When I was younger, back in the stone age, I held a couple of jobs working for non-profits. One of these was a "sales" job with the Citizen's Action Coalition. My job was to get people to give me money to support any one of Citizen Action's sponsored legislative activities. Most of these activities were focused on environmental law; clean air, clean water, landfill closing, anti-nuke NIMBYism, etc... the sort of stuff that sounds good in sound bites and 20/20 segments.
Now, I happen to think that it's a good idea to have laws that keep people from dumping toxic sludge into groundwater, it's also nice to not have to wear a respirator when you go outside. I hate litter with a passion, I don't want to have to look at your trash, that includes, by the way, graffiti. You assholes that think graffiti is art are wrong. Period. Unless I hire you to tag my wall, it's vandalism. If you think it isn't then one night I'll take a huge watery shit against the wall of your commune, call it art, and freak out when you clean it up.
So what I'm saying is that I'm not opposed to some government intervention when it comes to the environment, I'm not out to poison "the children" with the acidic blood of the Koch brothers.
But what I saw when I worked for Citizen's Action did make me feel that a few targeted applications of radiation would be appropriate. First off, it was a sweatshop. We were picked up in vans and dropped off without any way of contacting our supervisors. One night I found one of my co-workers passed out on the curb, sick as a dog and she had been there for hours with no way to call for pick-up. We had an individual daily quota and a group weekly quota and wouldn't get paid if we didn't make the group quota. I was paid ONCE in three months of work. We never found out what the group quota was, by design. I found out later, when I was recruited for a "full-time" supervisory position, that that was done so that each person was "encouraged" to go over their daily quota. If we were robbed, and that happened more often than you might think, that amount did not count toward our quota. Let me put it this way, my next job was with Manpower as day labor. I liked it better.
The second problem was with the "agenda". Like I said, I'm all for clean air and water, but the bottom line of all the literature I was given was population control. "The Population Bomb" was required reading. We were running out of everything! No more land, no more air, no more water. The ghost of Malthus rode in the back seat of our van with the fast food wrappers, soda cans and cast off clothing. If we didn't do something we were all going to DIE! There was no technological solution to our problems except... wait for it... BIRTH CONTROL! Yay! Voluntary sterilization, birth control and abortion would save the human race. Condoms may be made from oil, birth control hormones may make it into our drinking water, but dead fetuses are biodegradable and that cancels the others out. There's too many people, let's all have sex! As weird as that sounds, that was the message. We'd all be better off as hunter-gatherers with IUDs. Scare people with environmental horror stories, make life's essentials cost as much as possible, limit the ability of industry to make life easier, keep the supply of cheap food down with periodic health scares centered around pesticides and, lately, genetic modification, and eventually kids will be just too damn expensive. Fewer people, fewer problems.
So Friday when my son brought home a "Science Project" that required him to fill out an extensive questionnaire about our family, our income level, our living conditions, and our energy and water consumption, I was a bit suspicious. Especially since the kit was branded by our electric company, but not the water or gas company. The website for the kit made a big show of how they were a "joint project" of "consumer groups", Utility companies and the state regulatory agencies, but they didn't mention what the "consumer groups" were. I did a little digging and guess what I found? Citizen's Action Coalition. In this guise a "coalition of groups of concerned citizens, organizations and labor unions" working to "keep utilities regulated, support collective bargaining and fair labor practices, and promote environmental legislation". In addition to filling out the survey, my 10 year-old son was supposed to switch out incandescent light bulbs with the CFL's included in the kit, add a low-flow areator to our kitchen sink, replace our shower heads with supplied low-flow (you know, the locker-room shower heads) models and badger (speak to your parents) me into signing up for the flat-rate energy plan. Then we were all supposed to write "Thank You" letters to the political action group specified in the back of the booklet, and if enough letters were sent, my son would get a rubber bracelet, a "free gift" (bribe).
I sent a letter to his teacher telling her that my son would not be doing any of that and to give him a real science project. It's none of anybody's business how much money I spend on heating, cooling or lighting my house. If I can afford it, I'll fucking well spend it. I won't allow my kid to be guilt-tripped because he lives in a house that's "larger than required for the number of family members", has an oversized water heater that's set too high, uses air conditioning, and has an energy-wasting ice maker in the freezer. He should be proud he has all that stuff. He should want all that stuff for himself. He should work his ass of to get it and keep it. That's the American Fucking Way. It's a GOOD THING TO WANT MORE IF YOU'RE WILLING TO WORK FOR IT.
The electric company already knows how much electricity I use, they tell me every month. It's nobody's business but ours.
As far as water goes, since 1992 ALL shower heads sold have been "low-flow". Now, even multiple head showers aren't safe, the DOE fined four showerhead makers $165,104 in civil penalties in May for failing to demonstrate compliance for some of their products. All toilets are low-flow and have been since 1994. We've got floaters in the pot older than some of my kids. You have to bootleg a real toilet from Canada if you like to eat meat. I just shit in the sink and run the garbage disposal now. Compliance is FORCED, in other words. I don't need anyone brainwashing my kids into reporting me for washing the soap out of my hair.
So yeah, I'm getting more and more paranoid. There is no reason for some of the shit that is going down other than the fact that the people running things now are the same type of people that I worked for all those years ago. You may think they just want the world to be a nicer place, where spotted owls and polar bears romp and play with dolphins and tuna, but you're wrong. They want the herd thinned. They think humanity is unsustainable, and if it looks to you like it isn't, they'll make it that way. I believe that, and I am right.
Oh, look. A kindred spirit.
Labels: dragged off and shot