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Thread: The Onion and Upper Middle Class Environmentalism

  1. #1

    Oct 2001
    Solano County, California

    The Onion and Upper Middle Class Environmentalism

    The Onion, like The Daily Show, is freuqently amazingly perceptive and right-on, as well as being hilarious.

    Here is the link to a story about upper middle class consumption and pseudo-environmentalism. http://www.theonion.com/content/node/49845

    It reminds me of the story in the regional Homebuilders Association magazine about the leaders of local "Green" and "slow growth" movements who live on such large parcels that they have to "drive the SUV down to pick up the mail.

    For those who can't access The Onion at work, some excerpts:

    As we move into the 21st century, it is our responsibility to think of the future of the earth—not for ourselves, but for those who will inherit what my husband and I leave behind when we're gone. If we do not join together and do what's best for this, our only planet, there may not be an environment left in which my five children, and their 25 children's 125 children, can grow up and raise large upper-middle-class families of their own...

    Imagine a world devoid of pristine wilderness for my progeny to explore on the weekends in the sport-utility-vehicles of the future, leaving my youngest son, Dylan, with nowhere to blow off steam on off-road adventures. Imagine a world in which my beautiful middle son, Connor, is denied his twice-daily half-hour hot showers because of water shortages.

    Encroaching urban sprawl has already begun to spoil the view from the porch of our beautiful new summer home on Lake Wakenaka. Sadly, the view from the bay windows of our first summer home, the one we built at our Woodland Acres property six years earlier, has already been ruined by such unchecked development. Must my children grow up in a world where only one of their parents' summer homes is surrounded by the beauty of nature? It's unthinkable, I know, but we must face facts.. . . Is it our right to deny my progeny of their gargantuan RVs and motorboats, as well? Of course not.

    We cannot, in good conscience, lay such a burden on tomorrow's generations of Melfords. My children are the future. And at the end of the day, isn't it family—my family—that truly matters?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
    May 2005
    New Town
    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    It reminds me of the story in the regional Homebuilders Association magazine about the leaders of local "Green" and "slow growth" movements who live on such large parcels that they have to "drive the SUV down to pick up the mail.
    This is great stuff! I don't have cable and so can't watch the Daily Show regularly, but we did recently rent the "Indecision 2004" series and laughed our butts off. You're right, the ability of some people to use humor to point out absurdities and inject some sanity is a true gift. I also enjoy Grist magazine which is about environmental issues and often pretty funny to boot (I guffawed out loud reading about "one trick pony Julia Butterfly Hill").


    The above comment/phonomenon about green developments irks me as well. As I think I mentioned in another thread, I am growing tired of "green" or "sustainable" demonstration homes in rural sprawl locations that eat up far more land for personal use than urban or even suburban development, cost a bundle to communte from, build, and are 3000sf plus. "Hey, it only costs me the same as a conventional 1500sf house to heat and cool..." Thanks,dude, you're really helpin' out...

    Personally, I have a big interest in devising reasonably priced sustainable technologies that can be used to retrofit existing houses to make them more energy efficient. Most of the immediate future's housing stock already exists and so I think we need to focus on that instead of just new home construction.
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  3. #3
    great stuff.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
    Oct 2005
    So sad yet so true

  5. #5
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
    Apr 2003
    Somewhere between the mountains and the ocean.
    Oh darn... their summer house might have neighbors, guess they should have bought the 200 acres around them.

    We have a similar problem in our city. Of the 5 lakes that we have, three of them have older cottages on very small lots that were not intended to be year-round homes. Now people are coming in, buying the cottages, leveling the site, and building the biggest home that we will allow them to. We have several massive two story homes where the footprint of the house and garage are as big as we would permit it to be (25%) on lots that are substandard, (not wide enough to meet the ordinance) which allows them a 5-foot side yard setback.

    So we have a water front Mc Mansion about 10 feet from a 600 square foot, single story cottage.

    Dave Ramsey would kick someone's a$$
    If you want different results in your life, you need to do different things than you have done in the past. Change is that simple.

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