Greener Than Thou

In walking around the neighborhood, I don’t see much evidence that anyone is particularly concerned about global warming, drought conditions, or living green.  I see the same lawns being sprinkled by the same sprinklers in the middle of the day.  I see the same wires running all over the place feeding electricity to air conditioners; no rooftop solar panels are evident.  I see the same large trucks and cars, nobody out walking, few people riding bikes.  I was even told recently by a woman in the neighborhood, “You Rock!” because I was walking back from Safeway with my groceries in plastic bags.  She was impressed with my walking green-ness you see.

I don’t see a lot of solar water heaters on roofs around here either.  Now granted, the fashion-conscious may be putting them in the back where nobody can see them.  Next time I’m on a plane leaving Sacramento I am going to look carefully to see what they’re hiding.  I suspect that we’re not doing that great.

Now, if we’re all really convinced that global warming is happening and if it’s truly a threat to our lives as a race, then why aren’t we all doing more?  I don’t see piles of people on the electric train, in fact the local RT district is voting today on cutting the schedule down.  If more people were using it, wouldn’t it pay for itself?  I see few people on those trains when they pass in front of me on my bike.

I don’t see any gas stations closing for lack of business even though I see more hybrids around.  You have to watch out for those vehicles riding a bike because they’re so damned quiet.  They sneak up on you – even a bike can’t do that because it clicks.  I think hybrids should be required to make a sound when they are in electric-mode, they need to click, hiss, or emit some unique noise that lets us walkers and peddlers know they’re lurking.

If we’re so green then why aren’t the gas stations offering free sets of dishes like they did during the gas wars when I was a kid in the 60’s?  Why aren’t they hiring people to pump our gas, you know, stepping up the customer service to get more business?  It simply ain’t happening because we’re still sucking it down faster than a Rotarian drinks martinis at an open bar.

I’ll tell you why, because most of you simply aren’t green.  You like the idea and maybe you’ll even wear a t-shirt that extols recycled knick-knacks but you aren’t thinking green.  Let’s face it, there seems to be no face of leadership to the whole thing, no Carl Sagan who everyone knows and trusts, hell there’s not even a colored ribbon or rubber wrist band to wear yet!

All we’ve got is Rush Limbaugh on one side who’s anti-warming and Al Gore on the other side who is pro-warming.  But there isn’t anyone in the middle just talking sense that everyone understands.  Where is our ongoing dialogue and where is the “Cosmos”-style TV series with a recognized expert we all know and trust?  Where is the Walter Cronkite of Global warming?

Because the experts aren’t in agreement on global warming everyone has an excuse in either the front or in the back of their mind for not doing more.  If this is really the emergency Al Gore and others claim, then why isn’t there more drastic action being taken at the micro level, like by my neighbors?  Everyone would do more if they believed it.

I’m so green I may get deported to Ireland.  I park my gas sipping car three days a week now, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday and if I decide to start going to a church closer to home I can probably park it on Sunday too.

I ride my bike where I need to go on those three days.  I am GREE_EEN, I’m an emerald in the rough.  Now I need a solar electrical system and I’ll be so snooty that nobody will be able to stand my green-ness.  I am proud to say that I sort my garbage.  I put the paper and cardboard in one bin, the glass in another bin, and the metal in another bin.  (I suspect that all these bins are tossed together into the dump but that’s not my responsibility now is it?)  That’s me, gree-een.

I am awaiting my medal of green-ness from Al Gore but he hasn’t been in touch yet.  I’d settle for a green schmuck of the year award from Rush but he’s too busy refilling his BIG GULP and gassing up his Hummer, and I’m not talking about fuel.  I’m not sure either of them are paying attention at all to my efforts so I may need to pen letters on some recycled elephant poop paper that my friend in Africa sent to me.  Yes, even my letter-writing is gree-een, greener than thou.