The Latest Green Badge of Courage

by William Yeatman on August 4, 2011

Post image for The Latest Green Badge of Courage

I would loathe global warming alarmists less if I could find one who is willing to walk the walk. For example, I would like Al Gore, if he lived like a pauper. I wouldn’t agree with him, but I would respect him. Instead, he preaches sacrifice for the world, while he lives the life of a glutton. That’s annoying.

I think that Mr. Gore’s two-faced approach to the “climate crisis,” as he calls it, is indicative of the green movement as a whole. To be precise, middle and upper class white Americans want “to do something” about the supposed problem of climate change, but they don’t want to be the ones to do it. Instead, they want “polluters” to pay, apparently not realizing that they themselves are the “polluters.”

Rather than actual privation on behalf the climate, it seems to me that environmentalists are more interested in purchasing green badges of courage. These are ostentatious environmentalist wares that broadcast to the world their owners’ support for the idea of fighting climate change, and in this manner, they substitute for actually fighting climate change. After all, it’s much easier to support the principle of an energy tax, than it is to pay more for gasoline. A green badge of courage alleviates the compunction that environmentalists feel when they consider their own patterns of conspicuous consumption.

Examples include the Chevy Volt, solar rooftop panels…and T-shirts. Yesterday, I received an email from The Climate Reality Project asking me “to demonstrate to the world and its leaders that we want action now on climate change,” by buying a $20 designer shirt. Evidently, The Climate Reality Project partnered with Threadless, “a cool community-driven online apparel store,” and invited designers from around the globe “to illustrate the reality of the climate crisis.” According to the email, the resultant T-shirt is “pretty hot.” Decide for yourself—the winning image is the picture attendant to this blog post.

While I’m certain these $20 shirts will make environmentalists feel better about themselves, it’s unclear how they would help solve the “climate crisis.” The email says that a “chunk” of the retail proceeds will help finance a grand unveiling of Al Gore’s new multimedia presentation on September 14.  Yet a new power point presentation from the world’s foremost global warming blowhard no more furthers climate change mitigation than does a coal-powered electric car or expensive rooftop solar panels that produce negligible amounts of intermittent electricity. The Climate Reality Project’s T-shirt may be “pretty hot,” but it’s also very inconsequential.

Steve August 5, 2011 at 3:24 am

Ed Begley Jr. is the only one I can think of off the top of my head who appears to actually live the lifestyle most of them want to push on the rest of us.

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