Why I’m an Environmentalist

“Going Green,” is a phrase everyone is using these days. Ever since Al Gore took up the cause it seems that this movement has really gained a lot of momentum. All the companies are “Going Green” now and it would seem to be just as much of a fad as a real and serious issue.

Not long ago, an “Environmentalist” might be seen as some tree hugging hippie from California. For some, the word still conjures up these images. However, the movement has gone from the hippies to corporate America and is constantly uttered in the media and every politicians lips.

Yet, is this crisis really taken seriously or is it just the “latest thing?” I would argue that the “Going Green” movement is still not taken as seriously as it should be. The reason being that people still do not really feel the effects of pollution on a day to day basis and “Global Warming” is still considered a “theory” to a large part of America.

Large polluting companies now put a picture of a plant on their advertisements in hopes that the population will see them as “green.” Even worse, companies like Chevron which does horrendous damage to the environment now has advertisements that place the blame on the end user!! Such ads as “I will use less,” and “Will you join us?” make me want to vomit. They are absolving themselves of their part in all this and placing the blame directly on individuals!!!

It is true that we as Americans consume entirely too much. For too long it has been the bigger house, bigger car, bigger portions, and so on. Further, under our capitalist system if we did not keep consuming more and more then the whole system would break down as we can see with the “Credit Crunch.” The only way to go is up in terms of revenue which means selling more products which in turn creates more pollution and waste.

Politicians have joined in and just recently in California have tried to force energy companies to use more renewable energy. It did not pass though because the bill was “poorly written,” “a waste of money,” a “boondoggle” etc. While this might be true I would challenge the politicians to TRY HARDER!!

The reason being is that I have experienced what it is like to live in constant air pollution. The air in Saigon is complete motor-scooter exhaust and catching a breath of fresh air is extremely rare. If the population of the USA were to experience an environment like this, I’m sure the Green movement would gain serious momentum overnight. Just driving around is like sucking directly on a tail pipe and I cannot even imagine how many cases of lung disease and emphysema are going to arise in the very near future in places like Beijing, Saigon and Thailand.

Yet, Americans are not yet overly concerned because pollution is not affecting the people on a large scale just yet. When it does, it will be too late to prevent serious harm.

Take the Bay Area for example, we are situated next to the ocean which has some very high air current and so one would think the air quality is good. This is not the case though, due principally from too many cars on the road, forest fires and even pollution from China. Further, the pollution to our water is so severe that I can no longer drink from the tap, but have various filters in place.

The “Green” movement has gained attention but we need to be taking it more seriously.

As a side note, calling it a “crisis” does not have the impact the word once used to carry. Listening to the media, it would seem everything is a “crisis” now days. Global Warming – A Crisis, the credit crunch – A Crisis, Katie Couric’s interview – A Crisis, Sarah Palin – A CRISIS!!!
The gauntlet has been laid down and I challenge the media to stop using that word henceforth.

PS: Quit calling voter propositions a “boondoggle.” It’s a stupid word and makes me want to vote the other way.

By Mateo de Colón

Global Citizen! こんにちは!僕の名前はマットです. Es decir soy Mateo. Aussi, je m'appelle Mathieu. Likes: Languages, Cultures, Computers, History, being Alive! \(^.^)/