A system of waste. $2 billion in gas gone.


Flight delays could cost airlines more than $2 billion in wasted jet fuel this year, according to a congressional report released on Thursday. “

We have designed (or have been complicit in designing) a system that is extremely wasteful, and then we have the nerve to cry about these gas prices.

Think of all the damned plastic we throw away, all the gas we waste driving faster than we need to (just to save 2 minutes of driving). Poor little Bro Taguchi was telling me last night that when he went to the recycling center in Des Moines, that they wouldn’t even accept plastics numbered 3-6 (or something like that.) That is absurd. Even if the people happen to be willing to do their part in saving energy, the system isn’t set up to allow them to do that to the best of their abilities.

Who was involved in setting up this system? I do not want to treat it as if it is some mysterious spooky entity like the invisible hand. (The invisible hand can bite me.) We are all responsible for the status of the system. Now it seems that it is too large to steer in any direction, and it will take a major crash for us to start to do something new.

We are certainly shortsighted creatures.

$2 billion. Up in smoke.

-MC Spanky McGee

Memo to the Sierra Club…are you serious?

Like many others, I’ve tried to make my life more “environmentally conscious.” It’s become a pretty big deal to me in the last few years…especially since law school. Read a few CERCLA cases and you’ll understand how that can happen. I’m not here to high-horse it. I’m here to take the Sierra Club to task.


I have been a member for a couple years, and I signed up for their daily newsletter entitled “The Green Life,” which is supposed to provide daily lessons on how to move your existence in the right direction environmentally. Let’s look at a couple of their golden nuggets, shall we? They dropped this one on me just a week ago:

Getting a head start on the spring cleaning, Grist has written an article on how to green your fridge. One of their great tips:
Be unconventional. Keep a list on your fridge of these eight additional troublemakers: conventional versions of milk, peanut butter, baby food, ketchup, corn, cottonseed oil, beef, and soy. Each month, pick one item off the list — corn and its byproducts, for example — and find a way to feast without it. You’ll be reducing your household intake of toxins, pesticides, antibiotics, and hormones. The earth will be happier, too.

A great tip? You just told me to take food out of my fridge to make it greener. Why don’t we just eliminate the fridge altogether? Besides, you clowns are the only ones keeping soy in the fridge. Uh…and the baby food is staying…trust me. You’re not convincing America to stop saving baby food. I’m just getting warmed up. From 2/14/08:

Happy Valentine’s Day!
Thinking about spending some extra time between the sheets today? If so, spend it between sheets made from bamboo. Bamboo sheets are silky soft, and come from a rapidly renewable resource that doesn’t require pesticides to grow.


Aside from wishing me a happy f*&#ing Valentine’s Day, you just told me to use bamboo sheets. Would you like me to burn the ones I have? Bam-freakin-boo? I’ve never even heard of such a thing (which isn’t to say that it’s not effective…just not available). Seriously…my bed sheets are not the problem.

Two days ago they took the cake with the “How Green is my Bike?” survey. That’s right, if you ride your bike you may still be an inconsiderate polluter. I actually scored a 94 on it…only because I picked the answers which sounded the DUMBEST. Here’s my favorite:

If I get hungry while I’m riding…


1. I’m so glad I baked last night
2. I unwrap an energy bar or gel
3. I look for the nearest convenience store
4. I search for wild figs growing by the side of the road

Guess which answer gets full credit…the figs. I don’t even know what a fig looks like. Am I less environmentally conscious because I unwrap an energy bar or go to the grocery store when I’m riding my bike? Guess so. Those answers only get 7 and 6 out of 10 possible points respectively.

I don’t care if you want to float off into outer space and do the hippie dance at Widespread Panic concerts for the rest of your life, but DO NOT attempt to give me tips on the “green life” when I’m already walking and biking most everywhere I go, going out of my way to recycle when my landlord doesn’t have a curbside program and refusing every plastic bag in existence. I can do just fine without bamboo sheets and bean bags that heat up in the microwave. What is much more important than the fact that you’re insulting my intelligence is that you’re giving environmentalism a bad name. I can understand if you want to push the agenda and point towards that abstract concept of “how we might do things in the future,” but don’t go off the deep end. Here’s a real problem: recycling. According to the EPA, recycling is the most successful environmental program in United States history. Yet roughly 60% of aluminum cans are recycled globally. The Container Recycling Institute says that almost 24 BILLION plastic bottles have been landfilled, littered and incinerated so far this year…in the United States. It’s March 8. You keep looking for those figs. I’ll be pushing the recycling…just for starters. How the hell are we going to get people to build alternative-powered homes and move toward efficient land use when you’re telling them to support stores with walls made out of sunflower seeds?…SHEESH.

I unsubscribed to the Green Life e-mail list as I was writing this post. I’ll remain a member of the Sierra Club because somebody has to support the critical legal actions they pursue (even if I’ve gotten 5 mailers in the last year about saving the polar bear). Get real, Sierra Club…let’s get everybody to walk before we run. And I’ll admit that they do offer a lot of few good ideas at the Green Life…its’ just too much.

NOTE: I did not even mention global warming. Believe what you will.