With all these thoughts about what it means to be green, it’s perhaps interesting to think about what it will mean to be green in 100 years from now. That’s because, 100 years from now, being ‘green’ will be cool. Being green will be hip. Everyone in fact, will be green. Or at least the cool people will, those other ones don’t matter. And I mean genuinely cool. Celebrities or yuppies that profess to be green today often aren’t all that green, and if they are really green, they’re often not that cool.
Take for example, George Clooney. He’s so green he drives TWO hybrid cars. Not to mention all that flying around the globe (a necessary burden for celebrities, you understand). He also had a pet pig, and to my mind at least, nothing else on this fine green earth could be cooler than having a pet pig. But pigs aren’t green, as they eat lots. If everyone had a pet pig it’d be really unsustainable, not to mention smelly. Thus Clooney is undoubtedly cool, but not so undoubtedly green.
Then on the other hand we have celebrities that seem genuinely green but are generally uncool. Remember Daryl Hannah? Of course you don’t, she’s uncool (but cast your mind back to the lady with an eye patch in Kill Bill)! That’s because she spent some time in jail last year protesting against the construction of the keystone XL pipeline. That was valuable time she could have spent travelling the globe to promote her latest film, Eldorado. Exactly, you’ve never heard of it. She also once spent 23 days atop a tree in support of urban farming. And if you’re reading this and thinking those things are cool it’s probably because you’re already a greenie, and guess what, you’re by default not cool (see below). Moral of the story, you can’t maintain your cool celebrity status whilst getting arrested. For further proof of this, google ‘Lindsay Lohan’.
But what about ordinary people being green, it’s the cool thing these days, right? Wrong! Being genuinely green means doing uncool things. It might mean washing less frequently. It might mean buying fewer things – no iPhone 5! No Samsung tablet! People that don’t own these things are uncool. Even worse, it might mean travelling less, and if one thing is cool today, it’s travelling. Doesn’t matter what you do once you’re there, you could go to Starbucks or do generic local activities that everyone does and then post pictures of the local cuisine on Facebook, with obligatory jealousy inducing captions, whatever it is, you are cooler for doing it abroad. But especially somewhere far, far away. That’s because getting to ‘know’ cultures from very away is hip. It’s exotic and makes you appear cultured. Imagine if you told a friend that you went on holiday to Belgium. Now imagine they tell you they went to Egypt. That friend is now cooler than you. Not just because Egypt is further away (from Europe) but because no matter where you’re from, Egypt is always cooler than Belgium. Even Libyans would rather go to Egypt than Belgium. Hell, even Egyptians would rather go to Egypt than Belgium. And they would all be the cooler for it.
I cheated with my example, but it was worth it to make fun of Belgium.
Worst of all, being green might mean being Vegetarian. Like gingers, it’s still perfectly acceptable in modern society to mock vegetarians like no other category of people. This one below is my favourite.
Despite repeated efforts by well-known vegetarians such as Paul McCartney and – I really can’t think of another and am too lazy to Google it – others , vegetarianism is still not accepted by mainstream society. Go home to mum and tell her that you’re going veggie and mum shall swiftly proceed to mock you. Mine would at least. Your friends will also look at you suspiciously, even with confusion, like small children [SPOILER ALERT!] being told for the first time that Santa Claus doesn’t exist. Men especially might question your sexuality, should you also be male. If you are female then they might make crude jokes.
Fit into one of these demographics? Feeling quite offended? Good, that was the point, but fear not! In 2113 being green will be cool. Indeed, just like tech geeks that were once viciously mocked without mercy but now rule the world*, greenies will also emerge from this storm of cruelty to claim their place on the throne of mainstream society. Green will finally, be cool. The change for this shift, in no small part thanks to the pioneers of yesteryear and today, will come about because just like the tech geeks saw the digital revolution coming and made it their own, the greens saw the, erm, green revolution coming. The greenies will be proven right about everything. It will be proven that animals are actually conscious of their surroundings and are living in terrible agony every day on meat and dairy farms, just as it will that you don’t actually have to wash all that much. The climate will have changed, perhaps by as much as 6 degrees, in which case there won’t be much exotic travelling because all the exotic places won’t be there anymore. Basically, greens will have been right all along, by which point green habits will be essential, so everyone will do it. And if everyone does it, then it will be cool. Celebrities like Daryl Hannah will have small shrines erected in their honour. Paul McCartney and all those other ones will be spoken of in revered tones. “They were right all along” the youth of the future will say, “why did no one listen to them?”. Celebrities won’t fly across the world to promote movies and songs; they will simply have a body double in each country (that’s left) to do that for them. It’ll be greener – and cooler. But the planet will be hotter, which is obviously not cool. But don’t worry about that, be cool and get back on Youtube.
* See this video of Bill Gates jumping over a chair. Back then it was just geeky Bill Gates being geeky Bill Gates. But today it’s, “BILL GATES JUMPING OVER A CHAIR, HOW COOL IS HE? ROFL!”
This article was originally posted on http://differentshadesofgreen.org/