Meaningless Green Gestures

People drive their car five miles to get to the supermarket. They purchase large amounts of products wrapped in plastic and styrofoam. Then they check out, and the cashier informs them that the store has discontinued their thin plastic bags -in an effort to save the planet. Instead the groceries get bagged in a thin paper bag, which is just a destructive to the environment. The shopper then burns another quarter of a gallon of gas driving home, their paper bag breaks in the driveway breaking glass and eggs, and the shopper feels good that he didn’t destroy the planet.

I do my commuting and shopping on a bicycle with a backpack, but I don’t have any illusions that what I am doing is sustainable. I just like to ride a bike – and save money.

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About stevengoddard

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18 Responses to Meaningless Green Gestures

  1. SMS says:

    When I was living in South Australia, I had to put up with reusable grocery bags at Woolies and Coles. Just read a study that shows reusable bags carry bacteria and are responsible for a much greater number of sicknesses where they are mandated. Made it out alive.

  2. It’s worse than that. I now have to buy plastic bags as I recycle the free ones as garbage bin liners. The ones I purchase are admittedly better quality but I seldom require better quality and the better quality ones I am now forced to purchase, use more plastic.

  3. gofer says:

    The shape of a Prius has become a green symbol and it’s just as important to the sale as anything else because a pious greenie must have a visible way to show their moral superiority. When the person puts their groceries in a “reuseable” bag it’s another visible symbol of their piety. If people want to use them fine, but stop forcing people to adopt “religious” symbols. A few years back it was paper that was demonized and hence we got plastic bags, now out with the plastic because it’s a green fad and nothing else. WHY only grocery stores? Plastic bags are used throughout the retail industry.

  4. NikFromNYC says:

    “Throughout human history, as our species has faced the frightening, terrorizing fact that we do not know who we are, or where we are going in this ocean of chaos, it has been the authorities, the political, the religious, the educational authorities who attempted to comfort us by giving us order, rules, regulations, informing, forming in our minds their view of reality. To think for yourself you must question authority and learn how to put yourself in a state of vulnerable, open-mindedness; chaotic, confused, vulnerability to inform yourself.” – Timothy Leary

    • His justification for using LSD I suppose.

      • NikFromNYC says:

        Steve Jobs, Kary Mullis, and Francis Crick all credited LSD for their inventions. Must Prometheus justify himself? To who? You?!

        “Distrust all men in whom the impulse to punish is powerful.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

        ”Thou must be willing to burn thyself in thine own flame: how mayst thou be made anew unless thou first becomes ashes?” – Friedrich Nietzsche (Thus Spake Zarathrusta, 1891)

        “The higher we soar, the smaller we seem to those who cannot fly.” – Frederich Nietzsche (Daybreak, 1881)

        “Thou goest beyond them: but the higher thou dost mount, the smaller thou seemest to the eye of envy. But he that hath wings is most hated.” – Friedrich Nietzsche (Thus Spake Zarathrusta, 1891)

        “To you, bold explorers, experimenters, and whoso embarketh with cunning sails on terrible seas To you that delights in riddles, thy love of twilight, whose soul is lured as by flutes to every labyrinth (For ye love not with coward hand to grope your way by a thread; and where ye can divine ye scorn to deduce.) To you alone I tell this riddle that I saw a vision of the loneliest one….” – Friedrich Nietzsche (Thus Spake Zarathrusta, 1891)

        “The ship of your thoughts moves too deep for you to be able to sail in it on the waters of these decent, friendly, amicable people. There are too many shallows and sandbanks there: you would have to turn and twist and would be in constant embarrassment, and soon they too would be in embarrassment over your embarrassment, whose cause they cannot divine.” – Frederich Nietzsche (Human, All Too Human, 1878)

        “Believe me! The secret of reaping the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment from life is to live dangerously!” – Friederich Nietzsche (Die fröhlich Wissenschaft, 1882)

