Go on Green by Trevor Plumbly
From Beatniks to Modern-day Greens
Dope smoking, free loving, tree hugging pacifists were a hard act to follow, but it happened: the beatniks faded into non-violent old age and were replaced by hippies who, in turn, continued to fry their brains, bonk each other and love every living organism. Both were regarded as fringe counter cultures and viewed by most with a sort of amused tolerance, but the man warned ‘The times they are a-changing’, and they did! We got ‘The Greenies’. It’s hard to laugh at this new mob: they don’t seem to cloud their thoughts with herbal tobacco or rev-up tablets; if they’re inclined to over-bonk they keep it out of the public arena; and they’ve replaced ‘flower power’ with political nous and active protest. Forget dreamy eyes, tie-dyed t-shirts and mumbled messages; be warned folks, these new buggers are smart, power-suited and unlike their predecessors they’re certainly not scared of a scrap.
The Greenhouse Effect
I reckon that they’re worth listening to. Okay, I’m seventy, but I can still remember getting safe drinking water from a kitchen tap rather than a sealed, disposable plastic bottle. I remember too when ‘climate change’ was a temporary weather pattern instead of a global threat. Looking back, we’ve taken or been encouraged to take an awful lot for granted from our planet over the years and seem determined to continue to make it a harder place to live in. Despite the protestations of so-called experts, the ‘greenhouse effect’ is starting to have a serious effect on weather patterns; how else can anyone explain unseasonable floods, drought, tornados and the like as well as the slow melt of Arctic ice shelves causing sea waters to rise in the South Pacific. It’s patently obvious to anyone outside the ‘big leaders’ and a few sycophantic smaller countries that carbon emissions are the main problem, but sadly those largely responsible for creating the problem either choose not to acknowledge it or elect to do nothing to help solve it.
Smaller countries like mine proudly trot out the news of a recently negotiated ‘free trade agreement’ as if it were some sort of passport to instant well-being for all of us; but is it? We ship off food and raw timber in exchange for cars, electronic goods and appliances that simply add to our pollution problems, it does seem a bit like exporting clean money in exchange for dirty.
Listening to the Green Message
It’s obvious that things aren’t going to change in the short term, but at least the green message is now being delivered and debated in more parliamentary forums. Who knows, perhaps we’ll see compulsory solar panels and water re-cycling units for all new houses. There might also be a concerted effort to restore and improve rail transport for passengers and freight. And some sort of restraint on the electrical junk and used cars pouring into the country. It seems strange to me that these imported ‘trade goods’ that, in healthier days, we regarded as luxuries are now disposable, prospective pollutants. In answer to the obvious question, yes I’ve got a car, a TV and a computer but I don’t toss them out in favour of the latest or fastest models that get dangled before me with increasing regularity. Yep folks, I am now officially ‘green’. I shall not be chaining myself to oil rigs or swanning around the South Seas saving the whale, although in my opinion, those that do deserve our admiration for their determination and commitment. For the ‘non-greens’ that regard them as a nuisance, please google the Pankhurst sisters, Ghandi, David Ben-Gurian and Martin Luther-King.