Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Happy Blog Apathy Day!

So, today is so-called "blog action day". What's Blog Action Day? " What would happen if every blog published posts discussing the same issue, on the same day? One issue. One day. Thousands of voices. "

Wow. Must be some issue. What's the issue, you ask? The Environment.

It should come as no surprise that many of my bicycle-blogging interweb friends are partaking. Bicycling is, after all, good for the environment. Being eco-friendly is probably one of the major driving forces behind why some bicycle commuters ride their bikes every day.

So why, then, am I calling it Blog Apathy Day? That's a term I made up, but I'd bet it's already been used before. Apathy is defined as "lack of interest in or concern for things that others find moving or exciting." I don't think I could have worded it better myself.

It's not that I hate the environment. I just don't get excited about saving it one pedal-stroke at a time. More to the point: I don't like snobby eco-zealots telling people what to do. It's one thing to be environmentally conscious. If you want to eat organic foods, use rain barrels, recycle, shop from outlets that sell locally-grown foods, use a bicycle, walk, or take public transportation to reduce your impact on the world, then good for you. I'm behind you all the way, and happy that you're leading by example! If you overtly criticize people for their choices that happen to conflict with your world view or relentlessly dwell upon that example that you're setting, coaxing or chiding others into following suit? That's a different story. I don't hate you, but I hate what you're doing. It's not limited to the environment, but today the nosy, boisterous environmentalists are in my cross-hairs.

Now, I don't often get accused of being a polluter. In fact, I don't think anyone's ever called me onto the carpet for not being green enough. I don't litter. I don't recycle every little thing, either. At work, I'll use the recycle bins for cans and paper because they're present and convenient. I put stuff in the bins. Someone else hauls them off. There's no easily-accessible recycling facility at my apartment complex, so I simply don't hassle with it. And before you ask: NO, I do not plan on complaining to my property management company about it. The wonderful thing about apathy is that I simply don't care enough to get worked up over it.

I love driving, but I hate driving in rush hour traffic. I think bicycling is just about the most fun a person can have on wheels (aside from motocross or WRC Racing), and I ride because it's fun. I ride to work because not only is it fun, it's less stressful and much cheaper than driving. When I take the bus like I did this morning, it's less stressful and expensive than driving, but still more boring than fun.

So, happy Blog Apathy Day, folks. While I recognize that my bicycle commuting has some infinitesimal impact on the environment and crowded streets, those are merely inconsequential side effects of my fun time. If someone thanks me for being green, I'll acknowledge it, but I'm not doing it for show, nor am I doing it to set an example for a new era of environmentalists. Bicycles are awesome, and I wish more people would find a reason to ride them. I don't care if it's the environment, enjoying the scenery, spending time with the family, saving money, staying healthy, having fun, or just enjoying the inner peace and awesomeness that comes with getting around under your own power. As far as I'm concerned, that's for each individual cyclist to dwell on and decide. As for me? I'd rather not meddle in the business of others.

I'm doing this only for my sanity, my enjoyment, my health and my wallet. Nothing else.

Let the flaming comments begin!

Update: I just now realize the irony that in making this post, I am participating by "post[ing] about the environment in [my] own way and relating to [my] own topic." (a quote from the blog action day website)


jeff said...

did you post this from a mac? :P

Sirrus Rider said...

I'm with you Noah. I rather ignore all the hoopla of environmental movement most of which is a crock. I concur that the end product of riding a bike is easier on the environment than a car; however, I would point out that it impacts the environment just as much. The one difference is that it impacts the environment differently. After commuting now for most of a year I have made the observation that on days that I ride I use more water than on days that I drive. For starters, I drink more and then when I get to my destination I have to shower. I also have to shower on the return trip depending all what time of the year it is. so on an average bicycle commute day I go through at least 6o to 100 gallons of water a day. I also tend to eat more frequently (which means that I draw a little more on food resources as well)

Also, I must admit I have issues taking orders from a man who lives in a Tennessee mansion that consumes more electricity in a month than my own house does in full year. most of Al Gore's angle on the whole environmental crusade is to make money from his "carbon offset" companies.

Frogman said...

ISTR earing about an article in the NY Times about cyclists being bigger polluters over their life time - because they live longer. Ironic? Yep! ;)

mss @ zanthan gardens said...

I think you strike the perfect balance, one that I'd wish people would take on many topics, not just the environment. That is, I much prefer a person who can live a thinking life, a conscientious life, doing the best one can and minding his own business, to someone who is intent on making the rest of us sign on to the latest craze.

I try to do what I can to conserve and recycle. However I am not prepared to give up international travel, my imported Italian mineral water or Belgian beer. On the one hand some people might think I'm a eco-nut and on the the other hand some people might think I'm a ravager of our planet. If everyone just tended to their own business and let me tend to mine...well, I don't think that's apathy, just common courtesy.

mjb said...

Penn and Teller had a good episode about the myths of recycling. The process of recycling can be more wasteful then just throwing the bottle in the trash.

Anyway, there are always at least two sides to every story.

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