Well maybe YOU don’t suffer from “green fatigue” – if you did you probably wouldn’t be reading this but it is a term I’ve heard tossed about in the past few months and each time I hear it – though it goes by other names as well; “green glut”, “green saturation”, “green overload”, etc. – each time I want to turn red with anger.
Picture by Christina Koci Hernandez
Why does that so infuriate me? As a relative newcomer to the “old guard” environmental activists – I’ve only been at this a dozen years – I am well aware of the pain that accompanies being marginalized by a culture that would, until recently, rather fight ecological reality and its many danger signs in the form of denial, than switch to a more sustainable way of living.
Up until last year, being green in a black and white world was akin to being a Communist, enemy infiltrator, or both. Actually it often felt more like being a martian from another planet, a planet where to waste was a crime, and to conserve was a virtue, and not a freaky habit adopted by hippies and social agitators on the fringes of mainstream American society.
So what happened? The price of fuel topped three dollars a gallon and
the slumbering masses awoke with a sharp jolt to the pocketbook and a
belated hangover, complete with a sobering rethink of the almighty SUV
as our national vehicle of choice.
Dying oceans, peak oil,
disappearing species and melting glaciers were no match for the rising
price on a gallon of gas. Seemingly overnight, the masses were outraged
and suddenly open to new alternatives, both as a source for fuel, and
as lifestyle change. Combine that with the triple hit of Hurricanes
Katrina, Wilma and Rita and you have a perfect storm of factors that
finally launched the Great Eco-awakening.
And just in time…the grim statistics don’t need recitation here, you know we’re doomed. Unless, unless we wake up now…today…and begin to turn this sinking ship of a planet towards the bright light of a newly-popular sun. Embracing renewable energy like solar, wind and geothermal is the new Holy Grail, tempting and yet – until now – elusive enough to seem more green dream than reality.
So now that the world is waking up to the planetary perils we face, and people across the globe see that a true sea change is needed – before the sea changes us - suddenly we hear from some predictable corners; the mainstream media, fickle consumers and Sunday pundits that the green movement has peaked and its 15 minutes of fame are passing.
that I say “why green
fatigue when the new eco-consciousness - so hard-fought and long in
coming - is still in its infancy, still in (chlorine-free) diapers?”
How is it that a nation so obsessed with sports, sex, stars (the
Hollywood type) and the stock market is now tired of hearing about
global sustainability, a topic that has been on the front pages for
about five minutes in comparison?
To them I say “Take your Green Ennui and shove it!”. If sustainable survival is merely a passing fad – as some would have us believe – than I say we humans will be the same; a transient species that brought itself to the brink of greatness, only to get buried in its own greed, shortsightedness and well-honed denial. If it really is all about trendiness than maybe we have indeed - like our oil - peaked.