Wednesday, July 8, 2009

How to confuse an environmental activist

It's not hard to do. This past Sunday, I attended the Vans Warped Tour in Dallas, with my 14-year old daughter, and her friend and friend's dad. There were booths set up all over the grounds of the music festival, and as you can imagine, there was a presence from environmental activist groups, including Greenpeace.

I stopped by the Greenpeace booth a couple of times. Since I was not dressed in any way that would give away my status as a "Conservative Activist", I decided to pretend I was a militant environmental wacko (with a twist, of course). My first visit to the Greenpeace booth was simple. I just asked the guy if he was really in Greenpeace, and told him I had once seen the Rainbow Warrior (Greenpeace ship) in the harbor in Baltimore. He was impressed by this, and it seemed to greatly enhance my credibility, as he had never himself seen the ship.

I asked him what they were doing to save the environment, and expressed my disappointment with President Obama and his inaction on taking real steps to improve the environment. Both dudes in the booth quickly agreed, and dogpiled Obama, calling him an "actor" who just said what it takes to get elected. I was surprised with how quickly they turned on Obama, but I kept pressing on, and punctuating my sentences with the word "man", and trying to sound disgruntled. I bashed Obama several times, questioning his motivation on the recent climate change bill that had passed the House, and this seemed to fire them up even more. They really bit when I speculated the "outsourcing" of jobs and manufacturing to countries with less regulation, and that that would actually cause MORE pollution and CO2 emissions worldwide, exacerbating the problem.

Later, I came back by the booth, and noticed the solar panel next to the tent. By this time, there was a chick working the booth, and the other two dudes were gone. I asked her if it was a functioning solar panel, and she replied that it was. I asked her if the entire tour was run on solar energy. She said it was not, and looked a little sheepish and seemed ashamed. Being a concerned citizen of the world, I pressed on.....

At this point she was obviously feeling pressured. My next step was to inquire about the total carbon footprint of the tour. She quickly admitted that she did not know, and was eager to refer me to the "tour information booth" down the aisle. She did tell me though, that she was pretty sure that the tour was being powered by biofuels. This was the opening I had been looking for. At the mention of biofuels, I got visibly angry, and went on a rant about biofuels causing starvation in the third world. It was something like this: "How can freaking Americans be so arrogant to think they have a right to starve these poverty stricken populations just so we can feel better about our carbon emissions? Besides that, the demand for biofuels is resulting in the razing of the rainforests, as farmers in other countries rush to grow these crops." I went on a verbal rampage for as long as I could, and then stormed off in a "rage" as fast as possible to get in the clear before I broke out into uncontrollable laughter.

This mission was so much fun, that I tried (unsuccessfully) to find the PETA booth to see what kind of trouble I could cause there.

I love outdoor concerts, even in the heat of the Texas Summer (we were blessed with a cool day of about 90 degrees this time), and I enjoyed seeing all the bands, and the people watching, of course. I was there for the music, and for the time with my daughter. Harassing enviro-nuts was just a bonus.