Monday, April 19, 2010

This Thursday April 22 will be the now traditional Earth Day. While there is some small competition from people who hold that the day of the Spring Equinox should be the date the powers that be have pretty well made this artificial holiday into a worldwide event. As seems usual for this sort of thing the child has grown and grown, and now we have 'Earth Week'. For those who are interested, in addition to the Wikipedia article highlighted above you can find more information on the USA Earth Day site and the Earth Day Canada site. No doubt other countries have their own pretenders to the title of "official site". For myself, however, I really don't care. Why ? Read on.
Now, I have no objections to people taking the opportunity to have a big party. I'm rather pleased by it as a matter of fact. I could only wish, however, that it wasn't mixed up with a gigantic, almost Roman clerical, dose of hypocrisy...the pretense that the participants are actually doing something that will accomplish the nebulous goal of "saving the Earth".
That's what it is - pretense. It's all very "nice" to send the yard apes out to pick up trash
from the local parks for instance, but whatever this has to do with changing to a more "sustainable" economy escapes me entirely. Similarly I have no desire to mindlessly consume "green bric-a-brac". I have plenty of green shirts already thank you very much, and once more the point escapes me. Except to observe that such consumption is the precise opposite of the sort of simplification that might actually make our societies more ecologically sustainable.
Neither do I have much interest in listening to the barely disguised advertisements for corporate and government sponsors as they tout their 'green credentials'. To me it smells of scam, and yes I have more than my fill of advertising every day as well. I'd prefer new green shirts. If the reader is interested in one of tens of thousands of examples of how business hopes to expand into this lucrative market then check out this salivating call to prosper. Think I'm wrong about the snake oil aspect of the whole thing ? Consider what sort of business Canada's reigning King of Con Rahim Jaffer was involved in. That's right. 'Green Technology'.
I think the key word in all the above is the term "expand". I have no doubt that certain important reforms can be accomplished even in our present political and economic system. Still, if we are to lead a life that is both sustainable and also humanly fulfilling I cannot see how this can be done when we are burdened with an economic system whose very nature demands continual expansion. Neither can I see how this can be done when this drive is mirrored and quite often exceeded by centralized government and its planning. Both the corporations and government presuppose the division of society into order givers and order takers. Any reforms that might come about by their efforts will see the costs borne chiefly by the order takers and the benefits reaped disproportionately by the order givers. That's the way it will be.
I see little to celebrate about such a skillful piece of fraud, unless, of course, you wish to admire its sheer larcenous beauty in a purely intellectual fashion, like admiring the work of a safe cracker. I wish everyone a good party, but it'll be an ordinary workday for me. Now if organizers of such events would borrow a page from the month before and promote green beer as part of their anti-consumption consumption well then I might at least stop off for a drink.


Werner said...

Many ideas associated with "green" consciousness are statist bullshit. Some years back there was a campaign (actually there still is one) to stop people driving old cars. Instead of trying to appeal to back yard mechanics who try to keep their VW bugs, Darts and Valiants on the road, basically for fun, the managerials tried to guilt trip the class of people they/we should be trying to bring on side.

Anonymous said...

I think George Carlin said it best

The planet is is fine,,,the people are fucked!

Larry Gambone said...

I am ignoring it too. It has just become another bread and circuses routine, rather than doing something real about Peak Oil and climate change.