One of my early New Year’s Resolutions was to stop reading the U of R sustainability blog. But that task is made more difficult when my university actively promotes it. In fact, every so often in the morning email that the University sends to faculty and staff, which includes things like celebrating our Nobel Prize winners, advances in medicine, announcing interesting public lectures, the “sustainability” blog gets prime space right in the middle of that. And given that it is piped into my morning e-mails and presumably is given the face of legitimacy by being included among these other items, then it is more than fair game to respond to those things.
After all, I don’t see random economics blogs promoted on the e-mail. Imagine opening up the e-mail from U of R to read something like, “U of R economics professors find that leisure time among poor Americans have increased faster than among rich Americans!” Or you can imagine better headlines. So, when I was all set to write something interesting today, this hits my e-mail:
So there you see it, third item in, our “Green Team” gives us tips for a Green Holiday Season. I’m not even going to comment on it anymore. But here is the link for those interested. Leave it to our campus Eco-Fascists to be downers on Christmas. Well, they learn from the best I suppose. Ignore the fact that half of their recommendations are simply wrong (buying local for example). There is no amount of evidence that one can use to persuade them they are wrong because it is flat a religious movement and nothing else. But what should be mildly disappointing to anyone hoping to sympathize with this “movement” is the utter incapability of the writers over there to even begin to question whether anything they write is in fact true.
What can I possibly mean?
The entire premise of the article I linked to may in fact be wrong. Is it possible that the existence of a Christmas shopping and gift exchange season is actually beneficial to the sustainability movement at least as compared to a world where our wealth and preferences were identical and there were no special shopping and gift giving season? Such a thought is not even in the same galaxy as those promoting Sustainability. And whether I am right or wrong is totally irrelevant. The point is that it doesn’t even matter for these folks whether I am right or wrong – the idea that their eco-propoganda isn’t 100% perfectly common sense is totally off the map for them. But of course, it IS possible that Christmas is beneficial, ceteris paribus, for sustainability. How can this be? Well, folks like us make one or two trips to the stores to get all of the books, clothes and entertainment that our family will rely on for the year. Isn’t this better than making 40 trips throughout the years to many, many, many stores to accumulate the same amount of stuff. And we are more careful about it too. Since we are spending so much money at one time, we write lists, we decide NOT to buy some things because we don’t have the money or space or can easily see the redundancy of some things when we are purchasing them all at once – we evaluate more carefully what items can be reused and so on. So even with the wrapping paper and the lights and all of that stuff that is being “needlessly” thrown out, this may be more than made up for by the economies of scale recognized by a concentrated holiday season. The same holds on the producer side – one big box store is more efficient than three smaller stores (local ones!) selling the same total stuff. And so on.
And the same holds for those ghoulishly wasteful and large meals that we all share during the holidays. What we save by cooking meals for 20 people at once (even if we cook much more) is quite possibly worth it as compared to 10 couples each cooking 10 separate meals.
If you wish to read a little more on why the eco-propogandists notions of waste are, well, wasteful, this is a good place to start. And finally the “best” part of this entire scenario is that this nonsense gets put out regularly … and we are doomed for even trying to engage it. Engaging it is simply mean, bullying, selfish, etc. just pick your favorite word. Indeed, any time one raises questions about what is happening in the church of the “E”nvironmentalists, you might as well be doing this in front of a group of Catholics.
So fa la la la la to all of you. I am going to drown a few more puppies now.