Eco-kid, shut up

Smug eco-scold kids who make dad into a “better person” — on credit — annoy James Lileks, who links to a MasterCard commercial.

If they’d intimated that Mastercard can be used to placate your humorless little eco-scold, no one would have minded much. But no: the child is making his father a better man. It’s nice to see that Dad exists in a state of such unearthly perfection that the only means of betterment consist of abjuring incandescent lighting for pig-tailed CFLs, right? Alas: dad is a scoff-law who lets the tap run, uses doubleplus ungood bulbs,  and doesn’t correct the clerk when the food is put in a cornstarch bag, perhaps because he’s thinking about his job, the cutbacks and layoffs, the tiresome daily scrum of adult life.

Surely, young eco-scolds should persuade their parents to stop using plastic (horrors!) to buy “stuff.”

About Joanne

Comments

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Everytime I see that commercial, I want to give that kid a time out and dock his allowance.

  2. Your closing comment was–wait for it–PRICELESS.

  3. CFL lamps are becoming a pet peeve with me. They make absolutely no sense in applications where the light is only turned on for a few seconds at a time, such as a closet or downstairs bath. The energy to be saved in this case is minuscule, and I suspect they last for fewer on/off cycles than an incandescent. So bulbs used in this way probably consume more energy during manufacture than they save during their lifetime, and then they become a mercury hazard.

    This is not to say that they aren’t ideal for room lights that are left on for extended periods, but why is it necessary to ban conventional bulbs? They could at least wait until LEDs become cheap enough to use.

    Sorry about this comment. It’s the first occasion I’ve had to rant on the subject, and I expect it will be the last.

  4. What’s really a hoot is that these little preechy-screechy eco watchdogs have little to no concept of what conservation actually is. My kids come back from the People’s Youth Education Collaborative everyday and one of them sometimes repeats some of the indoctrination notes at home. He doesn’t really understand what the rainwater collectors and piles of wood behind the shed are there for.

  5. Richard Nieporent says:

    Every totalitarian society has a youth brigade that has been indoctrinated to report any anti-state activities by their parents or other adults. Think of this as a portent of things to come once the environmentalists take over.

  6. deirdremundy says:

    The CFLs are especially annoying in the winter–we have a chilly house, and it takes about 10 minutes for them to go from dim to lit.

    So I end up leaving the lights on all day, because when I need a light on, I need it NOW, not 10-15 minutes from now!

    I’m looking forward to affordable LED bulbs.

  7. We have a railing which we have strung with a string of LED lights, and we leave it on all the time, day and night. At 4W per string, it uses hardly any electricity at all (over a 24 hour period), less than a 100 W bulb left on for an hour.

    And it looks nice.

  8. I use all three – incandescent, compact fluorescent, and LED. They each have their uses. I, too, object to the mandatory CFL – sometimes, the old-style is better for particular functions.

    One light that you didn’t mention is the battery-operated sticky lights – they are nice when you need something quick, but use less energy than incandescent.

  9. Richard is right.

    Environmentalism at its logical extention = the total destruction of individual rights.

    You indoctrinate the youth to tell the authorities when their parents and guardians aren’t doing thing the way they’re ‘supposed’ to be done. Then the authorities can send inspectors and police to their house to either threaten them into submission or remove them as a threat to the ‘correct’ way to do things.

    If the environmental extremists have their way, your life will be micromanaged by the state from birth until death. And if you do something unapproved by the powers that be, expect to have your life ruined, as they’ll make an example out of you.

    In other words… I refuse to live in a society where I can be put in jail for using the wrong types of light bulbs! The free market will take care of that naturally in time…

  10. tim-10-ber says:

    Hmmm…isn’t this… “You indoctrinate the youth to tell the authorities when their parents and guardians aren’t doing thing the way they’re ’supposed’ to be done. Then the authorities can send inspectors and police to their house to either threaten them into submission or remove them as a threat to the ‘correct’ way to do things.”

    just a continuation of forced schooling? Why would anyone be surprised?

  11. Alex Bensky says:

    They want the children to dictate household purchases and family attitudes to their parents. I wonder if they’d agree that the little charmers should be listened to regarding bed times or what they eat?

  12. tim-10-ber: Agreed.

    This thread makes me glad I don’t have kids!

  13. GoogleMaster says:

    Surely it would have been more environmentally sound for the little eco-fascists never to have been born, wouldn’t it? That’s my conservationist contribution to the planet: not bringing more wasteful first-world overconsumers into being.

  14. Ponderosa says:

    You folks would be delighted by the kids at my school. They routinely place paper and recyclable bottles in the regular trash, even though recycling containers are readily available.

    Why should anyone worry about billions of humans consuming vast quantities of resources? We all know resources are infinite and that the planet can sustain an infinite amount of damage without any meaningful impact on our quality of life. Let’s just focus our minds on making lots of things and earning lots of money. And the glorious afterlife that awaits us!

  15. I found this, apropos of another one of those stupid commercials:
    http://www.inference.phy.cam.ac.uk/sustainable/charger/

  16. Andy Freeman says:

    Is Ponderosa under the impression that landfill is a limited resource?

    It makes sense to recycle some things. However, it makes no sense to recycle others. Why the difference? Recycling some things costs more than new, while in other cases, recycling costs less. (Yes, recycling, like production from new, has costs.)

    Given Ponderosa’s stated interest in reducing human impact, perhaps s\he’ll tell us why we should waste resources recycling things that are more expensive to recycle than to make new.

  17. Richard Nieporent says:

    Someone ought to do a parody of that commercial where the punch line is: Threatening to recycle the little bugger if he doesn’t quit nagging you … priceless!

  18. Why is it that the message to conserve and save the earth is most strongly stated by people and organizations who want to sell us something or who like to buy the latest “earth-friendly” products?

    If all those well dressed people shopping at Whole Foods were to simplify their diets and wear the same few outfits over and over, they’d have a smaller impact on the earth. Stop buying non-essentials if you really care. If not, get off our backs.

    My kids would immediately experience purchase deprivation — for the earth, of course — if they attempted to lecture us. One will not die if one wears the same jeans until they wear out.

  19. Richard Nieporent says:

    One will not die if one wears the same jeans until they wear out.

    As a matter of fact, the in thing is to buy worn out jeans !

  20. Cruising through the neighborhoods populated by the preachy Whole Foods people, I see lots of big houses with two large SUVs in the driveway, several AC units next to the house and a complete absence of clotheslines, which I’m told are often specifically forbidden by homeowners’ associations. Sort of like the leather-seated cars that wear “Love animals, don’t eat them” bumper stickers…

  21. “Someone ought to do a parody of that commercial where the punch line is: Threatening to recycle the little bugger if he doesn’t quit nagging you … priceless!”

    See Arcadia Military Academy (aka Arcadia Fertilizer Company ).
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evergreen_(The_Twilight_Zone)