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February 10, 2010

The Green Police in Fiction and in Truth

If you haven't seen it yet, here's the "green police" ad by Audio that aired during the Super Bowl

Pretty well done, I think. I see it as satire criticizing the worst tendencies of the environmental movement. Oddly, the makers don't see it that way More on that later, though.

If you do think the idea of an Orwellian "Green Police" to be a total right-wing fantasy, check out this MasterCard commercial that is most definitely not satire:

John Dewey would be proud.

Green Police Not Satire?

I don't have time to do a whole lot of investigating, but the "Green Police" are apparently a concept dreamed up by Audi, and they've set up a Green Police website. Here's what they say about themselves:

Green Police: Who are they? Here is a quick primer.

Every day consumers around the globe are faced with a myriad of decisions in their quest to become more environmentally responsible citizens. Paper or plastic? Bottled water or tap water? Gas or electric? Compost bucket or recycling bin? So many questions; yet so many conflicting answers. It can be overwhelming.

Now consumers have help, from the Green Police.

As part of the lead up to their third consecutive Super Bowl ad, Audi has created a fictional Green Police unit that are caricatures of todays green movement. The Green Police are a humorous group of individuals that have joined forces in an effort to collectively help guide consumers to make the right decision when it comes to the environment. They're not here to judge, merely to guide these decisions.

Coincidentally, there are numerous real Green Police units globally that are furthering green practices and environmental issues. For example, Israel's main arm of the Ministry of Environmental Protection. Audi strives to help protect the environment in all aspects of our vehicle manufacturing.Environmental Protection in the area of enforcement and deterrence is called; you guessed it, the Green Police. New York has officers within the states Department of Environmental Conservation that are fondly called the Green Police. The Green Police is also the popular name for Vietnams Environmental Police Department and the UK has a group who dresses in green as part of the Environment Agencys squad to monitor excessive CO2 emissions.

This is just wrong.

Look, I'm all for responsible conservation. I'm also somewhat of a local activist on the matter, specifically enhancing, preserving, and protecting our tree canopy cover. But today's environmental movement goes too far.

Posted by Tom at February 10, 2010 11:00 AM

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Like you, Tom, I am experiencing "Snowpocalypse" up in New Jersey. May I say how much I enjoyed your post on the snow, it was refreshingly apolitical, humanistic even. I found it amazingly healthy to be reminded that for all our differences, we are both at the mercy of the weather.

And now back to the slog...

Are you saying there are no environmental problems severe enough to warrant government intervention? There are limits to what voluntary civic action can achieve. Actually I think these low-emission light-bulb campaigns etc are good examples of how calls for voluntarist action so often wind up irritating people, creating a backlash.

Shouldn't there be laws on the books preventing companies from dumping hazardous chemicals into water supplies, for example? And if environmental regulations are sometimes necessary, why is it so absurd that the government should enforce them? If a company is caught dumping illegally, shouldn't the CEO be arrested? Call this the "green police" if you want, but I doubt you'd want to live in a society where government didn't intervene to protect drinking water standards.

I know that we disagree about climate change, but seeing as you have ridiculed my country of birth I will at least say this. The UK government has decided that CO2 is a pollutant (as has your own, for that matter). If they want to regulate it, good for them.

Posted by: Mylne Karimov at February 10, 2010 1:27 PM

If you look at the website for the NY "Green Police", their enforcement covers petroleum spills, illegal burning, dumping oil in storm drains, and chemical spills.

Those crazy greens!!!! Next they will have notions about not letting me cut down tree on my own property!!!

To protest this we could have our own tea party. I'll dump oil in the storm drain, and you can crap directly into the river that provides water supplies for your neighbors. That will put an end to this green madness!!!

Posted by: jason at February 10, 2010 1:37 PM

So any questioning of the environmental agenda and I must be against all regulation and in favor of dumping toxins in the waterways, is that it?

Posted by: Tom the Redhunter at February 10, 2010 8:08 PM

Just pointing out that there is a role for a "green police" in responsible governance. Glad we agree.

Posted by: Mylne Karimov at February 10, 2010 9:13 PM

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