The Green Monster

By Stephen Barton

I’m tired of environmentalists. More specifically, the crazy ones—those extremists who throw shit in logging machinery just to piss off a bunch of burly lumberjacks who are only trying to earn a living. Not the brightest bunch.

They claim an admirable purpose: to ensure the continuation of our planet by ending our dependence on non-renewable, polluting energy. But their methods are just plain stupid. The innocent idealism of Captain Planet and the Planeteers has been replaced by diabolical vandalism and underhanded schemes to sabotage development projects and endanger the lives of those who work on them.

These tree-humpers are to the environmental movement what Tea Partiers are to the Republican party—an insane and perverted manifestation of core values. And just like the Tea Partiers, these eco-terrorists completely alienate moderates (i.e. rational people) from their cause by stomping and screaming like a toddler deep in tantrum mode: setting fire to condominiums, blocking airport runways, and bombing car dealerships (I hope they used eco-friendly explosives).

Aside from destroying buildings and irritating tens of thousands of airport passengers, these radical acts of sabotage accomplish nothing. President Obama best summarized the real progress of sustainable energy in January’s State of the Union address, promising that 80 percent of America’s electricity would come from clean energy sources by 2035, partially by utilizing natural gas and clean coal.

I’d like to meet the oxy-moron responsible for the term “clean coal.” An esteemed steward of reliable and balanced information—not FOX News—tells me that clean coal technology involves pumping CO2 emissions underground. Congratulations, eco-freaks: your efforts have convinced energy companies to engage in the technological equivalent of a chubby kid hiding candy under his mattress at fat camp. That pillowcase full of coal you used to beat the shit out of the Secretary of Energy last week must’ve convinced them. Or maybe it was that firebomb you planted in the new nuclear power plant.

Perhaps we should all take a hint from our very own university, whose “Be Orange, Think Green” campaign caused many professors to pause briefly before printing out fifty copies of a 20-page course syllabus that is easily accessible on Blackboard. Thanks to the efforts of Syracuse University, more students now idly consider turning off the faucet while shaving or brushing their teeth than ever before. That’s what “thinking green” means, right? It’s not like anybody asked us to act green.

Such campaigns aimed toward changing personal behavior certainly have room for improvement, but they sure beat the hell out of having some malnourished extremist break the departmental copy machine or poison the water supply. The public won’t even begin to pay attention to the environmental movement until they are properly educated about climate change, no matter how many monkey wrenches are thrown into logging harvesters.

Captain Planet was partially right—the power is ours, but only when it isn’t misappropriated by a guerrilla band of extreme environmentalists. Besides dangerously spiking trees with metal rods, eco-terrorists should stop driving long distances to secluded logging sites and instead write angry blogs, keep cardboard diaries, and make vegan voodoo dolls—anything that will increase environmental advocacy without the expense of public sanity.