To the Root of Green
edited: Monday, September 21, 2009
By J. O. Quantaman
Not "rated" by the Author.
Posted: Saturday, September 19, 2009
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Most folks have become aware of the prospects of Climate Change. Most folks realize that both individuals and groups will have to take responsibility for the stewardship of planet. Humans can no longer ignore the need to make cultural changes leading to sustainable lifestyles. Other creatures don't have the wherewithal to make these changes. Humans alone have tools and expertise. So the job is ours to set things right.
While sensible folks recognize the need, few seem to grasp what needs to be done beyond the obvious. Individuals may purchase a more energy efficient car, they may install more insulation for the homes. Some may even use a bicycle for short-range errands or trade their power mower for a reliable push mower. For most people, habits are hard to break. We live in a cultural of unfettered consumerism. It's all too easy to buy disposable diapers, razor blades or ballpoint pens. It's cheaper to buy stuff for a short-term needs, even tho the items will be discarded as junk within a few months.
A free and unregulated marketplace cannot lead to prosperous and sustainable lifestyles, since capitalism is based on the perception of success and ever-rising growth of profits. Altho it's true that many corporations have tried to "green" their operations. Most of these innovations are obvious, overdue or mere public relations exercises.
The EPA compiled a list of the top 25 green energy companies. Pepsi Cola corp. place 2nd on the list, while its various divisions placed 6th and 24th. This is a great coup for the company's public relations, since none of its competitors placed anywhere near the top 25. But consider for one moment. Pepsi Cola sells beverages that are mostly null of healthy nutrition. Sugar is a documented hazard to dental health while sugar's various substitutes are unproven and possibly carcinogenic. To my knowledge, Pepsi Cola markets its fizz water in aluminum or plastic containers, both of which require substantial energy to recycle. The company has not reverted to reusable glass bottles for the simple reason that glass bottles would put them at competitive disadvantage. It's cheaper to market disposable aluminum cans than it is to recollect and clean the glass bottles. Moreover, aluminum may be detrimental to health since large quantities of aluminum are found in the brains of folks suffering from Alzheimer's disease.
In our culture it is said that "time is money". Well guess what? We are running out of time to salvage the natural environment. We need to make sensible choices based on the best scientific knowledge. And we need to elect politicians willing to make those choices.