The green revolution

I am watching Sunday Morning this morning.  They are running a segment on eco-friendly architecture.  The praised celebrities for championing the environmental cause.  I am all for reducing ones carbon footprint and a massive reduction on what we consume and how we consume it.

I am wondering how the social elite, celebrities can be pleased with themselves as they champion causes that keep them separate from most people living on this planet.

I do not think that a family living in destitute poverty really wants to exploit their surroundings.  They are not malicious.  They are just trying to survive.  I am disturbed by the attitude present in this news story.  I am not stating that celebrities need to be silenced.  I am saying that people in power with most of the “green” resources must be responsible to the rest of the population.

You can be proud that you are not leaving a footprint.  You can be pleased that your hot showers and powered by the sun.  You can embrace a lifestyle where your amenities are powered by nature.  But we are no doing enough.

If the wealthy one percent changes their habits of consumption to green practices, will their actions feed a child? Will their actions end systemic oppression? Will their greenness distribute the GREEN to those in the margins and struggling to survive?

The gravest problem I witness in celebrity o non-celebrity green movements is the investment to “The Other” and proximity to the cause (utilizing Levinas here). Green is an issue. What we all miss is that green is about people.

Green is about the lives of people that have families, hopes, dreams, convictions, and suffering. The idol of green moves anyone that cannot buy green, drive green, or be green further into the margins.

There will be a structure in American culture that divides deeper into class lines. Green will be the line. With those that cannot be green on one side and those that are green on the other.

It sounds crazy to think that America be so polarized. This nation could never be polarized to two parties based on socio-economic lines. I feel crazy writing this. Look around. This has already happened. In your average day how often do you encounter “The Other?” When you do what is your proximity to the other?

I believe that being good stewards is a command from the divine Creator. This includes loving your neighbor, non-exploitation of the environment that embraces you, and humbly looking at your right to survive verses the other.

Do you and your family deserve to exist on the backs of “The Other? Why do you deserve this? These are the places that the “ism” spawns. Green is another veneer to alleviate the guilt we feel as we exploit “The Other.” We can afford to be green. We can deny responsibility to “The Other” in our actions. The truth would be far to convicting as our eyes are opened to the exploiting machine that is our culture, our nation, or faith. “Who do you say that I am? [Mark 8:27-30]”

3 thoughts on “The green revolution

  1. Dani says:

    Ryan – I am totally with you on this. Have you read The Omnivores Dillemma?? It’s interesting because it raises the same questions about food. Who has the power to eat organic and clean food? Those who can afford it!! However, I will say that I believe that everyone deserves the power to decide WHAT they want to eat and should have a part in how it is grown. Otherwise we are outsourcing too much and giving away our lives and our choices to those who care too little. The “common” person must take back the power to make small choices for themselves. Let’s not rely on the celebrities to make it happen. Small scale, grassroots change is the only way to stop the power of hegemony.

  2. No-one one should tell a starving man to go on a diet. It’s we here in the bloat of consumer culture who need to find another way to live. That means consuming less energy, and using less of the world’s resources for our own engorgement.

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