Go green young man.
A twist on Horace Greeley’s famous advice is growing from a suggestion into a media mandate. Everywhere, they tell us, America and the world are “going green.”
It’s more than just a buzzword term for the eco-elite. The mainstream media are saying people are going green as a reminder that we, too, must join them or risk being behind the times. Or worse, conservative.
Just this year, the three broadcast TV networks have cited the term more than 90 times. It defines everything from organic wine to former steel towns. Even the Vatican is “going green.” In print media, there are more than 2,800 uses of the expression since April Fool’s Day, appropriately enough.
Sometime Republican/sometime Democrat Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a plan to convert New York’s taxi fleet to hybrid vehicles early in June. According to the June 4 U.S. News & World Report, the mandate for big green taxis is “going green.”
NBC’s Brian Williams told viewers that even “a piece of the rust belt that has seen better days may now be getting a new life by going green.” That June 11 piece was about the one-time Bethlehem Steel location of Lackawanna, N.Y., which is embracing windmill power.
Journalists aren’t so much discovering a movement as creating one. Every bit of eco-insanity is now written about, talked about and celebrated – all under the journalism-approved color scheme.
You know how ridiculous things are when Ebony is “going green.” That’s right, one of the foremost magazines of the black experience is telling Americans about the green experience. “With so much focus on the eco-friendly Green movement, we’re going green with a selection of green vegetables,’ writes Charlotte Lyons in the July 2007 issue. Apparently, ebony and ivory are out, but ebony and emerald are in.
Green isn’t just “the new black,” as The New York Times claims, it’s the new white – good enough for weddings. ABC’s weatherman-turned-color coordinator Sam Champion said a wedding can be “green and great” during an April 2 broadcast. According to the eco-wedding Champion, the exchange of vows isn’t just about love “for one another.” Now, in the trendy left-wing world, couples are “sharing their love for the world around them and the environment.”
NBC beat Champion to the altar with a green story of its own nearly a month before. That one quoted a bride who actually expected “guests will take the subway to the wedding” or “share a ride.”
The rest of the wedding procession dwelled on “the commitment they’ve made to being environmentally responsible,” according to NBC’s Lester Holt. The March 4 story said the couple was planning everything green from an organic menu of “free range” chicken breasts to using recycled paper and even organic soap in the bathroom.
Holt did point out that “an organic wedding tends to be more expensive.” That’s the one green factor the media are slow to report: the cash.
Most of the solutions – hybrid cars, solar panels, organic foods – are the kind only the elite can afford. The billions or trillions of dollars in costs associated with this trend are one of the great untold stories of the eco-movement.
Much to its credit, USA Today pointed out  in April that “doing the right thing isn’t easy.” The paper explained that “gas-electric hybrids typically cost thousands of dollars more than cars with gas-only engines” and can take years just to break even.
The newspaper acknowledged that “most Americans get more uncomfortable with the idea of going green if it were to mean limiting choices in daily life.” An April ABC News/Washington Post/Stanford University poll confirmed the public’s view – about 80 percent of respondents opposed higher taxes on electricity, and close to 70 percent opposed more gasoline taxes.
Limiting choices – that’s exactly what the green agenda does, whether by government mandate or not. Time magazine, which measures time as “BG” or “Before Gore,” admits companies are changing everything. Businesses “from global empire to mom-and-pop, from high tech to local government are embracing environmentally friendlier architecture, supplies and attitudes.”
Notice the term is “environmentally friendlier,” not “customer friendlier.”
Browbeaten by the media and eco-extremists, businesses are creating a cradle-to-grave eco-state filled with “biodegradable” diapers and caskets. A June 25 People magazine piece profiles biodegradable caskets. Unto dust thou shall return; just hurry up about it to keep the eco-freaks happy. The story described “eco-friendly interment” in four cemeteries.
In between birth and death, we are supposed to be “going green” even in the bathroom, according to the Modesto Bee. At least that puts the green movement right where it’s taking the rest of us – down the drain.
Dan Gainor is The Boone Pickens Free Market Fellow and director of the Media Research Center’s Business & Media Institute.