That Green Agenda (Opinion)

by Talk Business & Politics ([email protected]) 64 views 

Lt. Gov. Mark Darr sends out an occasional opinion column, and the one he sent out a couple of weeks ago bore many of the hallmarks of a rant. From the get-go, he announced he was “tired of the constant barrage of messages everywhere telling me to ‘go green.’”

Feeling guilt-tripped into actually considering the environment when making consumer decisions can be tiring, we suppose. So can always having to consider whether one is following the law, treating other people properly, eating the right amounts of the right foods and making wise spending decisions. Living deliberately is so much harder than living randomly.

Opinions are, of course, like noses. But the main problem we saw with Darr’s heartfelt expression of disgust is that he treated all environmental initiatives with the same derision. In Darr’s worldview, recycled paper, solar panels, energy-efficient vehicles, building standards and ethanol are all equally ridiculous ideas that are deliberately designed to kill jobs and limit freedom.

We happen to agree on some of Darr’s points. The U.S. Green Building Council should be more inclusive when it comes to sustainability standards for building materials. Turning corn into fuel is not our preferred path to energy independence. We much prefer the idea of higher fuel efficiency, and we do hope to see the practical use of electric vehicles, even if our lieutenant governor mocks the concept.

And, unlike Darr, we do believe that going green creates jobs. The petroleum industry was once new technology. Natural gas is creating jobs all over Arkansas, and so is wind power. Mark Darr, a government official, seems to think that the “green agenda” is a government plot. Someone should tell that to the folks at Walmart, which is a global leader in the tiresome business of going green.