Friday, July 15, 2011

Keeping Perspective in a Green Economy

Sometimes keeping perspective means challenging our beliefs or carefully considering the information presented.  Advertisers and others use words like green, all-natural and organic to describe products with the understanding that everyone will accept them as better.  But just labeling something green does not improve it and there are many all-natural substances that can kill you.  Beware the hype!

I read an article yesterday from a local newspaper about the growth of “green jobs” in a particular state and the state’s ranking nationally.  The industry that supplied the most green jobs was waste management and disposal.  Gee, trash collectors are now considered as working in a green industry.  Many years ago there was a joke about garbage men (as they were often referred to at the time) listing “sanitary engineer” as a job title on a resume, but now the media and whoever tracks such things categorize them as green-collar workers.  Now I don’t mean to demean the job in any way.  It’s not right that the only time we seem to appreciate trash collectors is when they are on strike, but relabeling the job to be trendy or popular does not do anything to change the work done or its importance.  Incidentally, one of the other jobs to top the list was public mass transit.  Can you say bus driver? 

Oh, for a simpler time when we just had bus drivers and trash collectors and no one was trying to use them to impress us with how environmentally minded we were.  Oh for a simpler time when people could shop at the grocery store and pick up nice fruits, vegetables and other products without insisting on paying more for all-natural or organic products without an iota of evidence that they were better tasting or better for you – but that’s a subject for another day.

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