Friday, 31 August 2007

Go Green - In Whose Interest?


I think green. I really do. All these warnings about climate change, a bid to save the planet for the future generations, I take notice of them. All the requests to recycle, I take notice of them. When the temperatures are hitting over 30ÂșC, I sit and sweat it out in my bermuda shorts and, in the name of everything green, resort to homemade air conditioning: shirt off, window open. And since we see some pretty severe water shortages in the summer, I try to waste as little water as possible too, in consideration of the reservoirs drying up further south.

Then there's the question of other resources. So I recycle. Plastic, glass, card, paper, you name it, my flat is littered with it, ready for transportation to the nearest recycling bin. Energy these days is an issue, so I have my energy-saving light bulbs in place. This is my bit to try and keep the world turning for the future generations. What are you doing?

The thing is though, you've gotta wonder in whose interests all this is really for. I mean, why they're really telling us to do all this. Just looking in a local bookshop the other day: last year it was all Da Vinci Code rip offs; this year climate change is the subject of the literary world's preocupations. How convenient. Ex-presidential candidate Al Gore, he's especially worried about it, what with a book and a film on the matter (anybody know if the proceeds are going to charity?).

There's also the price of green products and resources. Can anyone tell me why an energy-saving light bulb is twice the price of a standard one? And why the plastic I put in the recycling bin, only for some fashion designer, if the documentary I saw is to believed, to use for making a scarf? Can I presume the benefits of this re-usage of material are being passed on to the consumer?

Maybe the climate really has changed. Now it's one in which the genuine concern behind the warnings of the tree-hugging 1990s is lost. Today, raising awareness and telling people to "Think green" seems nothing more than an opportunity for those saying so to make some of the green stuff for themselves. It's pretty sad that the world is beginning to literally revolve around money.

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