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Ed Driscoll

Gee, as Opposed to Everything Else Produced by Hollywood?

August 29th, 2010 - 1:33 pm

“DVDs are wasteful…It’s a consumer product like any consumer product.”

Great moments in eco-hypocrisy from James Cameron, as spotted by Deceiver.com:

DVDs are wasteful. I think there’s less plastic in a DVD than there is in a VHS. It’s a consumer product like any consumer product. I think ultimately we’re going to bypass a physical medium and go directly to a download model and then it’s just bits moving in the system. And then the only impact to the environment is the power it takes to run the computers, run the devices. I think that we’re not there yet, but we’re moving that direction. Twentieth Century Fox has made a commitment to be carbon neutral by the end of 2010. Because of some of these practices that can’t be changed, the only way to do that is to buy carbon offsets. You know, which again, these are interim solutions. But at least it shows that there’s a consciousness that we have to be dealing with carbon pollution and sustainability. …

These are things the studios need to be thinking about. When I do my next film, we’re going to go much farther than we did in terms of running a green set. You know, look at a typical film set. There’s thousands of plastic water bottles that are used in a given week and that all needs to be revisited. Honestly, the truth is, we have to revisit almost every part of our lives and our existence over the next few years. Energy consumption, I think, being the biggest one. Energy and global warming are interlinked issues obviously, and global warming is going to take us out long before plastic pollution.

As Deceiver notes though, Cameron, while simultaneously trashing DVDs as a wasteful consumer product, is fervently hoping that consumers buy at least one of the three versions of Avatar that Cameron is hawking:

But he’s the guy behind the three separate Avatar DVD releases in the first freakin’ place. There was one released on Earth Day, there’s another coming out for Christmas (in his words, “the all-singing, all-dancing, all-bells-and-whistles DVD”), and the 3D version set for release next year to give people enough time to get rid of their rinky-dink hamster-powered televisions and upgrade to an energy-sucking 3D-enabled plasma screen and the accompanying 3D Blu-Ray DVD player.

Plus those 3D glasses produced en masse for theater-goers? Yup, plastic.

And don’t forget the Avatar-themed toys and lunchboxes and Halloween costumes and sheet sets available at Wal-Mart.

But he’s not the one buying all that crap. You are, so you’re the wasteful one, see. He’s just giving you what you want, and preaching about plastic bottles and energy consumption in the meantime.

I think what he really means is: Die, Earth! Die!

If Cameron really took global warming seriously and wanted to make a statement, he’d retire from the film industry — it’s all wasteful consumer product. as the Professor likes to say, I’ll believe there’s a crisis when the people who tell me there’s a crisis start acting like there’s a crisis themselves.

Speaking of which, the other day in Britain’s Guardian, another member of the doomsday elite wrote:

Like them, we aren’t robbers, kidnappers or terrorists. We are secretaries, parents, cooks, community workers, architects and saxophonists. We are part of a growing movement of concerned citizens who are prepared to put our bodies in the way of dangerous high-carbon developments.

We do so because we believe this is justified, proportionate and necessary in the face of catastrophic climate change, and that the negative consequences of our actions are more purposeful than the consequences of continued inaction. Sometimes, we believe, we have to break the law to disrupt lawful activities that are harming the prospects of future generations.

Well, start by protesting movie productions, old boy! As one of their most famous directors admits, it’s “a consumer product like any consumer product.” Protest rock concerts — what useless wastes of gigawatts of electricity, also designed to help sell CDs and DVDs.

But I keed, I keed, as the leftwing poseurs I quoted above surely do as well. Fred Siegel spots the moment when self-styled “Progressivism” turned on itself, in a must-read piece in City Journal titled, “Progressives Against Progress –The rise of environmentalism poisoned liberals’ historical optimism.” As Siegel writes, “In 1972, Sir John Maddox, editor of the British journal Nature, noted that though it had once been usual to see maniacs wearing sandwich boards that proclaimed the imminent end of the Earth, they had been replaced by a growing number of frenzied activists and politicized scientists making precisely the same claim:”

If one were to pick a point at which liberalism’s extraordinary reversal began, it might be the celebration of the first Earth Day, in April 1970. Some 20 million Americans at 2,000 college campuses and 10,000 elementary and secondary schools took part in what was the largest nationwide demonstration ever held in the United States. The event brought together disparate conservationist, antinuclear, and back-to-the-land groups into what became the church of environmentalism, complete with warnings of hellfire and damnation. Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, the founder of Earth Day, invoked “responsible scientists” to warn that “accelerating rates of air pollution could become so serious by the 1980s that many people may be forced on the worst days to wear breathing helmets to survive outdoors. It has also been predicted that in 20 years man will live in domed cities.”

Thanks in part to Earth Day’s minions, progress, as liberals had once understood the term, started to be reviled as reactionary. In its place, Nature was totemized as the basis of the authenticity that technology and affluence had bleached out of existence. It was only by rolling in the mud of primitive practices that modern man could remove the stain of sinful science and materialism. In the words of Joni Mitchell’s celebrated song “Woodstock”: “We are stardust / We are golden / And we got to get ourselves back to the garden.”

In his 1973 book The Death of Progress, Bernard James laid out an argument already popularized in such bestsellers as Charles Reich’s The Greening of America and William Irwin Thompson’s At the Edge of History. “Progress seems to have become a lethal idée fixe, irreversibly destroying the very planet it depends upon to survive,” wrote James. Like Reich, James criticized both the “George Babbitt” and “John Dewey” versions of “progress culture”—that is, visions of progress based on rising material attainment or on educational opportunities and upward mobility. “Progress ideology,” he insisted, “whether preached by New Deal Liberals, conservative Western industrialists or Soviet Zealots,” always led in the same direction: environmental apocalypse. Liberalism, which had once viewed men and women as capable of shaping their own destinies, now saw humanity in the grip of vast ecological forces that could be tamed only by extreme measures to reverse the damages that industrial capitalism had inflicted on Mother Earth. It had become progressive to reject progress.

Rejected as well was the science that led to progress. In 1970, the Franco-American environmentalist René Dubos described what was quickly becoming a liberal consensus: “Most would agree that science and technology are responsible for some of our worst nightmares and have made our societies so complex as to be almost unmanageable.” The same distrust of science was one reason that British author Francis Wheen can describe the 1970s as “the golden age of paranoia.” Where American consumers had once felt confidence in food and drug laws that protected them from dirt and germs, a series of food scares involving additives made many view science, not nature, as the real threat to public health. Similarly, the sensational impact of the feminist book Our Bodies, Ourselves—which depicted doctors as a danger to women’s well-being, while arguing, without qualifications, for natural childbirth—obscured the extraordinary safety gains that had made death during childbirth a rarity in developed nations.

Crankery, in short, became respectable. In 1972, Sir John Maddox, editor of the British journal Nature, noted that though it had once been usual to see maniacs wearing sandwich boards that proclaimed the imminent end of the Earth, they had been replaced by a growing number of frenzied activists and politicized scientists making precisely the same claim. In the years since then, liberalism has seen recurring waves of such end-of-days hysteria. These waves have shared not only a common pattern but often the same cast of characters. Strangely, the promised despoliations are most likely to be presented as imminent when Republicans are in the White House. In each case, liberals have argued that the threat of catastrophe can be averted only through drastic actions in which the ordinary political mechanisms of democracy are suspended and power is turned over to a body of experts and supermen.

Hey, nobody said it would be easy to put the toothpaste back into the tube, while still wanting to own your private plane, live in a lavish mansion, and sell multiple director’s cut edition DVDs.

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