3.29.2008

the anti-earth hour

At Progressive Bloggers, I've been reading about how some wingnuts are spending Earth Hour using as much energy as they possible can. Very conserve-ative, eh?

It's beyond bizarre. Deny human-made climate change, deny global warming. Fine. (Well, not fine, but for argument's sake, fine.) There's no denying there's a finite amount of non-renewable resources, right? By definition. Why would anyone want to purposely waste resources? Would they cook a big Thanksgiving feast, then throw it in the trash? Would they fill the giant tanks of their Hummers, then idle on the driveway for hours? How could people think that wasting is good and conserving is bad? And how could people who think such a thing call themselves conservatives???

Of course they are not conservative, and they wouldn't know true conservativism if they sat next to it at a Klan meeting.

I think it's a sickness. I really do.

I know they make me sick!

32 comments:

Jere said...

Conserve social security numbers--abort babies!

Scott M. said...

I just laugh. If they want to boost their energy bills to make a point, heck, why not. They'll have to pay for it and, if they're knobs anyway, they'll probably be paying for it at the premium rate anyway.

impudent strumpet said...

Jere wins!

L-girl said...

Yes, Jere totally wins. :)

And yes, they are laugh-at-able, but they're also maddening in their knobitude.

Jere said...

Thanks for your votes.

PALGOLAK said...

Easy there, tiger.

Of course there will always be reactionaries, now that the intertubes are up and running and any moran (sic) can try and start an iMovement.

I personally feel that the 60 minute schtick was silly but I went along with it regardless.

The whole idea, IMHO, is just window dressing.

That there are people out there actively doing the opposite should come as no surprise.

(Opposite day- Just like in SpongeBoB!!)

deang said...

That really pisses me off, too. It's the fruition of years of work by right-wing luminaries like Rush Limbaugh, who famously used to show film clips of forests being clearcut while playing laugh tracks. It's of a kind with their preference for driving massive gas-guzzlers just because they're hearing that they shouldn't waste a declining resource.

I worked with an extreme right-winger in the early 90s who, when our employer implemented paper recycling, would deliberately waste as much paper as possible, even going so far as to take paper out of the recycling bins and put it in the regular trash cans and then pour coffee on it so it couldn't be put back in the recycling bins. And yes, this was Texas, but he was from Ohio originally.

In the 80s, when the current wave of blatant anti-environmentalism began, Chomsky used to get worked up over the Reaganites calling themselves "conservative." He'd say things like, "These people aren't conservatives! They're radical statists!" It's a shame so many people are fooled by their advertising-label moniker into thinking they're then characterized by wise caution. With these people, "conservative" really is just an advertising label intended to deceive.

James said...

There's no denying there's a finite amount of non-renewable resources, right?

On the contrary, I've heard that denied several times. The usual formulation is that we will always develop more efficient technologies at a rate sufficient to offset any dwindling in the resources.

James said...

They'll have to pay for it and, if they're knobs anyway, they'll probably be paying for it at the premium rate anyway.

But one of the reasons we're in this mess is that energy prices don't reflect the true costs of energy. Energy production companies don't have to pay for the disposal of their waste gas from coal burning -- but the rest of us pay through lake acidification, air pollution, and climate change.

This is one of the ideas behind a carbon tax, but it's also one of the reasons why a carbon tax is unlikely to pass in the US -- the energy companies will fight it all the way, since they want their free use of the rest of the world as a trash pit.

L-girl said...

They'll have to pay for it

I was going to respond to this yesterday, but I was at work, and today I see James did it for me.

One of the most common responses you hear about energy conservation - for example, if you say it's wrong to drive gaz-guzzling SUVs - is "I'm paying for it, so it's my business, not yours". That's the attitude we're all trying to change. We need to start recognizing that we're all paying for it - the whole earth is paying for it.

L-girl said...

On the contrary, I've heard that denied several times.

Well, they can try. But finite is finite. Whether or not someone argues that we can stretch those finite resources or there is actually more of them than we previously thought or any other argument, a nonrenewable resource is, by definition, finite.

L-girl said...

I worked with an extreme right-winger in the early 90s who, when our employer implemented paper recycling, would deliberately waste as much paper as possible, even going so far as to take paper out of the recycling bins and put it in the regular trash cans and then pour coffee on it so it couldn't be put back in the recycling bins.

My head explodes. I mean, why would anyone be *against* recycling? It's beyond my comprehension.

In the 80s, when the current wave of blatant anti-environmentalism began, Chomsky used to get worked up over the Reaganites calling themselves "conservative."

I'm honoured to be in his company! I always correct this. Sometimes as a shorthand for why we left the US, Allan will say, it was too conservative for us. And in some ways (equal marriage, anti-immigration) that's true. But I won't say that because I feel so strongly that the Cheney gang is not conservative - they are radicals.

L-girl said...

Palgolak, here's a rule of thumb for comments on wmtc: "Easy there, tiger" is not a good idea.

