Mar 232008
 
Authors: Ian Bezek

American environmentalists are among the worst polluters on the planet.

If they really cared about the environment as they claim, there is a simple solution for them to save the planet — they can move to an undeveloped third-world country where such wasteful and polluting amenities such as electricity and modern transportation don’t exist.

In fact, if we all were to move to the jungle and return to the Stone Age, it will undoubtedly solve global warming.

Actually, I would be fine with environmentalists heading to the jungle; I’d never have to hear another lecture about the virtues of fluorescent light bulbs.

While environmentalists shamelessly ask undeveloped countries to forego the benefits of nuclear power plants and malaria-killing DDT, they, paradoxically, refuse to take their own houses off the power grid and turn in their car keys.

An average American uses roughly 75 times as much coal per capita as a typical African.

A common undercurrent running through the environmentalist movement is the idea that resources should be distributed equally, yet I see no evidence typical environmental lobbyists are willing to give up 99 percent of their coal consumption to be equal with the world.

By living a modern American life, a citizen here is tacitly agreeing to the sort of so-called destruction of the environment that activists rail against. Looking around our own campus, it seems that few people live up to the standards that environmentalists demand of all of us.

For example, while it is usually easy enough to find a place to park a bike, parking spots for cars are always in short supply.

It is a sad sign that CSU is building a parking garage despite the fact that we live in an exceptionally pedestrian friendly city.

We live on a centrally located campus in a small city with numerous bike lanes and well-run public transportation.

If environmentalists can’t go without cars here, it is unreasonable to expect car-free lifestyles to be adopted anywhere.

I am not particularly concerned about the health of the environment; I enjoy the outdoors and appreciate clean air but am unwilling to sacrifice societal progress to save, for instance, a species of mouse.

Despite my attitude toward environmentalism, I have found that I am far less harmful to the environment than many of my peers.

I do not and have never owned a car.

I live in a tiny apartment, and my share of the utility bill was a paltry $11 last month.

While hybrid vehicles are a good start toward conservation, my bike gets infinite miles per gallon.

I rarely travel outside the state of Colorado.

For my spring break, I carpooled to Colorado Springs — the flights to Cancun and Paris that many of my peers enjoyed used more petroleum in one afternoon than I purchase in an entire year.

I almost never watch television or play video games. College students getting their Halo or Guitar Hero fix use on average 256 pounds of coal per year to run their televisions.

I also eat a limited quantity of meat. The production of meat products squanders vast amounts of earth’s resources unlike the vegetables, grains and nuts that I consume.

I just think it’s odd that while I make no claims to be an environmentalist, I consume and pollute less than many of my more green peers around me.

Isn’t it time for the environmental movement to stop talking and start doing?

They should either live by the standards they demand of global society, or they should stop inflicting their national guilt trip on the rest of us.

If you want to fight to end acid rain, please sell your pick-up truck before pestering me for donations.

Ian Bezek is a sophomore economics major. His column appears Mondays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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