        “Every profound thinker is more afraid of being understood than of being misunderstood. – Frederich Nietzsche (Beyond Good and Evil, 1886)

        “I am not a man I am dynamite.” – Friedrich Nietzsche (Ecce Homo, 1888)

        “If you are so boring or ugly an object to yourself, by all means think of others more than of yourself! It is right you should!” – Frederich Nietzsche (Daybreak, 1881)

        “Inasmuch as at all times, as long as there have been human beings, there have also been herds of men (clans, communities, tribes, peoples, states, churches) and always a great many people who obeyed, compared with the small number of those commanding considering, then, that nothing has been exercised and cultivated better and longer among men so far than obedience it may fairly be assumed that the need for it is now innate in the average man, as a kind of formal conscience that commands: thou shalt unconditionally do something, unconditionally not do something else, in short, thou shalt. This need seeks to satisfy itself and to fill its form with some content. According to its strength, impatience, and tension, it seizes upon things as a rude appetite, rather indiscriminately, and accepts whatever is shouted into its ears by someone who issues commands parents, teachers, laws, class prejudices, public opinions. The strange limits of human development, the way it hesitates, takes so long, often turns back, and moves in circles, is due to the fact that the herd instinct of obedience is inherited best, and at the expense of the art of commanding.” – Frederich Nietzsche (Beyond Good and Evil, 1886)

        “Do you think that every good thing has always had a good conscience? Science, which is certainly something good, entered the world without one, and quite destitute of pathos, but did so rather in secret, by crooked and indirect paths, hooded or masked like a criminal and at least always with the feeling of dealing in contraband. The good conscience has as a preliminary stage the bad conscience the latter is not its opposite: for everything good was once new, consequently unfamiliar, contrary to custom, immoral, and gnawed at the heart of its fortunate inventor like a worm.” – Frederich Nietzsche (Human, All Too Human, 1878)

        “In the great majority, the intellect is a clumsy, gloomy, creaking machine that is difficult to start. They call it taking the matter seriously, when they work with this machine and want to think well: how onerous they must find thinking well!” – Frederich Nietzsche (The Gay Science, 1882)

        “O my soul, as thy domain have I given thee all wisdom to drink, all new wines, and also all immemorially old, strong wines of wisdom!” – Friedrich Nietzsche (Thus Spake Zarathrusta, 1891)

        “It is the task of culture to ensure that what is great in a people does not appear among them as a recluse or an outlaw.” – Friedrich Nietzsche (In Unpublished Writings, 1872)

        “O my brethren, I heard laughter that was no human laughter and now a thirst consumeth me, a longing that is never stilled. My longing for that laughter consumeth me. Oh, how can I endure yet to live! And how could I endure now to die!” – Friedrich Nietzsche (Thus Spake Zarathrusta, 1891)

        “Now I am without weight, now I fly, now I see myself beneath myself, now a god danceth in me.” – Friedrich Nietzsche (Thus Spake Zarathrusta, 1891)

        “If you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

        “Oh, these Good! Good men never speak the truth; for thus to get good is a sickness of the mind.” – Friedrich Nietzsche (Thus Spake Zarathrusta, 1891)

        “ages called inspiration? If not, I will describe it. If one had the slightest residue of superstition left in one, one would hardly be able to set aside the idea that one is merely incarnation, merely mouthpiece, merely medium of overwhelming forces. The concept of revelation, in the sense that something suddenly, with unspeakable certainty and subtlety becomes visible, audible, something that shakes and overturns one to the depths, simply describes the fact. One hears, one does not seek; one takes, one does not ask who gives; a thought flashes up like lightening, with necessity, unfalteringly formed I have never had any choice. An ecstasy whose tremendous tension sometimes discharges itself in a flood of tears, while one’s steps now involuntarily rush along, now involuntarily lag; a complete being outside of oneself with distinct consciousness of a multitude of subtle shudders and trickles down to one’s toes: a depth of happiness in which the most painful and gloomy things appear, not as an antithesis, but as conditioned, demanded, as a necessary colour within such a superfluity of light; an instinct for rhythmical relationships which spans forms of wide extent length, the need for a wide-spanned rhythm is almost the measure of the force of inspiration, a kind of compensation for its pressure and tension…. Everything is in the highest degree involuntary but takes place as in a tempest of a feeling of freedom, of absoluteness, of power, or divinity.” – Friedrich Nietzsche (Ecce Homo, 1888)

