by John Hawkins | August 26, 2002 11:49 am
Electricity?!? Who Needs Electricity?!?: Warning Will Robinson!!! Danger, danger!!! An environmental whacko has been detected in the area!! Hide your granola supply and guard your trees to prevent hugging!!!
“Gar Smith, editor of the Earth Island Institute’s online magazine The Edge, spoke about what he considers the virtues of poverty during an interview with CNSNews.com.
…Smith decried the introduction of electricity to the poor residents of the developing world.
“I don’t think a lot of electricity is a good thing. It is the fuel that powers a lot of multi-national imagery,” Smith said.
According to Smith, electricity can wreak havoc on cultures. “I have seen villages in Africa that had vibrant culture and great communities that were disrupted and destroyed by the introduction of electricity,” he said.
With the introduction of electricity, the African villagers spent too much time watching television and listening to the radio, allowing their more primitive traditional ways to fade away, according to Smith.
Smith lamented that “people who used to spend their days and evenings in the streets playing music on their own instruments and sewing clothing for their neighbors on foot peddle powered sewing machines” lost their culture with the advent of electricity.
“If there is going to be electricity, I would like it to be decentralized, small, solar-powered,” Smith said.
Smith challenged Americans to give up their own modern conveniences.
“The real question is what personal conveniences and self indulgences are you willing to give up in order to stop destroying the planet?” he asked rhetorically.
The U.S. is not a model for the rest of the world to follow because “the level at which Americans consume is unsustainable,” according to Smith. He projected that if the rest of the world consumed at rates similar to the U.S., the environmental degradation would require “three extra planets to exploit.”
He called the notion that the U.S. needs to export the “American way” of life nothing more than “myth making” and revealed that many of his friends have already voluntarily given up automobiles in favor of bicycles and mass transit.”
How funny is it to hear a guy who runs an online magazine talking about how terrible electricity is? You don’t run online magazines from a Unabomber style shack you know. Also, If Smith thinks Americans should give up their “personal conveniences and self indulgences” why doesn’t he start with his computer? Then he could move to some backwards village in Africa and sew and play musical instruments all day since he also seems to think poverty and “primitive traditional ways” are so fantastic. Last but not least, any culture that can be lost with “introduction of electricity” wasn’t worth preserving anyway. If the people who are dumping their culture like a hot rock can figure that out, why can’t Smith?
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