So much of what Progressives seek for us is a return to the less than lovely and easy parts of the past. For example, in the greenie world, who needs warm, efficient, useful incandescent light bulbs? How much better if we bathe the environment in love by using light bulbs that would have been familiar in the 1920s: buzzy, weak, ugly light, unreliable and, as an added 21st century bonus, filled with toxic mercury.
And pity the poor people in Washington state, forced by law to use dish washing liquids that don’t actually wash dishes. Woo-hoo!
The quest for squeaky-clean dishes has turned some law-abiding people in Spokane into dishwater-detergent smugglers. They are bringing Cascade or Electrasol in from out of state because the eco-friendly varieties required under Washington state law don’t work as well. Spokane County became the launch pad last July for the nation’s strictest ban on dishwasher detergent made with phosphates, a measure aimed at reducing water pollution. The ban will be expanded statewide in July 2010, the same time similar laws take effect in several other states.
But it’s not easy to get sparkling dishes when you go green.
Many people were shocked to find that products like Seventh Generation, Ecover and Trader Joe’s left their dishes encrusted with food, smeared with grease and too gross to use without rewashing them by hand. The culprit was hard water, which is mineral-rich and resistant to soap.
In addition to the CFL light bulbs peppering my house (buzz, buzz, buzz, to the point where I’m thinking of making an aluminum helmet because I’m beginning to think the Martians are trying to talk to me), I’ve had yet another irritating brush with bio-friendly products. This time the culprit is paper towel made from recycled materials, a binge buy by Mr. Bookworm who takes very seriously every global warming column written by that well-known scientist Tom Friedman, of the New York Times. (What?! You’re telling me Friedman isn’t a scientist? I’m shocked! Shocked! I heard he was a top ranked graduate of the Algore School of Boiling Frogs.)
Anyway, paper towel. Since Mr. Bookworm shopped at Costco, he didn’t just get one or three or four rolls of recycled paper towel, he got 24. My cupboards are packed with the stuff. The only consolation is that I’m going through the rolls of towel at warp speed . . . BECAUSE THEY DON’T WORK! A spill that would have taken one standard paper towel takes me five or six of these earth friend towels. They have no absorption, they fall apart at the lightest touch, and they’re so poorly perforated that, even when I try to rip small, I end up getting big. They remind me very much of the Soviet era toilet paper I suffered through during a long-ago trip to Czechoslovakia. In other words, they’re a completely regressive product that offsets any “earth friendly” virtues by being completely useless and functional only if used in vast and wasteful quantities.
All of which allows you to get a little insight into the average Progressive family’s green home: They don’t have flush toilets, creating the risk of disease and uncontrolled waste pollution; they have Soviet era paper products, that are not just unpleasant but have to be used to wasteful quantities to work; they have light bulbs that self-destruct so quickly they’re essentially landfill, except for that toxic mercury problem;, and, if they live in Washington state or are simply committed greenies, their dishes emerge from the dishwasher so dirty that they require vast amounts of water to offset the “green” detergent’s inefficiencies.
Given that so many of the “green” products “progressives” tout (or mandate) are so inefficient that they are a throwback to a less comfortable past and are vastly wasteful, it’s obvious that, for a “progressive greenie,” cognitive dissonance is a way of life.