Profiteering in the Name of Environmentalism

In the latest variation on “greenwashing,” big corporations are urging people to help save the environment in ways that add to their bottom lines.

6 thoughts on “Profiteering in the Name of Environmentalism

  1. Recycling? It’s bullshit says Ted Rall.
    Using canvas bags instead of plastic? A profit scheme, so sayeth Ted Rall.
    Using less clean water? Just a grab for more cash, according to Ted Rall.

    Disappointing cartoons like this one are why I don’t fully embrace Ted’s politics, nor his intellect. It makes the whole “revolution” thing seem completely phony. Mass consumerism is at the core of why we have so many problems, and to criticize efforts to counter that mentality is jive. It makes the “revolution now” meme seem phony and bogus. Instead of “revolution now” being about changing the fundamental way our system works, which includes changing the attitudes of a passive consumer-based populace, it seems Ted has more of a personal vendetta against the power elite. Perhaps Ted just wants to see the powerful taken down because they’re so successful, or because his own fortunes have waned in recent years. Whatever the reason, attacking people who are active in changing people’s attitudes about excessive consumerism, excessive waste, and so on – is childish. If you embrace mass consumption and waste then accept your place in such a world. Don’t complain when you’re relegated to the sidelines, living off scraps, bitching and moaning.

  2. This cartoon does not appear to be attacking ‘people active in changing people’s attitudes about excessive consumerism.’ It’s pretty clearly aimed at dishonest corporation who invent ‘green’ excuses to provide less (costly) service or products to their customers, thereby maximizing profits.

  3. The whole “environmentalism” thing teaches us, falsely, that the consumers, by bringing bags to the supermarket, is somehow doing “something” for the environment. Let’s put it in the big picture.

    Consumer Ted gets into his SUV, which was assembled in Mexico, and drives to his supermarket in New York. He picks up a bunch of things in plastic bottles and jars. He buys some fruits and vegetables from various points on the globe: apples from New Zealand, cherries from Washington State, salmon from Alaska, cheeses from France. He brings them to the register. He uses his recycled bags (cue the Hallelujah chorus). He drives home. He turns on his Chinese TV, kicks off his Honduras sneakers, and changes his shirt from India for one made in Bangladesh. He then picks up his laptop (China), and checks on the status of his new iPhone (China). He needs a new one because the old one was two months old. It was air-shipped to him from China, and as he’s checking, there’s a knock on the door. There’s the UPS guy. Hurray!

    People always take the easiest path to guilt reduction. In this case, it’s recycling plastic bottles and bringing a bag to the supermarket. And those things amount to diddlysquat. Plastic cannot be recycled perpetually. Each time, it recycles further down the chain. Eventually, you run out of a use for it. Same with newsprint and paper. All sorts of toxic by-products result from recycling paper. You are pissing through every erg of saved energy from your reused canvas bags by buying items from all over the planet.

    It’s the same gimmick that happens every year at Thanksgiving when people unload all the old canned pumpkin and the dented cranberry sauces by bringing them to the Salvation Army. “Oh, I did my part. And now, I have to vote for that tax cut. Some hippies want to get funding to build a homeless shelter. Not in my neighborhood. Those filthy hobos can go work, the lazy good-for-nothings.”

  4. Right on Alex! – We are heavily into becoming an idiocracy – our “lifeboat” is sinking under the weight of knee-jerk mentality and poltikal kerrektness. Plus – say the wrong thing at the wrong time in the wrong place, and look how fast you’ll get your chain yanked! Wanna know how bad things can get before the populace respond in a useful way? – Look at Russia – in fact, it may have to get even worse than Russia, huh? Talk about throwing the baby away with the bathwater……

  5. I love the panel about the hotel towels! So true!

    If I were staying on the 15th floor of such an obnoxious hotel, I’d make them a deal: I won’t order more towels during my stay –IF– the GM or manager-on-duty does his (or her) part to save the environment, and personally delivers my turn-down service pillow chocolate by climbing all fifteen flights of stairs, thus not unnecessarily wasting electricity on the elevator.

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