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Hank Campbell: Environmental Guilt Is Big Business

39% of Americans feel ‘green guilt’ for wasting food, a much higher number than letting the sink run while they brush their teeth or not buying those stupid low-flow toilets. The 2012 Eco Pulse results are in.  So look for the latest marketing campaigns from environmental activism corporations soon.

Why does anyone do surveys on what people feel guilty about rather than what people care about?  They do it to sell it to environmental groups and no environmental group raises money on a ‘things are great’ platform, they raise money by telling you how much you are a parasite for Gaia. The Eco Pulse survey tells marketers at Greenpeace, Sierra Club, etc. what your weak points are.

And environmental guilt – sorry, ‘new avenues for engaging the public in sustainability efforts’ – is Big Business.  Even the survey is Big Business. If you want to read the full Eco Pulse results created by the Shelton Group, it will cost you $4,500. And they only talked to 1,013 people so why charge a fortune for the results?  Hey, don’t ask that question.  Do you hate the Earth or something?

Fertilizers?  Go kick rocks, activists, the science is in and people feel no guilt at all. Light bulbs? Ditto. Banning incandescents was another in a giant list of things for social authoritarian progressives to outlaw, but people resented it and don’t like that they will need to call in a Haz-Mat team if they break one of those ugly CFL bulbs. So they feel no guilt at all about the old bulbs they began hoarding.

Middle class people felt the most guilt, the survey found.  Rich people, not so much.  Ditto for poor people. Rich people I can understand.  They are buying organic food and hybrid cars so they have already done their part for the planet.  If the food rots, they can ship it to poor peoples’ yards and call it compost. Poor people, of course, can’t afford to eat organic food, they eat at Burger King and don’t let it go to waste, nor do they feel guilty about the wrapper – it’s recyclable! Plus, if they know if they are throwing away that average  of $600 a year in food they are not actually poor.

Basically, there is a hierarchy of needs.  You can’t afford to care about the planet if you can’t afford food or shelter.  This empathy and understanding is what the anti-science groups behind movements like Prop 37 don’t understand; not everyone lives in an agricultural Mecca like California.  Organic farming limitations brought forth concepts like worrying over The Population Bomb in the 1960s.  What prevented mass starvation, food wars and the plot of Soylent Green was food science; farmers were able to grow more food while dematerializing’ – they used less land than ever and the places where modern agriculture took root led to huge increases in wealth among the poorest, which led to more education and culture.  People who are against that are basically arguing that the poorest people should be permanently ghetto-ized or be stuck as modern feudal Serfs working for giant organic corporations as sharecroppers.