Sunday, April 25, 2010

Earth Day goes to the Dogs- Kill the dogs; Save the Planet

Nashville Earth Day
I went to Centennial Park last weekend for the Earth Day festivities. I enjoy almost any event where there are lots of people enjoying themselves, and food and music. I am not hostile to environmentalist and consider myself a moderate environmentalist myself. Actually I prefer the term “conservationist” but no one uses the term conservationist anymore so unless you are for dirty air and dirty water, I think you have to be an environmentalist. I like clean air and clean water, oppose mountain top removal, I recycle and I have always loved nature. I want to preserve endangered species. I support efforts to preserve the natural beauty of my home state of Tennessee and the world. I respect those who are working to set aside beautiful vistas and natural wonders for future generations.

I am sure many environmentalists would not consider me one of them and that is OK. I am not a radical environmentalist. I am not opposed to economic growth or development. I think we can safely drill for oil off our coast lines and I support drilling in ANWAR. I support nuclear energy. I am not 100% certain that global warming is a reality. If it is a reality, I am not certain that it is caused by human activity. If it is caused by human activity, I am not so sure the change is happening as fast as Al Gore says it is.

I probably have one of the smallest carbon foot prints of anyone you will ever meet unless it is some environmentalist fanatic or a hermit. For a normal person, I have a very small carbon foot print. For one thing, I don’t spend a lot of money. I just don’t like a lot of stuff and I hate to shop. I'm frugal. I hate waste. I don’t know that this value is derived from an environmental ethic, it just seems shameful to throw out good stuff and buy more. I eat mostly fish and seafood, some chicken but very little beef. I live in a modest size older home without a lot of unused square feet. One way in which I am living an environmentally friendly lifestyle is that almost everywhere I go is less than three miles from my home and then I sometimes ride a bicycle. If you profess to love the earth and choose to live thirty miles from where you work, I think you are a hypocrite.

I see a lot of environmental hypocrisy and empty environmental symbolism. I know someone who while at college lived in the environmental dorm yet burned the road up with weekend trips home. Living in a normal dorm and giving up one round trip home would have probably made for a smaller carbon foot print. When the Nashville contingent of my family goes home to Knoxville, there seldom is any attempt to carpool among the liberal Al-Gore-loving environmentalist. Sometimes four cars will make the trip when we could have all crowed into one. They profess they would use mass transit if it was available, but I don’t believe them.

At Saturday’s Centennial Earth Day event there were a lot of normal looking people there but there was also a lot of people who I am sure live the environmentalist lifestyle. They wore tie-dyed tee shirts or shirts with earth-friendly slogans and sandals and the women had hairy arm pits. Most of these people also had big dogs. I don’t own a dog. I used to when I was growing up. I like dogs and I may have a dog again someday.
Earth Day dogs
Maybe the environmentalist don’t know it, but having a medium-sized dog has the same impact on the environment as a Toyota Land Cruiser driven 6,000 miles a year, while a cat is equivalent to a Volkswagen Golf. I have a member of my family who is a strong environmentalist yet always has four of five big dogs. I don’t want anyone to actually give up their dog; I just don’t want them to feel morally superior until they do.

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