I am hardly a poster child for the “green” movement. I’ll just come right out with that from the beginning. I don’t recycle in my home, I have multiple computers that are almost always on (yeah, yeah, wake-on-lan, I know) and my car is a 2002 vintage South Korean. But that doesn’t mean I don’t think green.
In fact, I think I should be the target of every “green” technologist out there. I am educated, middle class and I want to be green but the barriers to entry are just too high. Well, they aren’t that high, but they are too high when coupled with my laziness. Honestly, is it worse not to recycle or to take my recyclables, in my South Korean hoopty, to my friendly Wal-Mart recycling center so that monolith can profit from my canned goods and cardboard? This isn’t a straight-forward decision. Multiple crusades intersect at this point.
That being said, it fills me with a glimmer of hope when I hear elected officials, wherever they may reside, talking frankly (and correctly) about these issues. In an interview with CNET’s Elsa Wenzel, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom illustrated the attitude we all need to have about the so-called “green” movement: good, not great, so now what? In particular, I love his response to the possibility that global warming isn’t happening. (Ed: don’t get me started; when you can’t trust the government, all questions become valid)
Why should we breathe the fumes of other people’s cars? Why not clean the air? Even if there’s not global warming, there’s an inherent benefit that accrues in terms of health care costs. Taxpayers are all the beneficiaries.
Why wouldn’t we do green buildings to reduce our energy costs? Do we like not being able to develop on Hunter’s Point Shipyard? Why wouldn’t we want to invest in technologies to clean up toxic waste so that at least we can create an economic stimulus and take back some of those problems?
There’s nothing we’re doing that we shouldn’t be doing anyway. Period.
Here’s to you, Gavin. Slainte!