I probably was almost like the green nazis the guy mentions at one stage of my life; I suppose at least I realized that the violent confrontation wasn’t worth getting into and it wasn’t helpful to join people who may hurt others. I was angry, I thought about doing some of the things he did, but I never really bothered- I knew it wouldn’t change anything and would amplify the problems, not solve them. Plus it helps that I am a fairly lazy guy who prefers eating food and lounging around in my home to ‘changing the world.’ That all seems rather difficult and if people won’t listen to reason the best way I have found to deal with them is to watch them crash into the consequences of their actions and enjoy the entertainment.
Now that I realize the whole organic thing is just a scam for tricking people into paying premium prices for what often is substandard food… well, that’s not very acceptable either. It might make a bunch of oatmeal eating north face wearing Eddie Bauer camper type people feel good and help the local economy… but it doesn’t really help poor people in Cambodia get something on their plates that can keep them alive long enough to scratch together some cash to have a roof over their heads. Not all organic food is a lie; chances are if you can verify your food is local than you are helping your self be healthier and helping your local community economy. I might have some issues with pesticide being genetically added to some crops, but I have to say adding vitamin C or iodine supplements into crops isn’t a big issue for me, nor is using chicken eggs for vaccine development really a big issue.
I like to delude myself that I pick and choose my issues. I try to keep an open mind… the oil industry isn’t evil (all the time, anyways) and most of the people in it are just trying to keep a modern technological society that STILL NEEDS IT operating. I do, however think that there is a big group of people in the oil industry pushing against getting replaced by safer, cleaner technologies, and that they are stifling development and causing bigger problems by being overly greedy and protective about their market share rates, and it is killing people now and will only make things worse in the future if we cannot start reducing our carbon now. I don’t agree with taxing carbon- its taxing air. I do think that you can jack up taxes on industries and products that produce large amounts of carbon dioxide and methane and whatever other harmful air polluting products are made, however, to pay back the health costs and to ideally help fund whatever tech will replace them.
Personally I am fond of Fresnel Lenses being used in automated factory areas. 2000 degrees Celsius focused rays shooting and melting things/welding things for the cost of an old TV tube is probably a more savvy design than paying lines of bored welders to do the same thing, and probably for many processes will do it far more cheaply and without any real harmful byproducts (possibly fumes from the things being melted I suppose.
Now I am sure there still is a need for all the chemical processes and gasoline for construction materials and building roads/bridges etc in particular- but for daily maintenance of homes and cities power needs I think using alternative power sources with storage batteries is VERY possible, and very desirable- and it would also reduce costs in the long run. I think in Canada and the USA it is extremely possible to cut the average persons waste production by 25% very easily, without any real changes to people’s lifestyles beyond re-engineering their house a bit. It probably would increase the amount of power available on the grid, too.
If anyone is interested in learning more about where I stole some of these ideas from I highly suggest reading the publications from the Rocky Mountain Institute: http://blog.rmi.org/