The Wasatch Behind: Deep down in our hearts we are all green people
"You keep talking about green people," Uncle Spud said. "But I've been watching closely, and other than some gothic-looking kid with green hair, I haven't seen any green people. What gives?"
"Most green people look like you and me," I said.
"So why call them green people?" he asked.
"Green is on the inside," I told him. "It's a state of mind."
"So what does green stand for?" he asked.
"Green is an ecological mindset," I said. "Green people are friends of the earth."
"I see nothing wrong with taking care of mother earth," the Spudster proclaimed. "After all, she's the one who sustains us. Without a healthy planet we would go the way of the dinosaurs."
"True," I said, "and I completely agree. However, there are forty shades of green. Some green people are greener than others."
"Do tell," he smiled as he cracked the seal on a diet Dr. Pepper and pulled up a chair.
"Well Ã¯Â¿Â½ there are four basic kinds of people when it comes to dealing with mother earth: eco-agnostics, conservationists, environmentalists, and eco-terrorists," I began. "Most of us fit in one of those categories."
"An eco-agnostic?" he giggled. "What in the world is an eco-agnostic?"
"An eco-agnostic is that creep who throws trash from his car window, dumps the holding tank on his camp trailer in the river, and writes his name on ancient pictograph panels."
"I know that guy!" Uncle Spud proclaimed.
"An eco-agnostic worships nothing but self," I continued. "The earth, environment, neighborhood, other people Ã¯Â¿Â½ nothing matters but him. He's an insufferable jerk who should not be allowed to procreate. An eco-agnostic is not a green person, but he will often pretend to be one when it serves his purposes."
"And then there are conservationists, like me," I explained. "A conservationist believes in clean air and clean water, but he believes in a healthy economy as well as a healthy environment. The root word in conservationist is "conserve." To conserve is not to waste, not to destroy, and not to pollute. Conservationists believe that when it comes to mother earth and economic development, we can have our cake and eat it too if we are careful. Conservationists are a light, aspen leaf shade of green."
"Sounds good to me," Spud acknowledged. "So how is a conservationist different from an environmentalist?"
"Environmentalism takes in the whole range of the varying shades of green," I said. "There is light, conservationist type of green at the bottom where most of the common people are, but we begin to get a dark, seasick shade of green toward the top where some of the celebrities live. Seasick green shows up when environmentalists put wolves, spotted owls, and pretended wilderness before the needs of people."
"In my humble opinion, most environmentalists are well intentioned but misinformed," I said, "and some are idealistic to the point of being ridiculous. They oppose any and all road construction, energy development, forest management, public grazing allotments, factories, and power generation. They want the whole world to be a national park."
"Sounds idyllic to me," he said.
"Yes," I countered, "idyllic, but impractical."
"And then there are the eco-terrorists," I said. "Eco-terrorists are a dark, murky, cow manure shade of green. Eco-terrorists are the people who put spikes in trees to injure loggers, burn down lumber mills, vandalize road equipment, and throw blood on ladies with fur coats. This is the lunatic fringe that gives all green people a bad name. Eco-terrorists have names like ELF (Earth liberation front), ALF (Animal liberation front), PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), and Earth First! They are the people who disrupt world economic conferences with riots and rocks. Eco-terrorists are dangerous because they have no moral underpinnings and their philosophy and worldview is like something scribbled on the wall of an insane asylum. These people claim to champion environmental and animal rights causes, but they are really only anarchists. They worship dirt, dogs, and chaos."
"Eco-terrorists and eco-agnostics are very much alike, even though they stand at opposite ends of the environmental spectrum. The eco-agnostic is without a soul, the eco-terrorist without a conscience, and neither has a brain.
"So, there are really only two choices for people with IQs above room temperature," I said. "Conservationism or environmentalism, and they differ only in the shade of green."
"Holy Cow," Uncle Spud laughed. "We are all green people! Who'd a thunk?"