At this precise moment in history a fog of confusion has settled over everything concerning energy and our environment . The issues and ethical concerns are difficult for me to navigate. I am lost and confused. Can you tell me how to get… how to get to “Sanity Street”???
I always “try ” and I use that term loosely, to be conscious of ways to help the environment. I will not go into the financial specifics of my contributions to our planet’s green wellness, but I recycle bags, and place trash into to proper bins when one is available. I have energy efficient appliances. I turn lights on only when necessary which is easy at times because I prefer candle light to lamps.
At the threshold of environmental awareness, I was a preteen. Eight pack “no deposit, no return” soda pop bottles morphed into plastic liters. My mother was ticked off because she missed the old nice cold hour glass shaped bottle of Coke. She was even more annoyed that her brown paper grocery bags had gone all plastic on her. How much these new developments actually helped the environment was not a concern to me. All I knew was that the plastic bottles were more convenient and lighter to carry. I didn’t have to worry about breaking them. I could use the plastic bags later for dog poop and cleaning out the litter box. Those bags help when your Maine Coon cat leaves a clump of Texas sized litter waste for you.
During the mid-1990’s, my dates would often take me to those cool IMAX movies at the Natural History Museum. The films wear aesthetically stimulating but they had a definite agenda. My first IMAX film was something about the rainforests and the general uncertainties surrounding increased human intrusion. After viewing such beautiful trees and exotic animals, I began to modestly contribute $5 taken directly from my student bank account once a month to save our rainforests. Okay, so there was a guy from Greenpeace waiting for suckers like me to exit the theater but I was doing something and this made me feel better about myself. Gone were my cans of hairspray and air freshener. I was in the loop and fluorocarbons were hazardous to wildlife. Mother was still old fashioned and used Right Guard deodorant aerosol formula!!! How could she? Poor, sad environmentally ignorant mom. As a child all she ever had to worry about was an atomic bomb.
Speaking of healthy environmentally helpful food, shopping at Whole Foods was the also the hip and right thing to do. So what if it killed my checking account? No I am not a vegan or allergic to gluten. I don’t have celiac disease or lactose intolerance but I was supporting some farmer in Duchess County by purchasing those purple potatoes. While living in NYC, Saturday afternoons sometimes meant shopping the farmers market in Union Square. Well truthfully, I did not go there specifically for the green market…There was a Sephora nearby and a Filene’s Basement one thing led to another and there I was buying a jar of clover leaf honey from some guy with overalls and rotten teeth. Those yellow tomatoes and honey would find their way to my crisper bin, where they would often spoil before I got around to using them or be tossed out when I moved. Who cares if I wasted $24.00? I was the perfect environmentally concerned liberal who did not vote in the 2004 election.
Now I am lucky if I remember to buy those funny looking light bulbs. My building is a luxury high-rise with ONE trash chute to dispose everything: cans, bottles, cardboard boxes, used diapers. Where it all goes nobody knows and I don’t think my neighbors care.
Though I still “try” every now and then to don my do-rag and get green, I am admittedly a failure. I own a very huge burlap plastic lined bag that says: RECYCLE, TO SAVE OUR BIRDS, ANIMALS, CHILDREN AND EARTH. Yet I never seem to get my green act together enough to have it handy when I am buying groceries as most of my shopping is done impromptu and under extreme digestible duress.
Once I am actually in the store and I see the goody two shoes green moonbats bagging their own organic chard and Tom’s toothpaste, do I smack myself upside the forehead “Shit, I forgot to bring the damn reusable bag that I paid $37 for at some third world novelty store in Madison, Wisconsin. The bottom line is I am a very passive environmentalist, if I remember to help, I do. If I don’t (shrug shoulders), oh well. Nevermind the woman behind me in line snuffing her nose at me because I forgot my bags and quietly choose paper. You know the type, she makes her own dog food for her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who is also a vegetarian, just like his mommy. Her basket is filled to the brim with environmentally correct food. Not one boneless split chicken breast in her cart has been exposed to fluorescent light. Those applewood maple sausages were made all by hand in Lancaster Country, PA. By blind Amish people. Give me a break lady. Can’t you see I have bought some acai berries and Wolfgang Puck vegetable broth. I don’t have my reusable bag. It is at home damn it. I was well intentioned when I bought it, so there! I will take my brown toilet paper and leave knowing that I made a damn good effort to be green.
