By Alan Caruba
This first appeared here in December of 2007. I am running it in August because I have linked so many articles recently showing how "green" is such a scam that I thought it was appropriate irrespective of the time of the year.
In case you haven’t yet figured out that environmentalism is just one vast scheme to part you from your money either directly or with government subsidies for "eco-friendly" nonsense like ethanol in your gasoline, I give you EcoMall.com.
For those with weak stomachs, read no further. “With the distressing state of the environment on people’s minds this year, they are thinking more than ever about the environmental impact of their gift choices.”
Raise your hand if (1) the environment is distressing to you or (2) if you give a rat’s patoot about the environmental impact of the gifts you intend to give?
The 14-year old Eco Mall is just a marketing scheme and one that, like most environmental schemes, uses guilt and fear to get you to part with your money. “The news is filled with stories that link our consumer habits and the products we buy with our health and the health of the planet.”
I cannot think of a single occasion I or anyone I know was worried about the "health of the planet" when picking out a product of any description. This kind of supposed awareness that every single product we purchase has anything to do with the planet’s welfare is borderline insane. The planet is billions of years old. Will buying an eco-product really make any difference?
“2007 may be the year when the awareness of all things ‘green’ really hits the mainstream.” Well, if you’re running an operation called the Eco Mall, I suppose you surely hope people will fall for the foolishness of paying more for the privilege of being greener than thou. This is the same marketing ploy used to sell obscenely priced “organic” food.
The Eco Mall has more than 60 shopping categories filled with items by “socially responsible manufacturers and distributors.” Give me a break! Just how stupid am I supposed to be to care whether an item is produced by a “socially responsible manufacturer”? As opposed to what?
When it comes to imports from China, can I really know if the manufacturer is using slave labor? Odds are he's paying far less than an American competitor. Much of the manufacturing that used to be done in America has been shipped overseas. The result is cheap prices in Wal-Mart and fewer "sustainably" paying jobs for Americans and our growing population of illegal aliens.
Apparently “socially responsible” just means higher cost to the consumer. As for all those companies advertising on television to demonstrate their environmental credentials, do not be fooled. BP Oil, for example, has a remarkably poor safety record regarding their facilities and earlier this year replaced their very Green CEO in favor of managing the company to produce something called a profit.
But if you are still idiotic enough to buy at the Eco Mall, you can purchase “organic” cotton clothing, coffee or chocolates. The suggestion is that anything not made of cotton is not organic, i.e. natural, but what about wool from sheep? Silk from silk worms? As for synthetic materials, they are probably some of the most wonderful inventions of the past century. Coffee and chocolate start out as something grown in the earth. That means that all coffee and chocolate is organic. If you think that pesticides and herbicides are not used to protect such valuable crops, you might as well move to Mars.
You can buy “natural body care” products at the Eco Mall. Do you have any idea what chemicals are in soap? Get real! There are all manner of soaps from the strictly practical to the exotically perfumed, but all are organic because all use chemicals and materials that begin life as something on or in the Earth or made from animal fats and such.
“Going green is such a rewarding journey” says the Eco Mall news release, but mostly if you are the Eco Mall, selling over-priced products to people dumb enough to buy into the whole Green message of moral superiority.
Don’t get Green-malled. Get smart!
Alan’s work has a sense of timelessness about it, so anyone perusing these articles in the future will find them equally insightful as they were when originally written. For Alan's latest thoughts go to his blog, Warning Signs. For his past works go to The National Anxiety Center. I would also recommend reading his last book, Right Answers.