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Citizen Voices

Greenhouse Gas vs. Green Backs

Have you ever felt you have to defend your "green" IQ? Maybe because I belong to Al Gore's party, I wonder whether the pressure to go all out in an environmentally friendly flurry applies across party lines.

I found myself at the taping of the Envision San Diego special "Global Warming: San Diego's Carbon Footprint", which aired on KPBS-TV on April 17, feeling a little guilty. The hosts were wearing colorful outfits made of soy fiber and bamboo. All I could ask myself was "how much did that soft, flowing ensemble cost?  Sure looks pricey."  I was afraid the hot studio spotlight would soon scan over the audience asking the basic GQ (green quotient) questions:

Are you green enough, Citizen Sove? Do you recycle? Make your own laundry detergent for pennies on the dollar? Do you drive a Prius? Bike to work twice a week? Compost? Buy local produce at the Farmer's Market? Which Farmer's Market do you go to -- the one closest to your home, right? Right?


Matthew C. Scallon
April 22, 2008 at 09:49 PM
Only 4% of San Diego residents use public transit, and, given the infrequency of hearing English spoken on my morning trolley ride from Chula Vista, that may be an overestimation. Not enough money? Bull! Not enough will. Not enough desire. Not enough "because we're civilized, that's why." Every civilization, back even to the Babylonians, has had public transit. I could make a comment about the driving skills not having changed much since then, but I'll try to be nice. Even in the Babylonian times, the state subsidized the public transit. Yet, here in San Diego, public transit depends on sales tax for support. Sales tax! Not gas tax. Not vehicle purchase tax. Certainly not tolls on the one toll road in the County. All of those would make sense; they would be a self-supporting system. But, who wants to make sense? Sales tax! And, even then, the voters keep voting against any increase in that sales tax. When MTS (that's the Metropolitan Transit Service, for the 96% who don't use public transit) cuts service, not only is there scant little coverage from the local media, there are even less public participation. Not enough money, my --well, I won't finish that thought. Oh, but we can buy hybrids and soy clothes. Yeah, Buffy and Skippy, that's just as good (BTW, full disclosure, I own a hybrid; so I'm smacking my own). It's no great secret or some state-of-the-art technology that will save the environment. It's really as simple as letting someone else do the driving for a change (such as that driving might be --oops, I let that one out).

Davesnot from Oceanside
April 23, 2008 at 05:26 PM
my dishes and clothes are clean.. and we make our own detergent.. pennies on the dollar. I compost.. no ick factor at all.. just put a bucket/bowl.. or cut the top off a milk jug (built in handle).. and toss the compostables in it during prep.. then carry it out.. dump it.. keep some grass clippings on the side.. and toss them over the top of em.. done.. no ick. Now.. worm composting has more of an ick factor.. I don't think so.. but I understand how others might.. because we fear nature.. ick.. a worm!! .. but a broken bottle? we don't give it a thought... I go ick for the unnatural stuff.. I don't drive an electric car.. I just don't drive much.. I even have an old 61 falcon wagon.. as well as our honda and the family van.. but we don't buy cars every few years.. Mass transit?... it's the ick factor.. just as you go ick if you see a very natural worm.. most people go ick if they see someone they don't know and have to sit next to them.. they go ick if they aren't dressed like them.. they go ick if they speak differently. We live McDonald lives.. everything the same.. boring... bland.. unhealthy.. but without having to decide between anything except number 1 or number 5.. We won't save the planet until we reconnect with other humans.. instead of fearing them...

Davesnot from Oceanside
April 23, 2008 at 05:34 PM
Another thing.. 'bout the fancy new clothes fibers.. Fine.. wear soy and bamboo.. all fine and dandy.. but there are plenty of clothes to wear that have already been made... REUSE! that's what always gets forgotten.. Need a new shirt? go to the thrift store... oh.. wait.. there's that ick factor again... Well.. to help over come that ick factor of thrift stores... do you donate your clothes to them?... certainly nobody would go "ick" over _your_ clothes .. right?... well.. that's who donates the clothes.. you do.. So.. go to the thrift store.. buy a shirt.. .. sorry.. a blouse.. and when Mrs Bamboo comes over.. smile and say you avoided the waste stream all together and reused... Reusing beats recycling and green-manufacturing... hands down.

Alma from San Diego
April 23, 2008 at 06:02 PM
Yes, reusing beats recycling and green-manufacturing. That's a great thing about no constant ads pushing for new stuff. As for worm composting, Davesnot you're right; worms in my kitchen would totally gross me out. But that's just me. You can judge me for not being true to my hippy roots, but honestly, I try to connect w/nature and people daily. Maybe I'll try the other method again some day.... I was a die hard mass transit user for many years, and it is a different experience than being in a personal vehicle. I fear malls for the same reason some fear buses -- too many people crammed together. I think that worms work on one level, but workable mass transit helps on a huge level in terms of the environment. I can get behind improving that system before I see myself inviting worms for leftovers.


hydrogen from israel
August 22, 2008 at 09:15 AM
"friendly to the environment" - thats the way of life :D