Like all bloggers, my blog is my place to vent about whatever bothers me.

If you don't share my feelings, you're welcome to say so. But nobody appreciates being told what it's ok to be worked up over. Thanks for your cooperation.

James said...

a nonrenewable resource is, by definition, finite.

That's the point in which they start arguing that there's no such thing as a finite resource. I've heard that claim made, too.

The most recent variation to hit the airwaves was from Rush Limbaugh, who argued that it is absolutely impossible for mere humans to use up something created by God.

Passenger pigeons, anyone?

I mean, why would anyone be *against* recycling?

Because it's evil government-imposed coercion and it doesn't really work! At least, that's the argument. Penn & Teller even did an episode of their show Bullshit about the evils of recycling.

(Penn & Teller are smart guys, but their libertarianism gets the better of them sometimes. While they've done some good & smart episodes in that series, they've also done ones attacking government bans on public smoking and government-mandated accessibility programs.)

L-girl said...

Penn & Teller are smart guys

I'm not so sure about that.

James said...

I'm not so sure about that.

No, they are. But Penn, especially, has a libertarian (practically Randian) bee in his bonnet which clouds his thinking at times.

Most people who know them were really embarrassed by those Bullshit episodes, since their standards for evidence suddenly got very skewed when their pet government bugaboos came up... They're definitely capable of better work than that.

L-girl said...

No, they are.

We'll have to disagree on that one. I can't stand them, their comedy or their politics. I strongly disliked their comedy long before I knew anything about their politics.

If I stumble on Penn & Teller on TV, I can't turn the channel fast enough.

James said...

We'll have to disagree on that one. I can't stand them, their comedy or their politics.

That doesn't mean they aren't smart, though. But I agree completely about their politics (or, at least Penn's -- I assume Teller shares Penn's to some degree, or he wouldn't be able to work with the guy). I was on a mailing list with Penn for a while (we're both fans of the band The Residents), and ended up in several political arguments with him over this or that. He's definitely got brains.

Unfortunately, he's also fallen prey to the common pattern of becoming more and more rabidly libertarian the more money he makes, as if the richer he gets, the more insecure he gets about his wealth.

L-girl said...

That doesn't mean they aren't smart, though.

Like I said, we'll just disagree.

deang said...

I'm glad you addressed palgolak as you did, Laura. I started to and then thought I'd wait on your response. This attitude that we should avoid showing outrage lest we seem naive or uncool is stupid. It would just lead to immobilization. And, besides, there haven't always been these kinds of "reactionaries," so he's wrong on that point.

L-girl said...

Hey thanks, Dean, I appreciate that.

I don't see their reaction as a harmless, funny "topsy-turvy day". It has dangerous implications.

Plus I don't like people telling me what's worth being angry at! Jere and I have both commented on this many times.

impudent strumpet said...

I have to envy them having time and energy to go around sabotaging recycling. I can't even keep up with basic housework!

L-girl said...

Would we all have more time if we were wingnuts?

lisa said...

I followed your link to Progressive Bloggers to read about how some wingnuts are spending Earth Hour, and found this:

"Thanks to its place of prominence in the capital, 24 Sussex Dr., the Prime Minister's residence, is always easy to spot. As Ottawa went dark last night for Earth Hour, it was even easier.Prime Minister Stephen Harper's lights stayed on."

Arrgh!!!

L-girl said...

Lovely. Nothing like leading the way.

FatLady said...

"...they wouldn't know true conservativism if they sat next to it at a Klan meeting."

Ba-Hahahahaha!

James said...

Here is an example of a vile little anti-Earth Hour fellow, Adam Yoshida. Don't worry, the link doesn't take you straight to him, but to Sadly, No! making fun of him...

L-girl said...

I heard of that guy through other progressive sites. A serious nutbar! Thanks for the link.

(And FatLady, thanks for the appreciation.)

James said...

A serious nutbar!

IIRC, he made a name for himself with a long rant about how rotten it is that anyone would think anything to do with women can be good.

Nigel Patel said...

Hi L,
This was so fascinating to me that I had to link to it.

Nancy said...

There are some very infantile minds out there. They believe in magical thinking--if they say something, it will become reality. Some of these magical thinkers got into politics and the mess we're in is the mess that resulted.
If you MAKE YOUR OWN REALITY, it's perfectly logical to keep the lights on and use more energy, since the creamy nougat centre of the world will just give you more.

Most people don't want to deal with reality. They keep hoping 'things will turn out all right.'
They won't, but magical thinking is hard to displace. It's much easier than working for change.

By the way, it's reflected in our entertainment...look at the fantasy films where people instantly teleport themselves in space and time, or help mystical creatures battle simplistic evils. Reality is not so cut and dried.

L-girl said...

Eliza Desmarais, I have deleted your ranting comment twice. Your bigoted views, which you are cut-and-pasting into any available space, are not welcome here. Please do not continue to spam this blog.