Tuesday, August 5, 2008

­Going Green… to spend less Green?

Dan's idea.

Sallie and I have been watching Degrassi: Jr. High (We’ll write a blog on this classic Canadian melodrama soon to explain its greatness.) and one of the episodes was about animal rights. Fifteen minutes of the episode were devoted to pseudo-hippy elitist junior high students disgusted with the treatment of animals. (Who in junior high cares about this stuff?) Then one of the girls discovers her epilepsy medicine was tested on animals and diseases like polio and smallpox were destroyed thanks to animal testing. Proved there are two sides to every story, no matter how noble a cause is.

Sal: Not that this has much to do with going green, but I totally predicted that the character would find out her medicine was tested on animals. Score.

Animal testing was the big hot button issue of the late 80s, but today it’s melting ice caps, emissions, fossil fuels and global warming.

Sal: Uh, that’s ‘climate change.’

High gas prices have prompted a nationwide call to go green. Americans are wondering where the heck we went wrong as they put $80 in their Hummers. Suburban soccer moms and suburban gangsters idiotically bought into the SUV craze five to 10 years ago and are now screwed. If it weren’t for the fact that I’m also forced to pay $4 a gallon, I’m sure I would be laughing at them.

Sal: It’s actually well over $100 to fill a Hummer these days. A 32-gallon tank at $3.89 a gallon is nearly $125. Gross. At nine to 11 mpg, that’s a lot of gas and money. Ouch. Environmental issues aside, there is no need, whatsover for that kind of vehicle. If you need to haul a bunch of stuff, get a truck. If you need to haul a lot of people, get a van. Hummers are some of the dumbest, ugliest vehicles I’ve ever seen, and the only place they belong is in war zones, not in the Starbucks parking lot, as I highly doubt you’ll have to endure warfare to acquire your nonfat, sugarfree, extra-hot, venti mochaccino with no whip cream and extra sprinkles.

I graduated from college less than a year ago, so I still have the taste of incense and pseudo-hippy in my mouth. Just like every era of college students, our university was filled with do-it-yourself, don’t-bathe-in protest-of “insert cause here,” Che Guevera T-shirt-wearing, dreadlocked kids. (I’m really just jealous, I wish I had hair like that.)

Sal: I don’t. One of my roommates in college had dreads. I’ve seen what can live in those things, and it’s not pretty. It’s a whole ecosystem on your head and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

I had a friend who could afford to be a hippy in college. His parents were well off and supported his anticapitalist sentiment. He would argue that we should live in a village system where we all grow our own food, help each other, abolish governments, get rid of currency and live under these happy rainbows of sunshine. This was coming from a guy that had an $800 sleeping bag. I thought that sounded nice, but naive. My argument was, that’s all great, but what about when a guy in the neighboring village decides he wants more land to farm and he comes over with a club and takes over your village? It will happen. It’s just human nature.

Sal: Plus, not all environments are capable of supporting people’s needs. You can’t just grow corn and rice in the same field. Not all fruits grow in the same climates. And people are greedy and like to shower.

But back to my point. I feel like this newest surge of “let’s go green” is being organized by these former suburbanite pseudo-hippies. They only want to save the environment because their bank accounts became endangered. Is this a bad thing though? Now the streets of suburbia are lined with SUVs and trucks for sale by owner for extreme discount prices. Hummer dealerships seem almost abandoned. McCain is desperately trying to distance himself from “Smiling” George Bush. People are actually making a concerted effort to save their wallets by saving the environment. I guess all in all, it isn’t a bad thing.

Sal: Perhaps the poor economy is actually a conspiracy to force Americans to live simpler, less consumer-driven lives. The housing market was manipulated to fail so people would quit building houses they don’t need and can’t afford. Gas prices are sky-high to encourage people to cut back on driving. Jobs are being cut so people don’t have extra money to buy products they don’t need.

Al Gore tried to get people to change with his almost annoyingly award-winning documentary “An Inconvenient Truth.” There was a murmur throughout the world about saving penguins and the ice caps, but no one did much. I would say conservative opponents of Gore trying to prove that everything is alright stirred more people than not. “Keep driving those six miles to the gallon monster cars, it makes the penguins happy. Trust us. Global warming is a myth, just ask our friends over there.”

Now that the economy has caused businesses to close, people to default on loans, and every politician to point fingers elsewhere, everyone wants to trade in their designer clothes for ponchos. I think it’s hilarious. I wish I were exempt from getting hit by the economy, but at least I’m entertained whilst I go poor.

Sal: I’m telling you, it’s a conspiracy!!!! The environmentalist whackos are on the loose!