Sorry, but this whole green thing is making me, Fake Jane... green.
As in nauseous.
Which is probably going to get me in trouble with General Electric .**
FJ is all for coming up with more sustainable ways of living: it saves money and energy, and probably even helps the Earth -- though, believe me, the Earth will be fine. We may kill ourselves, but not the Earth. Some asteroid may do that. (And frankly, let’s start thinking more about that, OK?)
But I am completely greened out. And I get the sneaking feeling that 90 percent of the “green initiatives” thrown at me actually do little more than add to global warming with their hot air.
My No. 1 target of suspicion: carbon offsets. I wish I could follow the dollars on this. Company A buys enough carbon “offsets” to equal its use of fossil fuels. This means that Company A still uses JUST AS MUCH FOSSIL FUEL as before, but doubles its power bill by paying money to a broker. The broker then uses that money -- after taking his cut -- to plant trees, or to subsidize wind farms (which have already sold their power and you’re just giving them free money), or to… what? How many trees equal the amount of energy you use in a year? Does anyone actually make sure the trees thrive after they’re planted? Just asking.
Look, I get it! I’m going to swap out my light bulbs! Whenever I eventually find a really old man with failing eyesight who's willing to marry me and I get his house, I will put in solar tiles! But I can’t get away from the slew of press releases promoting every conceivable way a company can be green this Earth Day.
There’s a law firm in Seattle starting up a “sustainability group” to advise clients on green practices; a San Diego business coaching firm touting the profits of selling green products and suggesting you outfit your office with recycling bins; a Los Angeles hospital sponsoring an e-waste disposal site so “doctors can lose a ton of weight on Earth Day”; and on and on and on!
These are all worthy endeavors (well, some are), but can we just give it a rest? For a minute? Can I catch my breath after a smog-filled hike and toss my petroleum-based plastic water bottle into the recycle bin before you start in on me again about reducing my carbon footprint?
At least some people are trying to have a little fun with the great ecological disaster that awaits us if we don’t start wearing extra sweaters instead of running the heater. The folks at www.babyandtheboomers.com have created a song called “Face the Water,” a Dylan-esque tongue-in-cheek ode to the end of the world. Lyrics include:
“When LA is washed away and San Fernando IS the bay,
Are you gonna rue the day, you didn’t do your part.
When Florida sinks with a roar to the great Atlantic Ocean Floor
Will you still think Al Gore is just a bore?"
Hey, I’ll be washed away. It won’t matter. But about that asteroid…
** Note from Fake Jane: GE owns NBC Universal, the corporate parent of CNBC.
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