January 7th, 2012

Ctrl+Alt+Del - Scott & Ted

"The Green Thing" Rebuttal

I found this shared on Facebook, so I wanted to respond to some of the points it makes.

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The story starts off by having someone suggest a better, more sustainable, method of grocery transport, and instead of saying "That's a good point, thanks" she throws it back in the clerk's face. They then go on to justify resistance to doing something better by saying that they used to do things better so they don't need to anymore. Chances are they aren't still doing most of those things, so any credit they had while doing them no longer applies.

Many of the items in this list aren't targeted to the right age group. Most of these items were in their peak at least 50 years ago, or were well on their way out by 40 years ago now. Beyond that, though, someone who is 35 now is on the tail end of the target generation that made the switch by their purchasing power from these 'sustainable' methods to the ones being lamented. The young clerk probably wasn't born, or even old enough to make a difference, by the time people stopped doing all these pre-'green' items.

But people didn't do any of that because they had a choice; they did it because it was the most convenient method available. The point of the green movement is to make people aware of their impact on more than just themselves and their immediate surroundings.

This story also dismisses many things that were done that most definitely weren't green. Using carcinogenic pesticides that wrecked havoc with wildlife (DDT), putting poisonous Mercury in everything with little caution for safety, polluting rivers and lakes with garbage (Lake Eerie, Cuyahoga River), gas and paint had poisonous lead in it, and so on. Most humans had a very poor grasp of their impact on anything outside of their own bubble and were exploiting wildlife to extinction.