Monday, May 7, 2007

An ‘Eco-Criminal’

I thought we were doing modestly okay when it came to trying to doing right by the environment.

We recycle as much as possible, even though The Spouse says I carelessly hurl too many things into our recycling receptacles that our local trash folks won’t take. We reuse stuff. We’ve got some fluorescent light bulbs. We keep the house cool in the winter (I frequently accuse The Spouse of trying to freeze me out with Jimmy Carteresque thermostat settings) and don’t crank up the A/C a ton in the summer.

But according to two environmental advocates in the news recently, we should hang our heads in shame because we’ve already, personally, killed two dozen polar bears, a whole flock of migrating birds and melted approximately four ice bergs. How?

Well, we have three children in our house.

And we drive a mini-van.

A University College London professor recommended that his own countrymen and women all have “one less child,” saying that big families should be socially discouraged as an environmental scourge. “The decision to have children should be seen as a very big one and one that should take the environment into account,” Professor John Guillebaud told the Sunday Times.

On a more local note, at the behest of an environmental actitivst, the legislative board governing the town of Brookline is asking voters in the community’s Town Meeting to approve a measure to double the excise tax on SUVs and minivans (which are included as evil vehicles, according to a spokesman who was on local radio this morning) because they’re not fuel efficient. This conveniently ignores the fact that the government mandates that young children be strapped into safety seats which don’t fit into smaller vehicles, thus our mini-van, purchased when our twins and younger son were 2, 2 and a newborn because their seats wouldn’t fit into a sedan.

I wonder which would be considered a worse eco-crime by these activists: Having more than one kid or driving around in a minivan? Put ‘em together, and include the fact that I use more than one square EVERY time I use restroom facilities, and I should be on some sort of eco-Most Wanted poster.

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