The Green Police


This was probably my favorite Superbowl ad. It was very revealing as to the overall trend of the green movement. What was also interesting was how close the scenes depicted in the ad are to real life.

Consider the first scene where the man is arrested for requesting plastic bags at the supermarket. This past spring the General Assembly considered a bill that would have banned the use of bags statewide, while imposing a rather hefty fine on those who persisted in using them.

And then there’s the shot where they arrest the man for throwing away batteries. Incidentally, a law in California prohibits the disposal of common batteries. And for those of you who thought composting was optional, think again. Then there’s the shot where the man is arrested for using the wrong light bulbs and the ban on the disposal of plastic bottles, already mentioned on this blog. The ad also highlights the preferential treatment given to “green” cars and mentions the growing popularity of Styrofoam bans.

On first glance, the ad comes across as funny and harmless. It is an ad after all. However, a closer examination, given the facts mentioned above reveals a more disturbing trend in the green movement, an increasing tendency to regulate and codify a certain life style. That this fact is now beginning to be reflected in commercial advertising further underlines the point.

What is perhaps most interesting is the closing scene of the commercial, where the Green Police proceed to arrest the two local policemen. Over the past few years, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has grown into an extremely powerful regulatory and enforcement agency. With its recent attempts to impose a cap-and-trade scheme on the country over the objections of Congress, the EPA has reached a new peak that allows it to run over state, local, and (apparently) federal governments. This new understanding is reflected in the ad, where the Green Police (read EPA) arrest the two local cops for using Styrofoam cups.

In short, the green movement has reached a dangerous level of absurbidity, with the events in the commercial closely mirroring those in real life.

13 thoughts on “The Green Police

    1. I failed to find an argument in that post. The author seemed so focused on using the word "teabagger" that he failed to make a coherent argument. I suggest that if you're going to accuse me of failing to think critically, you think critically yourself and post an actual argument rather than a link to the incoherent ramblings of a liberal blogger.

  1. "…disturbing trend in the green movement, an increasing tendency to regulate and codify a certain life style."

    Is the municipal government of San Francisco "the green movement?" The "green movement" you are referring to is voters and elected officials who have begun to decide that certain acts — not lifestyles — are detrimental to the environment and other citizens.

    "Over the past few years, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has grown into an extremely powerful regulatory and enforcement agency."

    Few years? Hey, you can't just include the Bush EPA, haha. Yes, the finding of endangerment over GHGs occurred during the Bush years, but it didn't lead to any new powers or enforcement. Before you throw the EPA under the bus, perhaps you should consider the positive economic impacts of the agency, ie, environmental economics. The EPA has saved this country billions of dollars.

    Aren't you guys concerned with conservation?

    1. The government itself is not a movement. However, members of that movement, particularly in California, have managed to get themselves either elected or appointed to positions in the government. Also, given that this movement is attacking a whole range of activities and are attempting to get everyone else to conform to the way that they live, I would argue that they are indeed attacking a lifestyle, rather than a handful of acts.

      If I want to use incandescent light bulbs, what gives them the right to take that choice away from me? From my experience, they work better and are cheaper than these eco-friendly fluorescent ones. But regardless, that should be my choice. The type of light bulb that I use has no measurable impact on the environment. Yet, it falls outside how the green people want me to live my life. Or take composting as another example. If I don't want to have a rotting pile of garbage in my backyard, that's also my choice. What right does some tree-hugger have to come up to me and say I must have a compost pile in my backyard? I don't tell him he can't have one, yet he seems to feel as if he can tell me I must have one.

      The finding regarding GHG's has led to the classification of carbon dioxide as a toxin.
      This in turn has led to the EPA's recent push to impose a cap and trade system on the country as I noted above. I would consider this ability to legislate outside of Congress a considerable danger. I am also curious as to what savings you are referring to and what positive impacts you are referring to.

      Responsible environmental stewardship is important, however the current method in which it is carried out needs serious revision.

      1. your singular thinking of "The type of light bulb that I use has no measurable impact on the environment" is exactly what is wrong with the psyche of those opposed to the green movement. Stop free-riding of the possibility of others' actions. Stop assuming everyone else is taking care of the problem and take some personal responsibility in changing your energy consumption.

  2. Very well said, Marc. @ Johnny Q, how exactly has the EPA saved us a NET total of billions of dollars, when you take into account the huge amounts of money spent on green initiatives like those Marc has outlined? @Doppelgaanger, the point is less about the message of the actual commercial and more about the fact that the scenarios that it portrays seem close to actually happening. Actually, I thought the commercial was cute and funny, but that's beside the point.

  3. More fearmongering. The only reason NOT to want the government to finally turn an eye to conservation is if you're working for one of the soulesscorporations that's making billions on selling the next generation's future. And you're not. Real people have nothing to lose and everything to gain from giving a shit about the environment. So I guess you're just another sucker?

    1. I suppose if you considered people's jobs and livelihood, their standard of living, and economic growth in the category of "nothing to lose" than I suppose you're right. As much fun as it might be to stick it to big, bad Corporate America, they do provide jobs and a source of income for millions of people in this country. Small businesses are also hurt by these regulations, perhaps even harder than the big corporations, as small businesses probably can't afford a long-drawn out fight with the government over permits, licenses, etc.

      1. The economy is part of the ecosystem , too. There's only so much world to use up, sell, and throw away– so yeah, if some companies can't make the switch and are replaced by greener ones, I say good riddance. Living and working sustainably isn't some lofty, unconnected goal; if the environment bites the dust, we will too. So even IF you must assume that real environmental regulation will mean the economy must take a hit (which is certainly debatable), it seems illogical to reject a gradual switch only to wait until we're forced (by peak oil, etc.) to more extreme, immediate measures.

      2. Your first comment accused me of fear mongering. Now, you're telling me that the world will end if businesses don't make "the switch." Sounds like a double-standard to me.

        Also, the nice thing about a free market is that it's flexible. So, when oil supplies become more scarce (and more pricey) it will become more profitable to invest in alternative technologies. As it stands now, alternative energy sources such as wind and solar are both costly and inefficient. I'd be more willing to trust an innovation that comes out of the free market than a government mandate handed down by some bureaucrat in Washington. Take the light-bulbs as an example. They don't work, they're expensive, and they use mercury (which I would think the green people would be up in arms about). We now have a situation where the federal government is requiring all 300 million Americans to use this sub-par technology. If they had waited a few years, we would likely be provided with a better, more cost-efficient technology from the market. But now we're stuck with a government mandated product that doesn't work or do what it's supposed to. But of course, if I was really cynical, I would say that this indicates that this isn't about the environment at all, it's about control.

      3. So youre saying to wait for oil prices to soar, and EVERY other product before in investing in renewable energy? If we dont invest now, then a marketable method won't be present when that time comes around

  4. I am not a destroyer of companies. I am a liberator of them!

    The point is, ladies and gentleman, that green — for lack of a better word — is good.

    Green is right.

    Green works.

    Green clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit.

    Green, in all of its forms — green for life, for money, for love, knowledge — has marked the upward surge of mankind.

    And green — you mark my words — will not only save Teldar Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA.

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