Don't get me wrong. I'm 100% for environmental causes. It's just that some of the more radical elements of the environmental movement is so blinded by their love of the Earth, they will idiotically lash out at anything that threatens it, real or imaginary. In fact, they have even begun to include the moon in their circle of love. Behold:

Tidal Energy draws criticism

The Cornell Green Society has begun a campaign against a Cornell University Geological Sciences professor and his research into tidal energy. Quote: "What they call 'harnessing' the tides is actually depleting the energy of the moon's orbit." The Green campaign will be primarily focused on increasing campus awareness of the issue, by distributing "Save the Moon" signs to everyone passing by.

In a Green pamphlet, it calculates the moon's kinetic energy to be 6.579 X 10^28 J. If even 10% of the world's supply of electricity is supplied by tidal energy, then it would bring the moon to a full stop in 58.9 trillion years.

The professor candidly admits the claims to be technically true. In fact, he even said due to the inefficiency of prototype systems, the actual time required to bring the moon to a halt is only 57 billion years. He added, "Besides, the point is somewhat moot. The sun will burn out its supply of helium in a mere 11 billion years. In the meantime, tidal energy is a clean, safe source of energy, with moderate investment and low upkeep costs, and a very light impact on the environment.

Countered the Green spokesmen: "He is just trying to come up with flimsy excuses to justify handing over the future of our lunar gravitational resources - the resources of our children - to powerful, greedy, shortsighted corporate interests." This adds one more alternate energy source to the growing list of sources considered "no good" by Green societies all over America. Nuclear, hydroelectric, agricultural hydrocarbon and geothermal energy has all been regarded as environmentally unfriendly, leaving only wind and solar.

// begin sarcasm
They are still looking for the perpetual motion machine kept secret by evil oil companies.
// end sarcasm

This reminds me of a case where the construction of a children's hospital in California was stopped because it might endanger a rare butterfly. Sure, protect the Earth, but not to this degree.

BTW, that was a true story. No joke.

DMan's assurance of the veracity of his tale was sparked by my query. Since it is the Cornell Green Society rather than something like the Cornell Chapter of the Church of the Sub-genius, I must assume them to be serious. This makes it even funnier.

DMan, when you have a chance, could you please post some representative passages from their literature on this campaign? Pretty please? And, if they have a web-site, an URL would be fun as well.


By the way, I often hug trees. I like them. I'm too old for hanging from branches and wouldn't want anyone to hang unexpectedly from one of my arms either. So I just give them a little hug from time to time. Or just run a hand over the texture of the bark. Especially in the spring, when the branches explode with tiny perfect green leaves as yet untouched by insects or curled by acid rain. As today.
Since this whole 'Save the Moon' business sounds less like a hot-button issue and more like an inspired joke to me, I attempted to do some (very little, incomplete) fact-checking. I could not find any existence of a 'Cornell Green Society'. I did, however, find a 'Cornell Greens' group; they appear to be an environmentalist group, with the rosy but ungrammatical mission statement of 'The promote conservation and social justice on campus and throughout the world'. I sent off e-mail to the chapter's president, one Michelle Sprague. She claimed to be totally unaware of a 'Save the Moon' campagin taking place on the campus.

I hate to say it, DMan, but I think that someone was pulling a prank on the students of Cornell. If you can find literature that they are publishing, or just maybe take a snapshot of the 'Save the Moon' signs, maybe we can start to figure out where these came from.

This is not an attack on you, DMan. If you are angry, the best recourse would be to fact-check my own nodes; God only knows how many falsehoods I've accidentally propogated here.

Of course, like any cause, there are people who go too far. Name me one cause that hasn't had a fringe group do something stupid - but we should never let it reflect the cause itself (especially when it's a joke, like what the above sounds like). Otherwise we'd associate the entire pro-life movement with people who kill doctors (life is so sacred that we'll kill for it?), or we'd associate all biblical literalists with the Flat Earth Society.

But the idea of a treehugger, or all environmentalists in general, is a good idea. It's an attempt to provide a counterpoint to the corporate view of the environment as nothing more than a resourse to exploit for monetary gain with no concern for the results. Sure, some jobs will be lost, some business opportunities missed, some profit that won't be gained - but do you think that the jobs of one generation are worth having that generation's children or grandchildren deprived of nature? Is short-term gain really worth sacrificing long-term survival?

Is this an anti-corporate view? Yeah, I suppose so. But then again, I can't recall a corporation that gives me reason to have any other perspective.

If concern for the environment, health, and survival in the future is blind radicalism, then I'm happy to be called one.

I see an artificial duality here... as if the only choices are big evil corporations with no concern for the future and radical treehuggers bent on totally dismantling the high-tech civilization that gives all of us here a degree of freedom and self-expression unprecedented in history.
We don't have to choose the lesser of two evils. We don't have to choose between stagnation and environmental destruction. It's time that somebody start a new movement, squarely aimed at the long-term survival and advancement of our dear species. Or maybe it already exists, and is called something unglamorous like common sense or the "90% of the public who actually are more or less reasonable".

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