Bits and Pieces

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Is it hot in here?

Michael Chrichton gives a hoot of an interview to the Times of London:

Boy, will the green types be hot under the collar. As Britain sweats over missing its carbon dioxide emission targets, Crichton sends a simple message: chill. And if your heart aches for Third World suffering, divert the "trillions of dollars wasted on Kyoto to the 850m people who don't have clean water, 20,000 of whom die each day".

If you doubt Crichton's research, he offers enough footnotes citing scientific journals to fill a hefty volume of their own. As a Harvard physician and at the age of 22 a visiting anthropology lecturer at Cambridge, he is in nobody's intellectual slipstream. It is not so much that Crichton is being reactionary; rather, his view offends our almost religious veneration of green issues, a faith in mother earth which holds that driving to the bottle bank in a belching 4x4 is a profound act of worship.

Ha. I was having a conversation on a similar subject the other day with someone who is studying the type of "enlightened consumer" who refuses to buy Nike or Gap and living in places like Berkeley, CA. She told me that it was important to these people that they spend their money on products they considered "clean." I countered with the idea that only the well-off or outright rich can engage in such a luxury. After all, hemp t-shirts cost as much as three or four times a Gap t-shirt.

I'm all for being a more aware consumer and holding polluters accountable. Often, however, those trying to institute change rely on junk science and high-priced guilt.
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