Poor Kermit. He lived too soon. Had he waited a few years, he would have found it all-too-easy, indeed almost mandatory to be green. “Environmentalism,” as the philosopher Harvey Mansfield observed years ago, “is school prayer for liberals.” It has that Award-Winning, Never-Fail, Left-Liberal combination of 1) providing its exponents with an ever renewable (and hence environmentally sound) source of self satisfaction (“I recycle/drive a hybrid/don’t use plastic/only bathe weekly . . . Do you?”) and 2) it is infinitely elastic: you can never be green enough. There are always new prohibitions to impose, new causes to espouse, new ways to demonstrate your moral superiority over your neighbor. What great religion! The Green shall inherit the earth . . . .
The always-sensible Thomas Sowell makes a further pertinent point about the new Kermits of the world. “At one time,” Sowell observes, “to call someone ‘green’ was to disparage them as inexperienced or immature. Today, to call someone green is to exalt them as one of the environmentalist saviors of the planet. But it is amazing how many people are green in both senses.” Indeed.