Monday, July 17, 2006

Turning Green?

I was in the library the other day and couldn't help but notice the cover of Newsweek. It was green. The whole cover. You'd have thought it was St. Patricks Day or something, but no, the headline on the cover said something about how "green" was in. Which was kind of surprising for a couple of reasons.

First, I thought being environmentally conscious had been "in" for quite a number of years now. When I was a kid, I don't ever recycling anything. It wasn't exactly yesterday recycling became "in". Probably the early 90s, I'd imagine, but don't quote me on that. My point being that it wasn't exactly yesterday, and there's already a whole generation of young adults today who probably don't even remember the time before recycling was a fashion statement.

My second thought was, "Bullshit!." Few people have had a sudden change of heart to save the environment. Nobody cared about hybrids when gas was selling at a dollar per gallon--they wanted SUVs. They didn't care about using double-paned windows to keep heat in and the cold out during the winter--electricity was cheap so they didn't care about conserving it. Few people worried about 'energy-efficient' appliances, carpooling, or public transportation.

The sudden change of heart has nothing to do with saving the environment--it's the wallet, stupid. People want more full-efficient cars to save money. They want to stop heat from leaking out the windows during the winter to save on heating costs. They want energy-efficient appliances to save on the electric bill, and washing machines that use less water to save on that water bill.

Give someone a million bucks and I'll bet you most of them will 'upgrade' their vehicle to something a bit less fuel efficient. Millionaires don't worry about the price of gas, after all. Drive down electric prices and people will start wondering if less expensive appliances that use more electricity might be the way to go.

It's the pocketbook, the almighty pocketbook. Sure, saving the environment is a nice bonus, but who are we kidding? High energy prices might save this planet yet. =)

*** This just in! ****

I just ran a spell check on this article, and it complained about the word 'carpooling'. I'm pretty sure I spelled it right and the spell checker just doesn't know the term--not a very green spell checker, is it? Or is it...? The first suggestion it offered as a correction was "corpulence". Make that a lesson--get out and walk whenever you can! Carpooling is good, but walking, riding a bike, or riding the public bus is even better. ;o)

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Well, some of us do care about the environment, and not just our wallets. When my current car dies, I hope to buy a used diesel and run it on recycled vegetable oil.