Ladies. Gentlemen. Please permit me a little preambulation before I mount the pulpit and invite the wrath of the gods to smite those who have offended me.
Here are some things that really bug me: bullying, lying and hypocrisy. They’ve always bugged me and always will. They aren’t the only things, of course. There’s Joan Rivers. And her face. And don’t get me started on mosquitoes or voice mail. But bullies, liars and hypocrites can always make the bell ring atop my Pissoff-O-Meter.
Preamble Part Deux:
This may come as shock to some of my American readers but despite being a Canadian, I am not a communist. Or even much of a socialist. I believe in capitalism. Businesses should make a profit.
Preamble The Last & Intro To The Main Event - Enviroman vs Greedzilla:
I’m fairly environmentally conscious. As a lifelong angler, I probably appreciate pristine, natural environments more than most. Many of my early newspaper columns in the 70s were devoted to raising awareness of the effects of acid rain and other habitat issues. I believe in recycling and have switched nearly all my light bulbs to those weird curly jobbies.
But I’m not an eco-nut, or eco-nazi or whatever term is being used these days to describe/denigrate those who are exceptionally environmentally conscious. I still buy and use paper plates occasionally. At least once every week or two, I lazily toss a tin can into the nearest garbage instead of walking a few more steps to the recycling bin.
And all of my bills are mailed to my home. They are printed on paper and mailed in paper envelopes.
Many companies are upset with me about that.
Why-oh-why do I hate trees? Do I not understand how many could be saved if I simply switched to online billing and/or automatic withdrawal?
Yes, actually, I do. Well, not precisely how many, but I imagine that over the course of time it would be quite a few trees. Gobs of them in fact, if everybody switched.
And I’m a huge fan of trees. On top of the wonderful things they add to the planet and to our lives, I believe they possess spirit. I respect and admire them greatly.
But I don’t for one minute think that the phone, cable, gas, electric, and all those other companies are losing sleep over the amount of trees they’re killing because of my stubborn refusal to switch to a paperless system.
It’s not a lofty environmental conscience that has them spend money on monthly (paper!) inserts and expensive advertisements, pleading with us darn tree-haters to change our evil, selfish ways.
No, the truth is, they want to save money. They could save bundles of cash if they didn’t have to print, stuff and pay postage to mail those bills. They wouldn’t just be saving big bucks on supplies. Nosiree. Think of all the employees that would be made redundant! They could trim a substantial part of the payroll if they get me, and all those other stubborn old farts, on board.
Think of what they could do with all that newfound money! Why, they could reduce our bills! Or donate the savings to a worthy environmental cause! Or they could take that money and pay for retraining those laid-off employees! They could even, godbless’em, do all three!
Or maybe they could just filter it to their shareholders and toss the execs a few extra million in bonuses.
Which scenario do you see happening?
Me too. And it ticks me off.
I wish just one of them would admit that yeah, the saving-trees thing is cool but it’s the improved bottom line that really counts.
But none of them will. They’re hypocritical liars trying to bully us into being green in order to cut costs, eliminate salaries and pad their bank accounts.
I intend to help envelope stuffers and postal workers keep their jobs as long as I can. So, keep those bills and statements coming.
But I do believe I’ll plant a tree this year.
*Apologies to Joe Raposo and Kermit.