J500 Media and the Environment

Green Cement Shoes by cindyol

I hate to think about it. When I try to figure out what is and isn’t green today, it makes me feel like I’m trying to run a marathon in green cement shoes. The top half of me is going a million miles an hours, the bottom half is stuck, and I get worn out in about a minute and a half.

Thoreau didn’t help. Sequestered away from society at the Sysiphus by Titianedge of Walden Pond, he wasn’t really relevant or inspiring. Gore, Carson and Lehrer/Friedman made me feel like I was Sysiphus. Barbie Bcause – seriously? Wrong on so many levels. For me, Williams hit the nail on the head with Green Noise. If you try to think below the surface of a lot of the environmental reasoning, so many questions bubble up so quickly, all I want to do is put the lid back on the pot so it doesn’t boil over. I want to be green and do the right thing. Just don’t make me think so hard.

But the assignment IS to think about it, so here goes. First, green is not a state of being. Defining yourself as green or not green is a weird kind of reverse anthropomorphosis.  Instead of attributing human characteristics to nature, we attribute the characteristics of nature to humans. Rather, green is a set of actions and behaviors that we choose or refuse to engage in that have a beneficial effect on the environment. By repeating actions and behavior, you establish a green lifstyle. An un-green lifestyle would be deliberately making choices that hurt the environment. Most of us aren’t like that. Rather, I think we fall into a third category – laissez-faire green. As long as it’s convenient and inexpensive, green is easy. Seems awfully shallow, but perfectionism easily becomes an excuse.

So what’s the way forward? Well Sysiphus has some pretty broad shoulders from rolling his rock up the hill for eternity.  Perhaps the green Sysiphus’s of the world can carry us until we can trade our cement shoes for green sneakers  to run the race.

Cindy Olsen


2 Comments so far
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Great post. I could relate especially well to the Sysiphus metaphor in the mileage I get in my car. After driving carefully for a few days and racking up “green” brownie points with the inner “environmentalist”, one rushed commute to work and it’s all gone and I’m back to square one. What I would give to have an easy way out, like having an electric car. Never mind the battery…

Victor V

Comment by victorvi

I really find that conundrum with almost everything that I try to do that could be titled “green.” If I use less paper towels, I end up using more water to wash dirty cloth towels. Doc says eat more fish, but there’s issues with pollution and over-fishing. Use compact florescent lightbulbs, but risk being poisoned by mercury (http://aftermathnews.wordpress.com/2008/01/07/5824/). It all just makes me tired…


Comment by cindyol

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