Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Earth Day guilt merchants

At a local middle school here in Palo Alto today, in observance of Earth Day, students who arrived at school on foot or on bicycles were shunted over to a table where they were given a treat. But those students who had been driven to school were "greeted" by a parent volunteer holding a large black balloon, who harangued each disembarking kid with the news that this balloon represented the volume of carbon they had just shamefully dumped into the air during their drive, and why didn't they walk or bicycle like they had been encouraged to do?

What a nice way to start a kid's day.

It's another example of environmentalism gone nuts. Obviously, if a kid's parents say they're going to drive the kid to school, does Balloon Lady really expect the kid to stamp his feet and scream until mom agrees to let him walk? And she has probably also not considered that a lot of students at this particular school were coming from Los Alto Hills, and walking or biking just isn't safe from the distance they'd have to come, and across the crowded, fast-moving expressways they'd have to cross. Nope, the only thing on Balloon Lady's mind is the these kids' heinous offense against the fashionable Earth-worship that has displaced ordinary religion for a lot of the good citizens of this burgh.