Wednesday, July 15, 2009

the green revolution

The modern green movement, like many a great idea, can probably trace its origins back to a pre-1980s Republican president. In this case, Theodore Roosevelt, the man who gave us teddy bears and cameos in bad Disney musicals. It likely got a start on life when humanity realized that it could demolish the world rather easily, by logging the entire state of California, and killing millions of bison1. Through fits and bursts it has reared its emerald head through anti-nuclear demonstrations, anti-whaling activities spearheaded by the oh-so-fiercely named Rainbow Warrior, and various and sundry lame movies, the worst of which being Free Willy.

There's no need to rehearse for the average reader the latest incarnation of the green revolution, that is, the global warming crisis2. This, like most fads, will die off when the average person realizes he or she will actually have to change his or her behavior, rather than preach to other people why they need to change their behavior. Previous incarnations of the green movement probably lasted as long as they did because it required no actual change on behalf of the average person, only change on the part of some random person thousands of miles away, cutting down a perfectly good tree, or eating some delectable whale

But I digress.

Today I had an inkling that maybe my whole cynical way of viewing this movement is incorrect, and that the greens are winning. As part of my new keep-Chris-sane-while-he-doesn't-have-work program, I headed up to visit the California Academy of Sciences on their once-a-month free day. It ended up being a huge failure--the line was a half mile long (literally), and I lost five dollars to a broken fare machine on my way, but I did happen to witness the victory of the green revolution.

Some kids were standing in line in front of me (before I gave up and went home), and one of them started insulting the other. This isn't very out of the ordinary, as kids live to make fun of each other, but this guy was different. He starts taunting the other kid by telling him he (the tauntee) cuts down trees. He then begins to swing an imaginary axe and yells brusquely, "I cut down trees because I want more money!"

Now, in my elementary school, that sort of taunting would have resulted in your serious injury and perpetual shunning4. But if kids these days are making fun of other kids for chopping down trees, well, the green revolution is upon us. Victory is theirs. Al Gore has won.


1. Sadly, Utah missed out on the whole green thing, and over the years, I've watched the Oquirrh Mountains turn from a nice-ish mountain range on the west end of the Salt Lake Valley into a pile of mine tailings from the Kennecott Copper Mine. Seriously. The entire range is turning into a large pile of tailings. Does anybody else happen to notice how ugly that is?
2. For the record, I'm a declared agnostic on the issue, but I'm supremely entertained by my sisters who believe that Al Gore et al. are trying to brainwash their children and take over the world. Now, that alone isn't necessarily entertaining because a lot of people think that5, but these two sisters happen to be the greenest people on the planet. Like, one of them doesn't ever turn on her heater or air conditioner, and both walk as much as possible and use the car as little as possible. So, they don't like greens, but they'
3. I'm sorry, but could someone explain why whales are sacred again? So I understand we shouldn't be extinguishing species, but I sort of get the idea that if it were up to the Rainbow Warriors of the world, we would never eat whale, ever? I don't know about you, but it sort of sounds delicious. Like a big non-genetically modified cow marinated in salt over the period of several decades. Mmmmmm...tasty...
4. I once witnessed a kid eviscerated for eating refried beans at lunch. Seriously.
5. The south, for one. For the other record, let me just state, the south, I love you and all, but I think if we were to wipe your political record from the history of the world, we'd all be much better off. Slavery, Jim Crow, and George Bush II never would have plagued our society. That is all. Please stop ruining politics for the rest of us. Love, everyone else in the world. P.S. Send us more bacon.


chris said...

also, thanks to adam for showing me how to do real footnotes. feel free to suggest a better/nicer-looking way to do it.

Jerkolas said...

I will now always see whales in a new light...a tastier one!