Is there a villain against environmentalism? If not, what specifically are environmentalists fighting against? SpiroFlo examines where the eco-fight is going and if it’s having an effect on the public at large.
Whether it’s hunters with more guns than teeth, or anyone who drives an SUV, I’ve heard several groups slighted as eco-villains—a term I learned from Ted Turner’s masterpiece of children’s animation, “Captain Planet.” Labeled as “edutainment” (note that I place edutainment in quotes because it was neither educational nor entertaining), “Captain Planet” was designed to teach environmentalist values to kids with a superhero shtick.
Be sure to thank your parents for naming you Verminous Skumm
One of the many problems was that none of the villains on the show made any sense. Besides getting saddled with awful names like Sly Sludge, Looten Plunder and Tank Flusher III (real creative, guys), these eco-villains didn’t just show indifference to the environment, they specifically enjoyed dumping toxic waste in the ocean and misusing nuclear missiles. You know, the kind of hobbies any kid might get himself into if not redeemed by choppy 90s animation. Even better, many of these eco-villains were voiced by Hollywood actors and actresses—including Ed Asner, Martin Sheen and Meg Ryan—a group who, by and large, are far deeper into fringe environmental issues that the average American soul, making the overt bias of the cartoon all the more cringe-worthy.
It’s easy to laugh off this awkward attempt to market environmentalism to kids, but these cartoon opinions often come out when speaking about green issues. It’s rare I get through a heated conversation on environmentalism that doesn’t include comments about corporate greed, crooked politicians and consumer ignorance. It’s hard for me to grasp, but there are those who believe you cannot trust anyone who wears a suit to work. While I might not like a lot of what the government does, this does not mean I believe that every thought from politicians is evil, yet green issues seem to boil up to a level of vitriol that burns well beyond understanding those who disagree. In the end, we get villains, and we do not reason with villains. Villains gets yelled at; villains get fought. However, even if you consider every issue important, you cannot protest every issue every time. I would argue protesting lost its power long ago, but now what? If you keep your opponents as villains, you cannot go back and have a civil discussion, so we’re stuck in gridlock because both sides feel like any compromise is too much compromise.
Let’s pick on me on one environmental issue and see how I do:
I do not own an electric car, and frankly, I do not see doing so any time soon. Maybe it’s that there isn’t yet a battery strong enough and cheap enough — one that will actually let me take a road trip without getting stranded in a middle-of-nowhere horror movie cliché — maybe it’s that the price tag for electric cars is still two-to-three times higher than that of a comparable economy fossil fuel ride, or maybe it’s the reality check that I can’t squeeze my value system into my financial budget, but when it comes down to it, I can’t afford to pay so much for a transportation option that doesn’t meet my everyday needs.
The Nissan Leaf: More expensive than hugging the whole tree
Does this disqualify me from being an environmentalist? Some would argue my everyday needs need to change; others might shield me with the notion of being a common sense environmentalist, but there isn’t an agreed upon green checklist to meet a level of bare minimum environmentalism, so it’s up to personal opinions (and inevitably, whatever mob mentality has taken hold recently, good or bad).
Like most issues, environmentalism isn’t so black and white. There are a lot of issues, a lot of nuances, a lot of opinions and, yes, some exceptions. Quite frankly, I think it’s time for a lot more conversations with a lot more listening.
Finally, for those of you who haven’t seen “Captain Planet,” feel free to hurt yourself with the following clip:
Colin McKay Miller is the Marketing Manager for the SpiroFlo Holdings group of companies:
-SpiroFlo for residential hot water savings (delivered 35% faster with a 3.5% volume savings on every hot water outlet in the home) and industrial water purification (biofilm removal).
-Vortex Tools for extending the life of oil and gas wells (recovering up to 10 times more NGLs, reducing flowback startup times, replacing VRUs, eliminating paraffin and freezing in winter, etc.).
-Ecotech for cost-effective non-thermal drying (for biosolids, sugar beets, etc.)
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