Monday, May 31, 2010

Environmental Activism

Over the weekend I learned that I can’t be a good environmentalist because I sometimes eat meat. Alrighty, then, here’s what I’m going to do: I’m going to stop busting my hump to be a good environmentalist.

First thing on my new agenda is to replace all those CFL and LED light bulbs, purchased at great expense (the LED bulbs cost $30 apiece; I use five of them), with 100w conventional bulbs. I’m no longer satisfied to live in low-light conditions that afford just enough illumination that I’m able to avoid stumbling over the furniture in my humble three-room, 450 sq. ft. apartment. I want light, lots and lots of light.

Now that I’m thinking about my 450 sq.ft. apartment, I’m also thinking that it would probably be a good time to move into something a little larger, say 12,000 sq.ft. and 20-plus rooms. I want room, lots and lots of room. That I’ll be able to sit in the vast expanse of my living room and laugh at all the homeless people straggling by is an added benefit.

When I get moved into my new digs, winters are going to be a lot different than they have been in the recent past, too. No longer will I wear a hoody and thermal socks indoors while I sit huddled under blankets with the temperature somewhat to the south of 70 degrees. 80 degrees is more to my liking, so from now on that’s where I’ll set the thermostat—year ’round. I want comfort, lots and lots of comfort.

Then there’s the matter of the Oklahoma oil and gas leases that have been in my family for at least three generations. Drilling is due to start soon, and expectations are running high. So far, at least three energy companies—Chesapeake, Cobra and Huston—have tendered offers to purchase the leases outright (no sale). My original plan was to donate 90% of my share of the proceeds—if there are any—to worthwhile environmental causes, but of course that plan is now in the crapper. As a failed environmentalist I want toys, lots and lots of toys.

The next thing I’m going to do is sell my mountain bike and buy a car. Make that two cars, both of them gas guzzlers. Maybe a Corvette and a Hummer. There ain’t gonna be no Prius parked in my parking space, I tell ya. I want power, lots and lots of power.

As a former environmentalist, keeping plastic bags out of the environment was important to me. Because I always ride my bike when I go shopping, I always carry my own bags with me; backpack and panniers usually suffice, but I have several reusable cloth bags I can carry with me if I need the extra capacity. Never again. In fact, from now on I’m going to insist that all my groceries be double-bagged in plastic. I want convenience, lots and lots of convenience.

Recycling is another thing I’ve always been conscientious about, but no more. It takes time and energy and a small amount of space dedicated to storing and sorting recyclables until enough has been collected to warrant a trip to the recycling bins. Screw it! From this point forward it’s gonna be “bag it all together” and make one trip to the dumpster. I want to save time, lots and lots of time.

People who criticize my culinary choices—especially those people who still feel the need to drive everywhere they go—need to get a grip. My ancestors evolved as meat eaters, so my need for meat is deeply ingrained. I’ve managed to cut my meat consumption by some 60% or better, but each of two attempts to eliminate all traces of meat from my diet caused a loss of appetite—with predictable outcomes associated with poor nutrition.

In closing, I’ll caution anyone who sees fit to criticize my dietary choices to first lower their standard of living—and their carbon footprint—to a level that matches or betters mine. Until then, just shut up and concentrate on getting your environment-destroying habits under control; worry about mine when you’ve achieved environmental perfection in your own life.

Q >>>