May 28, 2008

Environmentalists Fail to Make Effective Metaphor, Recriminate Selves in Process

Reuters: "Flintstones" arrested in car emissions protest

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - "Fred and Wilma Flintstone" were arrested as they approached the European Parliament on Monday to protest about the influence of the auto industry on proposals to curb carbon dioxide emissions from cars.

Six Greenpeace activists dressed as cavemen and traveling in a Flintstones-style vehicle were detained along with three others for public order offences, police said.

A stone tablet accusing car lobbyists of driving climate change was confiscated before it could be delivered to lawmakers, a Greenpeace spokeswoman said.


"Our activists and their zero-emission vehicle are raising the alarm about the influence this dinosaur industry exercises over EU climate policy," Greenpeace transport campaigner Melanie Francis said.

(Reporting by Pete Harrison)

Ok.  So, in case you missed it.  There are these people dressed up like cavemen, pushing some contraption around with their feet accusing the European car industry of being a dinosaur.

The European car industry.  Dinosaur.  These are the people that bring us BMW, Porshe, Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, and others.  I can't think of anything further from being a dinosaur.

But in a strange twist, the environmentalists, the people who would give up the success, health, happiness, luxury, and all around joyous living that modern engineering and technology have brought us for the sake of the planet are accusing the auto industry of being antiquated, old, backwards, and whatnot?  The people who would condemn human beings to lives akin to that of cave people?

I almost can't comprehend how backward this is.

But as more and more countries, businesses, and individuals come to accept the "green" way of thinking as right, the more we can expect this sort of condemnation for technological progress.  Green is becoming synonymous with modern instead of dirty and hippies.  Environmentalism is seen as progressive instead of de-evolutionary.  And continually we are admonished for pointing out the economic devastation that environmental legislation wreaks because such black-and-white thinking is seen as old and tired.

The greens are making appalling progress when it comes to spreading their ideas and they are succeeding in business alarmingly.  Green cosmetics, green house paint, green clothes, green everything.  Green thinking is certainly a sign of our times, but it's not a very good sign at all.

Posted by: Flibbertigibbet at 12:16 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
Category: Mean Green Machine
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1 Conservation towards the environment and natural resources need not imply one is a complete Luddite. Conservation actually makes plenty of economic, social and environmental sense. And technology for technology's sake is not always a good thing either. Most of what corporations refer to as "green" nowadays is simply "green washing". But conservation of resources should be applauded. The automobile is actually one of those pieces of technology that we should seriously reconsider, especially those that run on gasoline. Although such technology certainly has its place in rural environments, the city is really a bad place for cars. The car-free movement does not advocate a return to living in caves. To the contrary, if you read about it, you will see that such movements actually stand to increase our cultural well-being. And lastly, many of us who consider ourselves environmentalists, embrace science and technology.

Posted by: WillySF at May 29, 2008 06:28 AM (k8goc)

2 You're far more optimistic about these people than I am.

I would be extremely cautious if I were you about calling yourself an environmentalist.  It does tend to confuse things by lumping you in with the crazies.

I see no reason why conservation of resources should be applauded, though.  Why save on coal?  If we run out of coal, or oil, or whatever, we will be forced to invent something to replace it.  What value is gained by not going ahead and using it?  Well, some argue that it would last longer, but who cares if it lasts longer and comes at the cost of raising prices and increasing inconvenience.

As for cars, although I don't own a car, I am opposed to a "car-free environment."  I don't even know how such an environment would come about with government intervention and government restriction on property rights.  And I don't know what "cultural well-being" is.

Yes, I would approach environmentalism very cautiously if I were you.  It's a sneaky package deal created by people who really do hate people.  People who don't care if you have a cave or not.  They regard human beings as a plight or a disease.

Posted by: Flibbert at May 29, 2008 07:17 AM (ru7wW)

3 Trust me, I don't think that way. I love people, and that's why I'd like to see a more just, equitable and intelligent world. But nature is a big part of humanity, and you can't separate the two. Conservation just makes sense. Why wouldn't you want to conserve a valuable resource? The earth can survive without humanity, but humanity cannot survive without the earth.

Posted by: WillySF at May 29, 2008 09:12 PM (k8goc)

4 Oh, I believe you.  Just look at the blogs you visit! 

A resource is only valuable insofar as it is useful and if you refuse to use something that is useful, then there is little difference between it and another amount of something that is useless.

"Nature" is really just the whole of existence and as far as human beings are concerned nature is here to make us happy and comfortable; we need only to apply our minds to make it comply.

And humanity certainly can survive without Earth, but it's a lot of work to do so.  I mean, the nearest other planets are really, really far away.  But, really, there's nothing special about Earth.

I'm hard pressed to think of a case when I would actually advocate conservation of some resource like oil or coal or something.  I mean, if we run out, then we'll have no choice but to come up with some replacement, right?  So, what's wrong with that?  (Given our current level of technology, I'd think it'd be something very cool and way more efficient.  Like that thing Iron Man has in his chest.)

The extent of my "environmentalism" runs only so far as to ensure the happiness and survival of human beings.  So, really, I'm just against poisoning water supplies and leaving bodies in other people's yards.  (There might be some other things I'm against, too.  I don't think about those things much.)

Posted by: Flibbertigibbet at May 29, 2008 10:04 PM (vHVEb)

5 Oh!  And one other thing I wanted to point out:  As a rule, businesses do things because they think that's what their customers want.

Although I think most corporations only pay lip service to "green thinking" their adoption of green slogans and their desire to appeal to customers as environmentalists represents the growth in the appeal that green stuff has to the general public.

Posted by: Flibbertigibbet at May 29, 2008 11:14 PM (vHVEb)

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