap matters not. Thinking green costs money which over 10% of the American population has little of (26 million Americans). It's a nice dream for now, but all this solar panel, wind energy, bio diesel hype is only another method for corporate America to get their hands on your money directly or through taxes. Yes, I'm a little negative. It frustrates me how much propaganda is shoved in our faces to make us spend our hard earned cash. We are the ass and they are holding the carrot. Germany has developed a diesel truck that has tested in the 100's of miles to the gallon on bio diesel. Why can't we have something like that in America? Because America is ruled by under-handed greedy politicians guided by under -handed greedy corporations and if we had something like that truck on the roads in the USA, those poor millionaires wouldn't make money hand over fist on fuel any more. GIVE ME SOME GOOD NEWS and I'll shut up! I love Willie, he walks the walk.

Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 7 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

Warped, thanks for your view on things. It does seem that they always get the little guy in the end. I don't think these alternative energy sources are meant for evil, but no doubt they will find a way to use it to take more of our money. I agree that some of these alternative energy technologies are too costly to benefit the mass population, but it is always improving and eventually it will get better. I wish I could say more, but I think you said it all. Thanks for commenting.

neeleshkulkarni profile image

neeleshkulkarni 5 years ago from new delhi

on the dot mark.

living on less is possible its just that being consumerists we hate the idea of less or small.

keep at it mark look forward to reading more of yours

Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 5 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks neeleshkulkarni, I like that you found one of my less read hubs. Thanks for commenting my friend.

Phil Plasma profile image

Phil Plasma 5 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

We are living in troubling times. Even with the cuts and advances that are being made in the western world, places like China and India continue to burn coal at environmentally devastating rates that overpower any cuts we do.

That Gore used his jet to get from place to place wasn't exactly the smartest thing for him to do, but what impact to his speeches actually have? If the impact was significant enough, it would offset his travel.

Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 5 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

While I am not a fan of Gore in any way, it is a good question to ask - if the results of his work are greater than the small cost of flying on a private jet, maybe we shouldn't harp on him.

I too find it weird that China and India are not mentioned much in discussions about changing the rate of environmental damage.

Good points Phil, thank you!

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