Sustainability put up to the test
Part I

This article was first published in Territorius, on July of 2008.

Those were times when I was much involved in the sustainability issues. I still worry about the paths we are all walking down, towards utopian eco-friendly solutions. I just don’t believe in them as much now.

I’m publishing this text once again, this time in English, as a warming up exercise for some convictions on sustainability, ecology and environmental protection, I will write about here.

But for now, just read the text having in mind the fact that the way people understand sustainability can be compared to an elephant inside a crystal ware store.

And that’s why I’ve decided to give this chronicle a sub-title:

Anti-ecological - Choice or fatality?

Today, being anti-ecological is a pure act of madness, some might say. A suicidal act, others would add. But to be ecological is like being a sheep in a herd, as large and hysterical, as it is stupid. That’s why, I believe in the first choice.

Just by admitting this, I might be killed the next time I leave the house. Maybe I’ll be expelled from the professional Association of Landscape Architects, to which I belong only because I was forced to. Perhaps I’ll be forbidden to run for some important election, which is, in fact a positive thing.

Or maybe you’ll not read this text until the end. Probably that’s the best thing to do.

First of all, what does it mean to be anti-ecological? Above all, it is everything an ecological person is not, that is a person who admits that the craziness our world lives in today is beyond any acceptable, credible and even healthy parameters. From the point of view of any other inhabited plane), Earth would be seen as an eco-fanatic planet, completely unaware of what’s really happening.

I’ve successfully become anti-ecological, even without realizing it. But I became aware of it, after having read about some ecological resort which is suggesting the construction of hundreds of mushroom-like houses, in a sacred place in the outskirts of Lisbon, the Atlantic wood. Hurray! Let’s all be ecological and buy an ecological house in this fabulous Eden, full of asphalt and stupid neighbors! Nevertheless, this event is irrelevant, when facing the global diarrhea, known as the Environmental Defense Movements.

The world has never faced such a global hysterical phenomenon. To be ecological can be slightly compared to what the word cool has come to mean, among the mid-90’s teenagers (I’ve never fully understood the concept behind the “cool banana” gum’s flavor. It Might as well be a “cool onion” gum’s flavor!) We can also compare the phenomenon to the magical properties of the Aloe Vera syrup. From yogurts to shampoos, from juices to lotions, anti-depressives, and, most probably condom flavors.

Will someone explain to me why I have to wake up to Leo di Caprio’s amazing face, saying some Al-Gorian’s profanities, about some themes that are completely abstract to him? Or to know that Christian Bale is vegetarian (don’t they have anything better to say about his carreer? And since when, is to be a vegetarian the same as to be ecological?). Or even that Chris Martin is considered to be one of the hottest vegetarians in the world?

Some days ago I made a research about the most influential people in the world in the areas of the environmental and ecological protection. Suddenly I saw a list entitled “Top 10 Green Celebrities”, composed by these people:

1. Al Gore
2. Leonardo di Caprio
3. Natalie Portman
4. Brad Pitt
5. Ed Begley, Jr. (if anyone knows who this is, please explain to me)
6. Hayden Panettiere
7. Scarlett Johansson
8. Chris Martin
9. Heather Mills
10. Tobey Maguire

First question that occurred to me: Is this a joke?
Answer: I don’t think so, because this list was published everywhere, and it sounds like something truly important.

Second question: Is this a joke? I couldn’t believe it. But where are the names such as Wangari Maathai, Rachel Carson or Farley Mowat?

I understand why these people are not famous to most of us, especially because the first two ladies weren’t part of the cast of some Hollywood movie, like an intergalactic saga, or a crazy speed racing war-like movie, with astonishing fake boobs. And when referring to the last one, what is the interest of knowing who this bearded, out-of-fashion man, who can’t even wear an Armani blazer to receive some hideous prize is?

Well, but we can all know that Wangari Maathai is a Kenyan lady, an environmental activist who is promoting the sustainable development along the African territory, and the first African woman to achieve the Nobel Peace Prize. We can also recognize that Rachel Carson, born 100 years ago, was responsible for the birth of the existing ecological and environmental conscience, facing the ultra-powerful American pesticide’s production lobby, shortly after the end of the Second World War. And we can finally learn that Farley Mowat is an environmental defense icon, whose work has influenced millions of people in the defense of what the really believe in.

I’m tired of all these festivals in favor of the world’s peace and regeneration. I find it useless to know that Camilla Parker Bowles has celebrated her 61st birthday in some organic garden. And I find it especially disgusting that those large construction companies, that use the sustainability label just to purge their consciences of the crimes they insist on committing. And if this article seems the bitter consequence of a frustrated guy’s life complaint, I want you to know that you’re not far from it. But before reaching this conclusion, please take a look at these ecology’s monuments called Ecorazzi.

Having said this, I just feel like spiting on every eco-friendly companie, throw papers on the floor, get all rebel and not separate the garbage. And above all, energetically contribute to the Earth’s poles’ melting.

But I won’t do all that. Because I am anti-ecological.

> On the left, Wangari Maathai, 2004 Nobel Peace Prize, Kenyan important spokesperson.
On the right, Chris Martin, a famous vegetarian and music star.

> On the left, Christian Bale, another famous vegetarian, as well as Hollywood super-star.
On the right, Rachel Carson, the first person ever to face a powerful lobby in favor of the birth of the existing ecological conscience.

> On the left, Leo di Caprio, needs no presentation, famous Hollywood star, one of the most famous Al Gore followers.
On the right, Farley Mowat, cientist, and an activist icon. Inspirational for millions of people today.

Despite some of the above mentioned are already dead, who do you think will be the winner of the 2009 Eco-masters fighting championship?

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