Greener on the Other Side

Defining Green
January 20, 2009, 4:57 am
Filed under: Green | Tags:

There’s far too much content on earth. If content were a pollutant I have no doubt it would be the environments most severe threat, virtually dwarfing co2 emissions, radioactive waste, uranium mining and China. Luckily for the narcissistic, awful youtube posts, terrible music on myspace, twittering and blogging have no direct environmental effect aside from the energy consumed to create them. That, however, does not make it okay. Content pollution is a serious problem.

From Greener on the Other Side you will find a synthesis of the weeks most pressing environmental news scoping business, politics, culture and energy. Hopefully that synthesis will offer some translation, context, and perspective on what all this green talk is really about.  Additionally, I will tackle evolving trends and themes within the broader green movement and attempt to editorialize in a way that will help bring you as the reader into the fold of the green universe.

To start, I will offer some closure on the term itself. Since I began pursuing a career within the green space people have asked me, “What does green mean?” Well let me clarify, green is a primary color; Favorite third among Americans after Red and Blue, it can be found in any 8 pack of crayons, and can be created by mixing yellow and blue paint. You may have attempted this at some point between ages 3 and 12. It’s home to the less sinful apple, the dollar bill, teenage mutant ninja turtles, and Kermit. One can be green with envy or green with innocence. But perhaps most famously, (at least second to money) the earth is green. And so, when PR spinsters and marketing mavens had to describe all things environmental, sustainable and energy efficient they deemed them green. It was a pretty good idea. Otherwise your nightly newscaster would’ve had to give you tips on how to avoid cataclysmic climate change resulting in massive flooding/death instead of the far less wordy, how to Go Green! It works for a lot of americas, “Well I like green, it’s my third favorite color, and I love to go places so this sounds like something for me!” The truth is that green really means efficient.  And while I am impressed and encouraged by the traction the green movement has made thus far, sometimes I wonder if we’d be better off saying Go Efficient. Going Green means doing everything in a cleaner, innovative, intelligent, responsible way. It means thinking about the broad consequences of our actions and finding renewable resources to power them. It’s a restructuring of the way we do everything in an effort to do it better on a multitude of levels.  Going Green is a crescendo in the course of human history because it is the collective realization that everything we need to power the engine of humanity is present. It’s like we’ve been searching all over the house for our keys, only to reach into our pockets and find them.

Regardless of whether or not you believe humans are responsible for global climate change, or if cutting down rain forests and killing off species really matters, I think we can all agree that doing things more efficiently is good for our economy, our country and our world, even if we are only talking about the world in a synthetic sense.  So Going Green is definitely for everyone, especially here in America. In case you haven’t noticed we could use not just an economic boost, but an economic foundation. Even if global warming and the hole in the ozone is a sham perpetrated by tree hugging hippies (science literally proves it is not) we might as well pretend it’s real for the sake of the industry it would create. Creating imaginary economies is what being American is all about! (See dot com boom and subprime mortgage crisis) But in contrast, this industry would be tangible and could leave the USA in control of the worlds greatest supply of energy while simultaneously setting the global standard for efficient business and lifestyle practices.

Going Green means taking literally every facet of life which consumes energy (everything), and finding solutions to streamline that process in the most sustainable, renewable, efficient way. This saves money, energy, time and the planet. It has been done before with great success.  The Antarctic sea urchin is incredibly energy efficient, performing key metabolic processes with 25 times less energy than anything else in the animal kingdom. The planet itself was sustainable until we started fucking it up. And the bicycle is dexterously energy efficient. What this means is that creating an energy efficient society is as possible as it is necessary. And no, we don’t need to be “God” or Michaux, (bicycle inventor) in order to do it. Despite our misgivings as a species, I am quite confident we currently posses all the brainpower and technology necessary to run the globe with adept efficiency.  It’s just a matter of reaching into our pockets and pulling out the key’s… to the electric car of course.

My third grade class. Mrs. Gerard had us do a survey.