As if I needed any sort of confirmation....
Today, as I was making my appointed rounds, selling Green Energy, I made an executive decision and decided to change my hunting grounds. Things were rather slow this morning, and I've always believed that you do your best hunting where the herd is. I figured that if you really, really, REALLY want to sell Green Energy, you should go to a neighborhood where the residents are rather well known for their social consciousness and hippie lifestyle, someplace where that sort of thing might truly have mass appeal.
So, I fixed my bayonet and headed into Tribeca (for those of you who don't know it, it is a neighborhood on the lower west side of Manhattan. The moniker stands for "Triangle-Below-Canal Street"). Surely, if there were Green-loving, tree-hugging, save-Mother-Gaia types anywhere in New York City, they would most likely be found here. After all, the neighborhood is absolutely plastered with all sorts of fliers and posters and whatnot extolling the virtues of environmentalism (it apparently being lost upon those who post such things that trees have died so that they can post public notices and announcements on lampposts and every bare, vertical surface). There are literally hundreds of small businesses in the area who make a huge production about how Green they are. They're almost giddy when they run down their competitors who may be less green, wearing their Green 'lifestyle marketing' as a badge of courage and honor, denoting moral superiority. But guess what I found out?
I've discovered that while quite a number of people were perfectly pleased to see someone who represented a Green company, and even eager to discuss all aspects and benefits of Green Energy, that...no one was actually willing to buy any.
Now, having a day where you've drilled a number of dry holes is a rite of passage in the world of sales. I didn't expect everyone to sign on the dotted line, after all. It's unrealistic to think otherwise, but you'd think at least one upscale bistro serving hand-crafted coffees (that was a phrase one store actually had painted on their window), or a gluten-free bakery or two might actually do something about a subject they apparently care about and take great pains to inform their customers they care about.
So, I figure the problem is one of three things:
a) I had a bad day at the office. These things happen. Shrug it off and go get 'em tomorrow.
b) Everyone is full of shit. Most people are. In fact, I believe half the problems in this world could be cured if three-quarters of the population were given a high-pressure enema.
c) "Green" as a term no longer has any meaning, and like a great many things in our present society, it has simply become part of a marketing plan.
Now, I've run down Greens in this blog quite a number of times. Usually for some of their dumber ideas or more insidious excesses. But, come on! You scream that capitalism is evil and never does anything that's good for anyone, and then when evil capitalism finally responds to your desires you completely ignore it? Or worse, you decline exactly what you've been crying for because it might actually cost you money. Confronted by a choice between consciousness and pocketbook, the pocketbook still always wins. And the people who shout the loudest about the 'rape of the planet' are usually the first people to avoid taking any meaningful action.
They're also the first to insist that while they can talk the talk, they don't necessarily have to walk the walk. "Caring" is simply enough. Making others "aware" is apparently a full-time effort. They don't truly mean it; it's simply an affectation.
The next time I see someone waving a "Save the Whales" placard, I'm going to punch them in the mouth.
Update: Heh. Check THIS out.