When you’re right, you’re right…

For the most part I think [tag]Senator James Inhofe[/tag] is a jackass. His kneejerk, reactionary stance on global climate change is little more than an ostrich sticking his head in the sand. But, as the headline says, when you’re right you’re right.

Inhofe’s latest rant is dead on the money. He’s challenged publicity-hunting, self-absorbed media celebrities like [tag]Sheryl Crow[/tag] to put their proverbial money where their mouths are regarding their own carbon footprints. I agree. If you’re going to spout off about a political or social cause you’ve got to be willing to go along with what you’re suggesting, nay demanding of others. So, Sheryl, time to pack up the tour buses, stop hopping on airplanes to jet around the globe for personal appearances and junkets to celebrity vacation paradises. Time to do what you’re insisting everyone else in the US do – make a much smaller [tag]personal carbon footprint[/tag].

I’ve been down this road before many times in my professional life. I’ve been volunteered on to so many so-called “green” committees at work it makes me gag just thinking about it. In each and every instance all that was ever discussed was how to most efficiently collect and sort our office waste (primarily white paper and aluminum beverage cans) and redirect it out of the waste stream into the recycling stream. Now don’t get me wrong, recycling is a fine thing, but it pales as a waste reduction method in comparison to simply reducing overall consumption. Want to produce less waste? Consume less stuff. Likewise, want to put less carbon into the air? Then burn less hydrocarbon fuel.

Actually, the single dumbest group of enviro-hypocrites I’ve yet met were a contingent of punk rock musicians and fans I used to interact with online and in person on a regular basis. They were quick to preach to and harass their peers about the evils of oil companies while each and every one of them was actively contributing to the success of the petrochemicals industry by either amassing gigantic record/CD collections or producing piles of records/CDs for sale. I’d say Sheryl Crow is the mainstream pop culture equivalent of my former punk rock pals. She’s a very public example of the nitwittery that afflicts Hollywood and the music business.

As I’ve said many times – any time you find yourself being preached at by a pop musician about a social or political cause you really need to take a step back and consider the source for a moment. Musicians are not renowned for their thoughtfulness or vast intellectual capacity for reason or logic. There are exceptions, of course, but for the most part rock stars are not a good source of balanced, reasoned analysis of the troubles of the day. Their business is entertainment and appealing to broad, rather unrefined emotions.

Look at it this way – the smartest guy in [tag]the Ramones[/tag] was Joey, but he generally wasn’t responsible for writing their most memorable songs. That task was undertaken by Dee Dee, who was if not mentally retarded surely very mentally dysfunctional, and Johnny, who was an outright and unabashed fascist. Or, if you want a more mainstream example – The smartest guy in [tag]U2[/tag] is quite obviously [tag]Adam Clayton[/tag], who keeps his mouth shut, does business under a normal name, wears sensible clothing and is married to a supermodel, not [tag]Bono[/tag], who has his heart in the right place but who I am almost positive is about as bright as a small appliance bulb but who insists in weighing in loudly on a new cause every decade.

Maybe this is a non-issue. Senator Inhofe is a moron. Sheryl Crow is a moron. Maybe they cancel each other out. But even a broken clock is right once a day, as they say.

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