Saturday, April 21, 2007

The colour "green"

Kermit the frog's old song, “It's not easy being green” just ain't true anymore. First it was Arnold Schwarzenegger, then Prime Minister Stephen Harper, then BC Premier Gordon Campbell. They've all gone green in the space of six months. I sense opportunities blossoming here.

There are opportunities opening up here people and I'm not just talking about financial opportunities. Think of all the obsessives in the world. Forget about germs, and washing your hands one hundred times a day. Make your obsession green. Insist on only using recycled paper. Eat only locally grown or organic food, Use only renewable energy. Why waste your obsession on soap and water when you could be helping lower greenhouse gas emissions every time you get anxious.

If you're faith oriented, orient your faith in a green direction. Insist that your church building be made energy efficient. On the next church heating upgrade go for a ground based heat pump. Suitable Catholics can aspire to become a “green saint” by selling their cars, refusing to go anywhere except on foot or by bicycle, recycling everything, and giving all their possessions to charity.

There's lots of money to be made through “green guilt”. I just heard yesterday that there is a Beverly Hills green limo service. Apparently there is a steady clientèle of movie stars that want to show that they care about the environment by riding in hybrid limousines. What about rickshaws? Now there's a eco-friendly mode of transportation. Rickshaw drivers should make a point of advertising their green credentials.

Buses could go fuel cell or biofuel. And what about trains and ships? Exxon could promote itself as “green” by running it's oil tankers on used fish and chips oil and powering their oil drills and gas pumps with solar power. Taxi companies could go green by converting their fleets to hybrids.

There's eco-tourism, where whale-watching has become more lucrative than whaling. Green Documentaries like “An Inconvenient Truth” are starting to take in money. Are green action films not far behind?

There's a whole industry to do with greening our homes. People who will measure your home's energy efficiency, green architects, green engineers.

There's green consultants for corporations. Even the corporations need to appear green in order to fit in now. Farmer's can become green by growing organic or growing crops for ethanol. There's green economists like Nicholas Stern. There's green journalism, which is, unfortunately, not a well-paid profession.

I laugh when I hear the doom sayers who say that the economy is going to collapse if we lower greenhouse gas emissions. They don't know people. When opportunities arise, someone somewhere will take advantage of them. Governments churn out rules and regulations and businessmen make money. Nature abhors a vacuum and the same is true of human nature. There is no end to human ingenuity, and if it's pressed into the service of greening our economies all the better for everyone.

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