Similar to my critique but much funnier, here’s Stanhope’s take on that most sacred institution (2:23min)
Archive for May, 2008
I was appalled when I stumbled over this Wired article “Inconvenient Truths: Get Ready to Rethink What It Means to Be Green” The title itself attempt to redefine what is green, to encapsulate a vast field of concern that is environmentalism to a singular issue that should trump any other: global warming.
“Winning the war on global warming requires slaughtering some of environmentalism’s sacred cows. We can afford to ignore neither the carbon-free electricity supplied by nuclear energy nor the transformational potential of genetic engineering. … The planet is already heating up, and the point of no return may be only decades away. So combating greenhouse gases must be our top priority, even if that means embracing the unthinkable.” (from link above)
I had already seen articles claiming that nuclear energy one solution to global warming , an affliction that took over a Greenpeace founder, and Al Gore’s popular documentary has brought the alarmist level to a critical mass that has neutralized many people’s ability to discern and acknowledge other environmental problems (like the World’s Rubbish Dump mentioned in this blog).
This is one of the key problems of “Green Capitalism” which conveniently ignores consumerism, population growth, and industrial society since addressing these may hinder the ability to generate profit, which at the end of it all, appears to be the driving agenda of the aforementioned article. While I agree with some of the points mentioned, like creating greener cities rather than relying on suburbia and buying used cars rather than new hybrids, resorting to nuclear energy with the waste associated with it, and bioengineering show that no other environmental cost would be too high to appease the absolutism of those who worship at the global warming altar.
An interesting question was raised by commenter spaceagesage about our poem “what is culture?” (likely to the last line “do we need another word to further divide”) that prompted this post, and I hope to address it.
I feel many are too quick to embrace labels, branding themselves (and others) as full incarnations of some concept, set of cultural currents, or lifestyle. What is often overlooked, likely because its so obvious, is to first acknowledge our shared humanity. Engaging as individuals, instead of as representatives of some group or other, will more likely increase the potential of understanding, instead as seeing one another as walking sets of memeplexes.
In social situations I’ve been asked the dreaded question “What’s your background?”, usually a innocent question fueled by curiosity and as a conversational icebreaker. It’s likely because there are some visual distinctions in appearance and I appear to have come from somewhere else, despite the fact that I speak fluent english. I came here as a young child so have no great insight into “another culture”. So I pleasantly reply that I’ve lived here most of my life, and that’s that. Then I feel we can engage as individuals without the other innocently constructing bias based on some past experience of a culture or ethnicity.
The relationship between identity and culture is a deep, complex one that we hope to explore in future posts. In a crowded world with great potential for conflict, the question of culture cannot be simply dismissed as a semantic one. How we negotiate this question may be pivotal on how we deal with common challenges we’re likely to face in the near future.