6.05.2009

Los Angeles Sliding into the Dark Ages

Enough already. I cannot let Angelenos carry on this way. The "green" movement is being completely misinterpereted, and we are sliding backwards into the dark ages. Unscrewing lightbulbs so we walk around on dimmer streets and in dimmer markets? Using less water so our lawns and gardens turn to dust and our cars and patios are thick with dirt? This is progress?

Quick history lesson: Mulholland. It's more than the name of the mountaintop thoroughfare with sweeping views; more than the title of a a David Lynch movie. It was the name of a man - William Mulholland. He believed progress was allowing humans to live exactly the way they wanted to live, and turned this vast desert known as Los Angeles into the fertile oasis it is.

Have we all forgotten that 2/3 of the earth is covered in water? Salt water yes, but if everyone could put down their canvas grocery bags for a second, they'd realize that desalinization plants do exist, and people don't know about it because they weren't spoon-fed the information. It's not on E! or in a magazine, so no one can see the big picture, which is this: We do not have to live like paupers. Desalinization plants remove salt from water and bring it to land to sprout forests, vegetable gardens and fruit groves. Israel does it. In fact, desalinization plants exist all around the word. But E! and Spin magazine are too busy selling you Priuses and cloth bags with green trees on it, so many have no idea.

Why aren't desalinization plants more widely acknowledged? Two things work against it. One, magazines and T.V. programs can't use this "going green" element to suck money from you, so why bother? The editorial would piss off their advertisers (like Toyota) and other "green"companies. Second, the plants are expensive, and local and national goverments prefer quick, temporary fixes. As evidenced by what happened with the levees in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, many are too short-sighted to invest in long-term infrastructure.

So what are we doing instead? We are all contemplating living in mud huts like cavemen. Aside from the water issue, there's energy. Nuclear power is clean, can be safely recycled and these plants use up a lot less land mass than those wasteful, space-swallowing wind turbines. Ah, but "nuclear" is a trigger word. Some hear the word nuclear and say things like, "Dude, like, that's for bombs. No way."

The thing that I find most disappointing is how the "green" crowd resembles sheep. They do as they are told without acknowledging our integrity, and the possibility of living higher quality lives without sacrificing water and electricity. These sheep do things like get together to choose a night to shut off their lights and live in the dark. And for what? Their refrigerators were plugged in, their cell phones were charging, and they choked the air with smoke from metal wires in their wicks. Nice job.

Bless San Diego, who hoped to invest $320 million dollars in a desalinization plant so that residents needn't get sucked into the dark ages. So what happened? Environmental groups rallied, arguing that it could damage some sea life close to the shore. Are we supposed to allow millions of humans to do without in order to spare the lives of about 16 crustaceans? When did a handful of fish supersede the needs of human civilization? We could turn deserts into farmland and sustain life for both humans and animals, and if a couple of flounder get lost in the mix, they'd be replaced in spades. Next thing we know, the EPA will declare carbon dioxide a hazardous material, and we could all be arrested merely for exhaling.

I get it, people want to fit in, be joiners. Look how Prius drivers stare down their noses at people with large road vehicles. They can't help themselves, even if the SUVs are packed with actual families and big dogs that need the space. But let us resist the urge to poke them in the eye. They need to feel better about themselves; perhaps it's all they have. Besides, they are helping to reduce smog.

I myself like giving back. I recycle, compost, garden, buy vintage and repurpose all kinds of business I find on curbs. The latter is an art form actually. But what I am not is a sheep, a zombie, a follower of whatever "green"advertising is thrown my way to give me false sense of pride. I am not afraid of the word "nuclear" because I know what it means. I stand by our forefather in agriculture and irrigation, William Mulholland. I believe we are better than this. Let this be the land of milk and honey, pomegranate trees, emerald green lawns and a good, messy sexy car wash.

And for the love of all things holy, I will not live in a mud hut.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

She's got it backwards; Prius drivers don't hate you. They feel sorry for you. When you're going along in your 2 ton, 15 mpg smog/rubber/gas/brake lining burner with enough kinetic energy to demolish any other car you might hit, calling the little guys "$&@ Prius driving liberals",we worry about your sanity and wonder if "anger mngt." might help. We feel your pain; filling 20 gal. tanks with $4 gas, knowing that in a few hundred miles you'll have to do it again is not for sissies. You're best solution so far is to suggest that hybrids pay a gas surcharge because they don't pay as much gas tax per mile as the gas hogs. I would have to add that we also don't contribute as much co2, smog, road wear, used tire casings, brake dust as you big guys. So, rather than thank us for helping the environment and infrastructure (roads), we should pay extra for be allowed to do that.

fayeruz said...

Thanks for the commentary! While I do admit to finding Prius drivers particulary self-righteous and quick to anger/coarseness, it may well comfort you to know that I also am a liberal. A liberal who composts, gardens and recyles. See? Same club! Only, I want the Earth to be greener not through abstinence and rigid limits, but through technology. There's no doubt you are very proud of the same technology that brought you your overpriced car and have used it to define your values, if not yourself. But we cannot call it progress rationing water and energy - and accusing of people of being the problem. Irrigation and desalinization plants, created by man, have changed the world. Mulholland turned the desert of L.A. into a green oasis - filled with oxygen. Desalinization plants can take salt out of the rising sea water, turning the desert into life-sustaining crops and forests. And for someone who seems to know a lot about various gasses lingering in the air, you should be the first to agree that it's also archaic being afraid of the word "nuclear," as nuclear energy is the cleanest, most efficient type of energy out there. Clearly you would not approve an entire field of windmills to power a Pinkberry. Let us continue our quest for a greener Earth, but not be victims to Green Guilt and the shameless marketing schemes that go with it. Thanks for writing!

Anonymous said...

Uhhhhhhhhh........perhaps you should go back to school and learn what CARBON MONOXIDE is, and what we exhale which is CARBON DIOXIDE. "Next thing we know, the EPA will declare CARBON MONOXIDE a hazardous material, and we could all be arrested for merely exhaling." No, you would'nt be arrested because CARBON MONOXIDE IS A HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCE.........You would be dead from breathing it!

fayeruz said...

Anonymous, you are correct. Forgive my typo and thanks for letting me know. I'll fix it now.

Still composting,
Fayeruz