Saturday, July 5, 2008

Color Me Green

Anthony Esolen discusses the ironies of the new religion, la verditude. To quote:
Here in Canada la verditude is fast becoming a new and very silly religion. It always strikes us with something like a political shock when we arrive for the summer and suddenly remember that the garbage police will be looking out for what we throw away, and what we throw it away in. Trash goes in clear bags, period. Cardboard and plastic go in one see-through blue bag; cans and glass go in another. Vegetable parings, eggshells, coffee grounds, crusts of bread, and all things edible except for meat and cheese, don't go anywhere. Or rather they go into your compulsory compost heap in the backyard.

Now I don't mind all this, though I do think that the clear bag is a bit unnerving, when you think of the papers and personal materials you might be throwing away. If you leave aside the whole global warming apocalyptic -- "Woe to the inhabitants of earth!" -- I'll put up with the Canadian habit of cleaning up after themselves. But what's going on here is exactly what C. S. Lewis describes in The Screwtape Letters as a neat diabolical trick. The devils, says Screwtape, distract their foolish charges, persuading them to worry about sins they don't commit, and thereby to overlook the sins they do. So you'll hardly ever see a Canadian tossing trash out of his car window; and you won't see garbage blowing about the front yard; and you will see plenty of bicyclists in the cities. But in another sense the Canadians are perfectly slovenly and selfish polluters, just as bad as are their American cousins.


No comments: