Every day it seems, someone new crawls from underneath some stone and proclaims himself an expert, simultaneously declaring that new studies have shown something that was once good for you is bad, or what was bad yesterday is good today. It’s no wonder no one bothers to listen to the Surgeon General when new statements are released.
Spreading beyond the food industry, the same sort of duplicitous flip flopping not seen since the Kerry/Edwards campaign, environmental issues such as global warming are now squarely in the sights of the tongue wagglers.
Reading an article today about how it is less detrimental to the environment to drive your Hummer to the store than it is to walk given the state of industrialized food processing, seems to be a stretch. Chris Goodall asserts this to be the best way to combat this affront to our planet:
Don’t buy anything from the supermarket, or anything that’s traveled too far.
Goodall is the author of How to Live a Low-Carbon Life: The Individuals Guide to Stopping Climate Change, which has been fairly well reviewed overseas, but has little precedence here in the US (other than theoretical context). Overall, these sort of assertions aren’t new to the scene, however, statements made in the above mentioned article are a bit out of the reach of the ordinary human, and Goodall himself admits:
This is a route which virtually nobody, apart from a vegan, is going to follow
Which is about as accurate as you can get; a point in fact I whole-heartedly agree with. If it isn’t a forced or easy change to make and adjust to, people are simply unwilling to make the adjustments needed to accommodate the ideals into their daily routine. I should say that I have not read his book, and I am unlikely to, based off the statements quoted in the mentioned article and others.
Look at the facts released about bottled water for instance. It is pretty well known that more energy and water is wasted and/or consumed in the process of making the glorified tap water readily available. Wired Magazine featured an article a few months ago (unfortunately I couldn’t find the issue), about how various things we think are better (for the environment) really aren’t – like using paper bags at the grocery store. The paper bags take more resources, energy and time to produce and dispose of than plastic and have a higher carbon footprint. So start bringing your own bags ( a thing which most large supersatans, err… I mean supermarkets make available).
Our fuel situation isn’t immune from the thundering jack-boot of industrialized big-business either. Entire communities of people are losing their lands and heritage to massive, unregulated growth in the Palm Oil industry.
So what’s my point?
It might not be so easy to wade through, but simply put: we don’t know what the hell we are doing. Everyone is so preoccupied with whether or not they can, no one ever stops to think about whether or not they should. It happens in all industries, suddenly there is a demand for something and everyone runs headlong toward a goal with an uncertain future, not considering the impact or ramifications of their decisions only weighing the growth of profits.
People in general just don’t care. The price of gas gets inflated because one of the oil barons needs a new yacht, then people go out and buy more Hummers, Escalades, and F-350s; then drive 450 miles at 12 mpg to go to their environmental retreat in Aspen – a place where suburban sprawl threatens the very land that draws people to it. Can you blame them though? Really? No. What are we supposed to believe? the Government? The pundits? The liberal zealots who fire-bomb logging camps and torch SUVs? They all say something opposite of each other and they all have facts to back up their position. So who’s right?