      • Eric Simpson says:

        Whoa nelly, long, lol. Good Nietzsche, I’ll take a closer look at the quotes later. But I would be reticent in promoting that particular drug because it is documented to cause some people to go insane, psychotic or schizophrenic, both I think are possibilities. And hordes of others, though not made insane, or catapulted in psychological instability. I don’t doubt that there are times where the drug has brought insight, and for the cases you mentioned I would almost call for links, but thousands of innovators like Edison did their thing in a time before lsd. It certainly isn’t requisite. It might have worked for Timothy Leary, but I think it’s so powerful that it’s a real roll of the dice. I like your go for it / test the boundaries spirit, but I’m just giving my sense on that drug. I’m not saying that it should be illegal. That’s not my point.

      • There is not much value in taking a drug that causes your brain to malfunction. Maybe you’ll see bright colours or have hallucinations of various types. Dreaming is another way to experience the odd ball.

        As for Nietzsche, yes, his point was that to live is to judge.

    • TeaPartyGeezer says:

      Mind-altering drugs would certainly explain the incoherence of your posts.

  5. gator69 says:

    Fast food trash is truly unsustainable. It is insane how much paper and styrofoam one receives with a burger. It is one of the reasons why I avoid eating at fast food restaurants, and when I do, I choose items that do not use styrofoam packaging as I cannot recycle it.

    • Justa Joe says:

      You mustn’t have been to a fast food joint in quite some time. None of the major outfits use much styrofoam if any. The knock on styrofoam wasn’t about sustainability it was supposedly about landfill space due to its non-biodegradability.

      • gator69 says:

        I do occasionally pick up a paper wrapped burger from McD’s off the 99 cent menu, but what I observe everyday, are the waste cans in my office overflowing with styrofoam containers. I used to commute by an enormous landfill, and watching it grow, knowing there would be another, and another, and another… made me rethink not just what I buy, but how it is packaged. I wish everyone did.

  6. Sparks says:

    Is it true that the reason plastic bags have to go into a landfill and cant be recycled is because they are made to be biodegradable? and is this also why in the UK they pay a landfill Tax on plastic bags.

  7. Lou says:

    I feel like I walked into The People’s Cube website here sometimes. Lol.

  8. WillR says:

    To make a paper bag consumes about six to 10 times the energy required to make a plastic grocery bag. The information is widely available on the internet.

  9. Hugh K says:

    I’m more worried about meaningful green gestures.

    Every greed team member had their panties in a wad over a forged document falsely claiming Heartland Institute wanted to indoctrinate Kindergartern students?!?
    Try real green propoganda taught in every course at Unity College – thought you might have fun with this one Steve – http://bangordailynews.com/2013/02/24/news/midcoast/unity-college-to-incorporate-climate-change-into-all-aspects-of-curriculum/

    • gator69 says:

      “The young adults in college today will experience progressively dangerous, disruptive climates. There’s not a thing on earth we can do to stop that — it’s in the pipeline,” Unity College President Stephen Mulkey said recently. “What we can salvage is a livable planet for our grandkids and our children.”

      Wow. Anyone who is thinking of sending their kids there should read this, and then have their head examined.

  10. Karl says:

    This is the paradigm that has taken hold in our education system. It is that global warming/climate change (aka human induce GW, CC) is happening and we must act. All other perspectives are ignored or denigrated.

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