Sunday (not so) Funnies...
Normally I find George Carlin hilarious and I have an affinity for poking fun at things that are important to me, but I was really disappointed when I watched his bit on "Saving the Planet," (the video is at the end of the post). I understand it's just a comedy routine, and this may be by design, but he completely mischaracterizes environmentalists as a bunch of unenlightened, self-righteous, arrogant idiots who want to save something that doesn't need saving for their own self satisfaction.
As he puts it "the planet is fine, the people are fu@ked!" Truer words haven't been spoken, and that's why we aren't trying to save the planet, we are trying to save our own asses! Unfortunately, he takes that bit of truth and bends a false generalization of environmentalists around it to make an argument against sustainability for a few undeserved laughs.
Carlin states "Environmentalists don't give a sh!t about the planet, they don't care about the planet," then he mockingly points out that we are only interested in "a clean place to live," which he calls a "Narrow unenlightened, self interest." You know what I call it? Self-preservation... progress... sustainability... SMART. Normally I wouldn't get bent out of shape about a comedy routine, particularly one that's seventeen years old, but I am finding these anti-sustainability straw man arguments far too common these days.
Whether you believe in man made climate change or not, pollution is harmful to our health and degrades where we live. Like it or not, but if we continue to consume our natural resources faster than they can be renewed, we will run out. We may not be able to destroy this planet but if we shun sustainability we have a good shot at making it uninhabitable and ultimately destroying ourselves.
Sustainability is about more than just protecting the environment. It applies to all areas of our lives. It's about living today like there is a tomorrow. It's about remembering that we and our children will have to live tomorrow with the choices we make today.
I do not mean to put this late comedian on trial, instead the idea that this bit is about. Is it enough that the planet will be fine? Not for me, and so I plan to continue to promote living today in a way that leaves us somewhere nice to live tomorrow. How about you?
Here's the video, let me know what you think...