My confession today makes Secretary of Energy Dr. Steven Chu recent advice to paint our rooftops white all the more laughable to someone like myself can’t even manage to bring a reusable tote to Whole Foods. As you can expect there are others who feel the same sense of indifference that I do.
On February 10, 2003 – five months after the 9/11 attacks, but while we were still reeling from the anthrax attacks – the Department of Homeland Security sent out a press release which included the following:
How To Prepare For a Biological Attack
Assemble a disaster supply kit, including:
- Battery-powered commercial radio with extra batteries
- Non-perishable food and drinking water
- Roll of duct tape and scissors
- Plastic for doors, windows, and vents for the room in which you will shelter in place.
To save time during an emergency, sheeting should be pre-measured and cut for each opening.
- First aid kit
- Sanitation supplies, including soap, water and bleach
You may remember that point three – a roll of duct tape and scissors – was greeted with generalized hilarity, scorn, contempt, distain [sic], and ridicule to mention but a few of the reactions among the very members of the press corps who were scared you-know-what-less about being the next recipient of a letter in the city room which puffed white powder when opened.
The other day, the current Secretary of Energy Dr. Steven Chu was speaking at the “St James’s Palace Nobel Laureate Symposium” in London which, if it is not the most pretentiously named meeting on the planet, it must be among the top five, told his laureateal colleagues that we should paint much of the world white to reflect heat back up into space and, thus, cure global warming.
I am not making this up. Ok. I made up the word “laureateal” but the rest of this is true. From the London Times:
Building regulations should insist that all flat roofs were painted white, and visible tilted roofs could be painted with “cool-coloured” paints that looked normal, but which absorbed much less heat than conventional dark surfaces. Roads could be lightened to a concrete colour so they would not dazzle drivers in bright sunlight.
See? It’s not as stupid as it first seems. Neither was the suggestion that you pick a room in your house you could seal off against anthrax, or pneumonic plague, or smallpox as dumb as the popular press made it seem.
The difference? The duct tape suggestion came from appointees in the administration of George W. Bush. The paint-it-white idea was suggested by an acolyte of B*A*R*A*C*K O*B*A*M*A so it is, by definition, good.
Yeah I do remember those first post 9/11 years:
But does this sound any much better?
Hmmm, Painting our rooftops white. I agree with Rich Galen that there may be some semblance of sanity and logic in the idea. I know the liberal position would be to embrace this with open moonbat wings. I could take the easy route and say I am a Republican, therefore I am against it. Instead I will be honest. I think most will be too darn lazy to crawl on their roof to do this. Also what happens when someone comes along later and says that painting our rooftops white is not environmentally safe? You know they will. Weren’t the plastic grocery bags at one time thought to be good for us?
Dr. Chu, I am not mocking you. I sincerely understand your concern but I have too many greater things to worry about. Like what the hell is happening to the children in America? Why do we care about people like “Octomom” and John and Kate Plus Eight? Why are liberal celebrities adopting children from foreign lands instead of adopting any of the thousands of kids in the American foster care system?
Many of those kids are even MINORITIES. If it is so cool to be white and adopt a dark skinned child from another country, why not try adopting a child of color from your own country for a change? Plenty of African American and Latino children are in foster care homes waiting for someone like Madonna and Angelina Jolie to adopt them. Madonna put down your Marc Jacobs custom made leather handbag and pick up a phone to call Adopt US Kids You could also channel your inner green monster and donate money to create jobs for our troubled teens by having them paint rooftops white? That is not a bad idea you know.
Now which way was that to Sanity Street?
Autographed Letter Signed,