Yesterday was Earth Day, if you care, or as I like to think of it, the commemoration of Vladimir Lenin’s birthday. (According to Kathy, the first Earth Day was intentionally planned to coincide with the birthday of one of history’s most notorious villains.)
And what’s Earth Day without
limousine liberals convincing themselves how earth-conscious they are as they engage in typical slacktivism. (Although I must say I’m amused by the New York Times’s snarky tone throughout the article, subtly slamming the socialites for their cluelessness and elitism.)
One of New York’s glittering socialites is married to an owner of an eco-product company so she’s engaging in a little upscale Tupperware party activism, bringing in her multimillionaire friends to discuss earth-friendly cleaning products and low-carbon-footprint lightbulbs.
Yet, amidst all the moralizing about the ozone layer and CFCs and the environment, we come to the conclusion that, like Al Gore, the rich can afford to buy their eco-indulgences in the form of carbon offsets and good deeds while the poor must make do with buying the more expensive eco-friendly goods they can’t afford.
Following paragraph after paragraph from the eco-Amway saleswoman, we get the nub of the matter.
Still, she has no plans to reduce the family’s significant carbon footprint by, say, selling the Manhattan second home. “I’m not a perfect person,” she said. “I’m not the greenest woman in America.” And there was scant indication that other guests, most of whom, presumably, knew their way up the steps of a private jet, were contemplating major lifestyle cutbacks. Glancing about the room, Ms. Barnett said, “We aren’t all going to move to one-bedroom apartments.”
She would do what she could, she said, pointing to the correlation between commercial cleaners and the toxic residue that sometimes lurks in the tub, forming that grimy bathtub ring. “Basically your kids are bathing in the Love Canal,” she warned, her comments drawing a shudder. [It’s not “the” Love Canal; it’s just
“Love Canal”, as in the name of a location in the town of Niagara Falls, New York. And she’s a journalist!]
In total, Ms. Barnett’s informal consciousness-raising resulted in 65 orders for Shaklee’s $140 Get Clean kits, a showing that might make any one of the company’s 750,000 distributors proud.
Ms. Rockefeller wanted four kits, one as a gift to her housekeeper. “I want to spread the word,” she said.
She plans to practice conservation, to a point. Energy-saving light bulbs are fine — for the utility closet, perhaps. In other rooms, “they don’t give a very pretty light,” she said.
Taking in such reservations, Ms. Barnett remained sanguine. “This is the grass-roots way to help save the world,” she said.
Yes, convincing millionaire New York socialites to change the bulbs in their utility closets and give eco-clean kits to their housekeepers is so grassroots. Just another example of slacktivism, this time Fifth Avenue style.