My Superhero for Climate Change

The last thing the world needs now is another Batman zipping around saving the world with his high-tech gizmos while driving a gas-guzzling batmobile. Sure he can come up with some expensive project to remove the CO2 from the atmosphere that his playboy lifestyle contributes, but how does this help joe-schmucks like the rest of us?
If you follow the sustainability buzz (which I know you don’t, because let’s face it, you’re not pathetic like me), then you would already be familiar with terms like “bright green,” “light green,” and “dark green” beyond their use as descriptors of hue.

You see, to be bright green means essentially that you believe innovation will be key in saving our sorry asses from cataclysmic environmental disaster. Light green means you prefer a sort of individual betterment and personal responsibility, and pray that leaving a big handprint and small footprint will create cosmic joy. Let’s all have a Coke and sing Kumbaya.

Now the dark greens, these fellers are the sort of realistic visionaries that pierce the fluff with keen insights on how to throttle humanity into a sustainable tomorrow that can allow future generations the same sort of liberty to be dumb-asses as we have enjoyed. (All three terms have been loosely translated through my own bias, which of course is the correct bias. Read this other post for more of that. Check out this article for definitions from the woman who first coined the terms.)

Batman indeed had a streak of dark green in him, but his reliance on expensive and impractical bright green contraptions invalidates his approach to save the world. Maybe he can save Gotham, but that’s about it. Superman, well, he’s a nonstarter. As an alien with superhuman strength who’s only helpful in the face of super-villians… besides as the pollution layer in our atmosphere thickens he won’t even be able to recharge his batteries from the sun.

Spiderman is our man for climate change. First off, he knows what it is like to live as a blue-collar schmuck in a tough economy. Second, he’s got the practical smarts and the scientific knowledge to combine the right aspects of bright green with the right amount of dark green. Innovation only helps when all the schlebs in the world can utilize it. And without someone having the spidey senses to know how and when to kick humanity in the nuts, bad innovations (corn ethanol) will continue to distract from good ones (cellulosic ethanol).

There you have it. If all the Green Lanterns in the world were to behave a little more like Spiderman, then maybe the rest of us could keep living like Batman.[divider]

Amen, and Amen.

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