Thursday, April 26, 2007

Dumb Enviro of the Week: Sheryl Crow

If there's anything that makes it difficult to be an environmentalist (other than Gino’s continued Troglodytism), it's when a celerity says something very, very silly, proving once more there is absolutely no connection between the ability to make good public policy and the ability to play chords while standing up.

Today's example: Sheryl Crow. Ms. Crow, the erstwhile Armstrong marriage-wrecker, has shared her environmental vision of the world. Apparently, Sheryl's very concerned about de-forestation and paper production. So on April 19th she blogged about a couple of possible ways to cut down on wasteful paper usage.

No, no, not reining in CD packaging so there are no more 13-page foldout posters inside CDs, it's about our wasteful toilet paper usage:

I propose a limitation be put on how many sqares (SIC) of toilet paper can be used in any one sitting. Now, I don't want to rob any law-abiding American of his or her God-given rights, but I think we are an industrious enough people that we can make it work with only one square per restroom visit, except, of course, on those pesky occasions where 2 to 3 could be required.

Sheryl, Sheryl, Sheryl.

Look, I don't know what you're eating, but when normal people eat food and poop, well, sometimes it gets a little messy. And one square of TP ain't going to cut it. Sometimes, after a particularly hot chili, why, I bring an extra roll in there.

How about this - why don't you cut down the size of your entourage when you're on tour? Take a look at her typical tour contract. It specifies parking space for three tractor trailers, four buses, and six cars. Now, compare that to the mighty Jethro Tull, who require only one 45 foot bus with a trailer. (Ian and the boys also have a contract rider specifying that all unused catering food go to a local soup kitchen. And he doesn't feel the need to pat himself on the back about it...)

But really, what do you expect, she's a rock star, not a Mensa member. Here's what she wrote after a visit to New Orlean's 9th Ward:

"-the irony is that many of those who left, were happy to leave- they were living in conditions so unbearable anyway, life away from New Orleans is maybe our concern for a displaced community is...misplaced?"

Which makes her sound a lot like Rush Limbaugh. We shouldn't be too concerned about folks who lost their homes and possessions, because, well, their homes and possessions kind of sucked anyway? Actually, it's not Limbaugh, it's more like Marie Antoinette, who responded that the peasants who were out of bread and hungry should eat cake instead.

Actually, Sheryl's now saying the whole toilet paper thing, as well as her other suggestion that we not use paper napkins and wipe our mouths on disposable sleeves, were jokes. I can see that. And lord knows, I wouldn't want the Drudgereport to be running excerpts from my blog everyday. People may take things out of context. (or what’s worse, may not!)

But this is a teachable moment: actually, Sheryl's got a point there, buried within her nanny-like tut-tutting about our apparent wasteful hygiene habits. Trees are wonderful "eaters" of carbon, sucking it out of the atmosphere and using it to grow. So we like trees. The rainforests and forested areas are what we call “carbon sinks” because they “sink” carbon back into the ground. You remove too many trees and you upset the Earth’s natural carbon cycle even more.

But, actually, trees are best at sucking up carbon when they're growing. So paper companies which cut down a lot of trees, but also plant more to replace the trees than they cut down, aren’t as bad as you may think, Sheryl. They produce a lot of fast-growing, young trees to suck up carbon. And unless you're incinerating the waste, the paper ends up, at worst, sitting in a landfill, becoming part of the earth again.

So we shouldn't go around talking about people using less toilet paper and risking serious cases of monkey-butt. We should talk about rules for responsible forestry and requirements that companies practice sustainable wood harvesting techniques. There’s a cost to those linen napkins too, you know, in terms of water used to wash them and the electricity needed to dry them.

And really, trust me on this. You want me to use as much TP as possible. Really.


Avitable said...


Out of her fucking mind.

Gino said...

but if you use both sides, it's like having two squares.

Kal said...

I use pinecones. Really gets in all the nooks and crannies.

And Gino, no comment about the new colors?

Callie said...

Kal -

new layout is MUCH better than the polka dots. Much.

And most of those "star" environmentalists need to just shut the hell up. Most of them don't have a full brain between them, and they end up sounding like morons.

I mean, if she can make it work with one square, good for her. I, personally, LIKE to eat, and must suffer the consequenses that only a good handful of squares will fix.

Kal said...

Thanks Callie.

I'm with you. And their moronity hurts the legitimate folks out there trying to talk about sensible solutions.

People aren't idiots. They see through vapid alarmism (particularly when espoused by "do as I say, not as I do" types), but response to commonsense.

(well, not all people... Ahem... Gino...)

Kal said...

err... "respond" to commonsense...

Gotta remember to re-read before I hit "publish"...

Gino said...

less gay, more grey.

definatly better.
and i like that the bricks are back.