Going green

Check this out:

This commercial, which appeared on Good Morning America today, sends two interesting messages about the environmental movement here on the 40th anniversary of Earth Day.

First, if you do not live green, a barrage of tiny fists will rain down justice upon you unless your socks and underwear are earth-friendly. Be afraid.

Second, ecological awareness can lead to economical success.  The New York Times reports that environmentalism is now a business practice for many big companies.  Some activists are nonplussed:

To many pioneers of the environmental movement, eco-consumerism, creeping for decades, is intensely frustrating and detracts from Earth Day’s original purpose.

“This ridiculous perverted marketing has cheapened the concept of what is really green,” said Denis Hayes, who was national coordinator of the first Earth Day and is returning to organize this year’s activities in Washington. “It is tragic.”

Those that frown on corporate participation miss an important aspect of American business: left to their own devices, companies are reflections of culture.  If Hanes is push eco-socks and 20th Century Fox is adjusting normal schedules to release the highest-grossing movie in history on Earth Day, it’s because environmentalism is recognized as an important social value.  What isn’t recognized as an important social value is government regulation, which is why environmental consciousness has not always translated into support for the environmental political movement.

What might a more middle-of-the-road environmental movement look like?  Organizations which promote ecologically sound personal activity and issue report cards on corporate green initiatives should be the centerpiece.  Individuals are already interested in becoming more environmentally friendly and can vote with their own behaviors and their own wallets if properly informed.

No one wants to be beaten up by a gang of toddlers in a shopping mall, right?

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