Monday, February 26, 2007

Diesel David and Rockin' With Al

As I've intimated before, I'm not a big fan of enviro-God David Suzuki.

I've a rather jaded view of the man, and I'll admit that up front. It's always struck me that Suzuki is much more a shill than a scientist.

Recent news bears me out.

Suzuki is criss-crossing Canada these days. Once very famous and then more an afterthought, the recent hew-and-cry over the environment has re-established his presence in the public eye.

Sadly, however, Suzuki is making his journey in a diesel-fume spewing 30-or-so passenger bus. Even more sadly, while there are 30 spaces, there are only eight people on the bus, according to reports which have been basically admitted to by his staff.

When asked about the anomaly between Suzuki's stance that major changes are needed to avert environmental disaster and his mode of travelling, a spokesperson agreed the bus was too big. They even fessed up that it was for comfort and/or economic reasons that they didn't use a hybrid or bio gas (hybrids too small; bio gas, not covered by warranty).

Too offset this, Suzuki's team was buying "carbon credits". Carbon credits are the environmentalists way of saying, "yeah, I throw around just as much shit in the air as you do but if I can buy my way out of it." It's kind of similar to the way the mafia approaches the legal system.

Al Gore is doing the same thing with his upcoming Live Earth concerts that will feature huge rock acts in seven cities. This necessitates the necessary consumption of power, energy, water, foodstuffs, etc. that is naturally incurred by such spectacles.

There is a pathetic hypocrisy in all of this. Both Gore and Suzuki are cashing in on their fame in many ways by selling their "science" to the masses. Both routinely criticize exactly the same sort of things they are doing. But, from them, we're supposed to take it because they'll send some money to an underdeveloped country for some dubious environmental project where the cash will probably be sent into a black hole of bribery and waste.

At a personal level, helping the environment really doesn't require a Suzuki or Gore. It requires the good sense to recycle, compost, walk or use another mode of non-polluting transportation when possible (don't drive your freakin' car 2 blocks to the 7/11 to get a slushie when it's sunny and 75 outside), a few other minor lifestyle changes, some easy shopping choices and a reasonable commitment to kind of be aware what's going on around you and how you affect it.

If it needs to be taken to a larger degree in response to a particular problem in a given community, then public pressure on local, provincial/state and federal governments often proves very successful.

I'm not ignorant on this: I covered environmental matters for newspapers for about a decade, I once worked for Greenpeace, and for several years, I owned part of a store that sold environmental products.

Rock bands and diesel buses are just gimmicks and Suzuki and Gore, for the most part, carnival hucksters.

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