- Politics and Social Issues
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.