Sunday, November 1, 2009

You Forgot Kermit!

Jeff Rubin. Peppers. Grass. Leprechaun. Lime. SUV Hybrid. Cucumber. Red Green. David Suzuki. Twenty dollar bill. Lorne Greene. Shamrock shake.

I'm going to be bold and suggest that one of these things isn't green(e). Before I do, I'd ask you to look at the twelve images and figure out which one you think isn't green. Go ahead and look at the images. Give it some serious consideration.

I'm waiting, because I'm a very patient man.

Oh yes, I am patient.

Still waiting.

Okay, so which one of these images isn't green, in one way or another, in your opinion? I've tried to influence your decision by turning things that aren't normally green, like David Suzuki's complexion and Lorne Greene's hat, into verdant examples of greennitude. There is one picture that isn't obviously green, and there's a little red devil sitting on the quarter panel of the black and white image, just to make a point. Call me subtle.

In my opinion, an SUV Hybrid is not green. It's black. The colour of death. The imagination of the developers of the SUV Hybrid is far from dead though. Selling it as environmentally friendly, or green, is what they do. You can buy one, or two, and feel good about yourself. It's a comical thought, but I'm not laughing. Neither is Jeff Rubin.

This reminds me of an article that I once saw in a Yachting magazine. The article touted the environmentally friendly attributes of a one hundred and twenty foot personal yacht. I couldn't find that article on-line but I found something even better. How dare they call a two hundred and ninety five foot personal yacht environmentally friendly?

Environmentally friendly? Compared to what? I suppose a gun firing rubber bullets is friendlier than a gun firing lead bullets. But it's still a gun.

Since when is a small cruise ship, nearly the length of a football field, necessary for transporting one man's ego around the globe? And how, in Ian's green earth, can this be considered anything but environmentally damning.

I have some silly rules for defining 'environmentally friendly', at least where transportation is concerned. Generally, if your boat carries a helicopter on the aft deck and has a gas tank that holds 400 000 litres, as does the yacht Ice, then it's not all that green. If you drive a Cadillac Escalade Hybrid 4WD with fewer than five passengers in a city where it rarely snows on a road that's paved, then you are not being environmentally friendly. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

Lest you think I'm holier than thou, I'm not. I have many environmental faults and flaws, and I'm not shy to admit them. I'm trying to do my part by driving a relatively fuel efficient car (Ford Focus wagon), and eating food grown locally. Sometimes I fall on my face, particularly when it comes to the hundred mile diet. Last night I overdosed on Halloween candy from a factory in Switzerland (or do they actually make Smarties and KitKat in Kanada?). This morning I made amends by dining on New Brunswick oatmeal, blueberries, yogurt and maple syrup, but there's still candy in the cupboard and I know I'll be a whore later.

They say think global, act local. I like this saying, as does Jeff Rubin, I suspect.

So who is this Jeff Rubin character to whom I keep referring?

He's the guy that gave up a pretty swank job with CIBC as their chief economist for world markets. He resigned so that he could speak freely about things that he wouldn't have been encouraged to speak about by his bank bosses. It's worth listening to what he has to say if you have long term plans for your life on earth. He has a web site at, and also a blog with the Globe and Mail I'd suggest checking out Jeff's October 30 post from the Globe and Mail blog. It's a short, bite sized post that's worth chewing.

Jeff Rubin has also written a book called 'Why Your World Is About To Get A Whole Lot Smaller. I have yet to read the book because my son borrowed it. I have half a mind to go to Halifax and retrieve it, but I can't afford to fill my yacht's fuel tanks and the cloud cover is a bit too dodgy to risk flying my helicopter. I suppose I could always hop in my fuel efficient Cadillac Escalade Hybrid 4WD and drive that's environmentally friendly,...for someone with half a mind.

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