I don’t know what it is about me that makes all the Plaza protestors think I want to talk to them.
Maybe it’s my resigned “going-to-class-and-not-very-happy-about-it” look. Maybe it’s the headphones that are constantly over my ears. Maybe it’s the general “please don’t talk to me” look on my face.
For some reason (maybe they like a challenge), the activists on the Plaza always seem to find me and try to get me to listen to them, sign something or come home with them for free candy (that was a weird one).
Really, I have a conscience. I do. But I don’t feel bad about my interactions with these people, especially the environmentalists.
“Hi, do you have a minute to talk about the environment?”
Or my personal favorite that happened just this recent Friday:
“Hey, I really dig that jacket.” I was wearing a green Colorado State jacket.
“Yeah, are you thinking that color right now?”
“Yeah . no, not really.”
I feel bad. But not much.
You see, I don’t have much respect for environmentalists. They just seem to annoy me because their goals are so limited, and they have too much passion with not enough sight.
I know you’re asking how too much passion can possibly be a good thing, and I do have an answer prepared, just for you. It’s actually something I read on cracked.com, which is a well-researched humor site.
I know: humor? Research? Together?
Anyway, here’s just one reason why I hate environmentalists: DDT.
DDT was a pesticide that was used way back in the day, until a book called “Silent Spring” let all of humanity in on a little piece of truth: DDT was a carcinogen, and it even was dangerous to certain animals, especially specific birds.
Environmentalists flocked to the cause of saving these birds without truly thinking about the implications of their actions or without verifying any research. The research, by the way, was, for the most part, ridiculously faulty.
Anyway, because of the publicity that all these environmentalists got, mixed with the fact that, as a whole, people are stupid and can be easily influenced to do anything, DDT was banned in 1972.
Now, I know that a lot of you are thinking that pesticides are bad and all that and anything that helps get chemicals like DDT off the market can only be good.
But here’s the thing: The man who discovered that DDT could be used as a pesticide won the Nobel Peace Prize.
Why? Because his discovered use of DDT was extremely good at fighting a particular disease that is carried by insects. Specifically, malaria.
You know, malaria — that terrible disease that mosquitoes carry around with them.
In 1963 in Ceylon, now known as Sri Lanka, before the DDT ban, malaria cases were at around 17 confirmed cases. By 1969, following the complete ban on DDT, the reported cases of malaria exploded to around 2.5 million, according to cracked.com.
For those of you who aren’t math inclined, that’s a little more than the population of the state of Nevada in 2006.
All of them with malaria. All of them in one country.
My point here is that, when it comes to my green state of mind, I place my trust in people with more resources, more research and more collaborative brain-power.
New fuel types, new ways to produce energy, ways to decrease our carbon emissions. These will not come from the activist; they will come from the corporations that produce industrial products: Car companies, technological industry leaders, etc.
I’ve been asked before whether or not I really feel okay placing my trust in the world’s future in the hands of “evil” big corporations. My answer is simple:
Yes. I do. But that’s a column for a later time.
Brian Lancaster is a senior English major. His column appears Wednesdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.