Thursday, July 24, 2008

Going Green

Okay, I'll admit it. I don't really care about the environment. I mean, sure, I'll recycle if it's convenient for me and I don't litter (or like people who do), but that's kind of the extent of it. But I'm not about to buy triple-priced food for the sake of eating only "organic" or give up the convenience of driving my car around town for the sake of saving the air. I live in the 21st Century, and I think that's a blessing that God has bestowed upon me. And with the 21st Century comes disposable coffee cups and plastic grocery bags. Plus, my God has promised to come back and destroy the earth anyway, so really this is only a temporary home that I don't have to care that much about.

To be honest, I'm more prone to resist something if "everybody who's anybody" is doing it, and with all the celebrities preaching about "going green" (while they charter their planes and inject poison into their faces), I have started hating many environmental efforts, even if they're probably valid. Plus, a lot of the efforts have worse effects than the original "bad thing," such as biodiesel as a substitution for regular diesel - people in 3rd world countries are no longer eating their corn; it's economically better to export it, leaving a ton of people starving. Not smart. Buy why not? It makes us look like we care about something. And don't get me started on the global warming hype.

But something in Rachel's blog this morning made me think about it again, and it's a question I've been turning over in my mind. Should I think about the environmental decisions I make a little more? Is this going to be something like smoking, where 20 years down the road we tell our children, "we just didn't know what the effects were, so everybody did it."

The conclusion I've somewhat come to has less to do with preserving the environment and more to do with selfishness.

I realize that the chemicals in my cleaning products probably aren't good to be around all the time, so I wouldn't mind switching over to some more "environmentally friendly" natural products that work just as well.

I'm probably also willing to switch from plastic grocery bags to tote bags at some point, if I had them, because it wouldn't be that difficult and I realize that plastic bags can cause some problems with water drainage, etc. Plus my tote bags wouldn't break as easily.

If organic foods were the same price as regular food, then sure, I'd buy it instead, but as it is, there's no way we can afford to double or triple our grocery bill.

If somebody wanted to carpool to work a few times a week, I'd probably do it, but only to save money on gas.

We turn our lights off in our house and keep our air conditioner at 77 degrees, but that has everything to do with the fact that we don't have any money, not that we care about using energy.

So here's the thing: if you want to "go green," that's fine. Do what you want. That's the great thing about America - you can do anything and everything you want, even if it's dumb. But if you're going to preach to me about it (not that I'm saying anybody was right now, other than the media), you'd better convince me with logical reasoning that not only are the effects of changing significant enough for me to care about them, but that the change is convenient enough for me to make the transition without actually disrupting my standard of living. Welcome to America.

Ps - To my "environmentally crazy" friends, I'd suggest reading some stuff Michael Crichton has written on the subject, to at least get a balanced viewpoint before you argue. The book State of Fear is great, and the research he did for the book is worth taking note of.


Anonymous said...

I guess I'm not sure why one would want to read a fiction book to get a balanced view point on the issue. It would be much better to point out actual scientic research and articles attempting to debunk global warming. I think though that you will find that articles supporting global warming will probably out number those against global warming 5 to 1. Also you'll probably note that much of the funding for the research for the anti global warming articles will come from conservative think tanks such as the Cato Institute or the Heritage Foundation, or oil companies themselves.

Mandy and Jack said...

Wait... you mean the book "State of Fear" is fictional!? Well my goodness. You've sure taught me a thing or two.

Now let me rephrase...

"I'd suggest reading some stuff Michael Crichton has written on the subject," she said. "The research he did for the book is worth taking note of."

Hey look, I didn't even have to rephrase.