Wednesday, January 11, 2006

One Bird, Hold the Oil

Humorist Lileks picked his daughter up from her after-school program in time to hear the end of a lecture about the environment, and she clued him in:

“And we saw a bird covered with oil. It died.”

Jeebus wept. “They showed you a dead oily bird?”

She nodded, nonchalant. “It looked like this.” She spread her arms out and twisted her neck to the side.

“Well, people help birds that get oil on them. They wash them off so they can live.”

“Not this one. It died.”

He hastens to add that he's not against being responsible for the ecology; just that it should begin at home and not by a buncha state-sponsored do-gooders:

Actually, it was a reminder of another obligation and duty of parenthood: to teach your kid to believe in something--in this case, conservation & ecological good-citizenry--based on rationality and facts, not emotion and anecdotes and sad pictures. It is bad to hurt birds with oil, yes, but the final lesson isn't “oil is bad because it hurts birds.” Oil is God's way of saying "your house should be warm in winter and fresh green produce should be available in February, and never mind the birds. Oh look! I just made another billion birds! Like that! Because I can! So shut up and go drive somewhere. Floor it! I command you!"

Uh, James, I despise political correctness as much as you do, but I don't think the Almighty is telling us, "Crunch all you want. We'll make more."

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