Let’s take the “logic” of Jeffrey Ball of the New Republic to its ultimate conclusion: As he wrote yesterday in a screedy, attention-whoring piece on “Valentine’s Day, the most saccharine holiday of the year.” (Link safe; goes to the conservative Weasel Zippers’ blog, so as not to reward obvious Web trolling with additional traffic):
According to the industry’s trade group, some 145 million Valentine’s cards are sold in the U.S. every year. Those cards are ridiculous not just because of the sappy sayings on their covers. They’re ridiculous because, on a planet of seven billion people, it’s nuts to buy a piece of card stock, place it into a paper envelope, and give it to someone who (I love you, honey) will smile at it, stuff it in a sock drawer, and, almost certainly, never glance at it again. It’s even crazier to buy said piece of card stock, drive it to the post office, and have the U.S. mail truck it to an airport and then fly it to its destination.
Sure, you could criticize on environmental grounds all manner of small pleasures, such as eating burgers, or driving gasoline-powered cars, or drinking frostily refrigerated beer (all habits in which I happily engage). Yet sending a greeting card is worse as an example of personal carelessness, because its greener alternative is so painless and, indeed, so much more convenient. I don’t like veggie burgers, I can’t afford a Tesla, and I hate warm beer. But forsaking a paper greeting card for an emailed Valentine? I’m pretty sure I—as well as my family and you—could live with that.
As of last summer, The New Republic’s print edition passed the 50,000 in paid circulation mark. Their readers can pay about $60 for two years’ worth of a monthly magazine whose glossy pages presumably impact the environment far more than the average greeting card, but they happily do so to have their egos fluffed in this manner. Perhaps TNR will take Ball’s advice and go digital … if only Ball had made this recommendation.
Back in 2007, when TNR had an earlier Chicken Little-themed article, Ann Althouse proffered “The global warming article I’d like to read in the newspaper:”
I keep reading about how hybrid cars and compact fluorescent lightbulbs can reduce the production of greenhouse gases, but I have yet to see an article about the savings that could be achieved if we were to stop delivery of newspapers and magazines and do all of our news reading on line.
For example, The New Republic has a nice “Good Citizen’s Guide to Reducing Global Warming” — PDF — but they never say you really ought to cancel your subscription to the physical magazine The New Republic and read on line. You should still pay them for full access on-line, and you should buy TimesSelect for the NYT, but isn’t it shameful to have this whole stack of newsprint delivered every day?
As the Professor likes to say, “I’ll believe it’s a crisis when the people who tell me it’s a crisis start acting like it’s a crisis.” Otherwise, this is simply the latest in a near-century old continuous sneer from the left at traditional morals. It’s an awfully tired pose in and of itself, but it looks even more pathetic when a huge glop of pseudo-science is poured over the offal being served up.
By the way, I wonder if Valentine’s Days amongst far left eco-cranks are as joyful and merry as the faces seen at the Christmas parties of the far left?
(Via James Lileks.)