Valentine Bouquets: Bad For The Planet?

by | Feb 12, 2007

It is only from the vantage point of someone who has a home and endless supply of food that you could actually even conceive of "enjoying" nature.
Apparently, sending flowers as a gift is the latest environmental sin.
“Environmentalists warned that ‘flower miles’ could have serious implications on climate change in terms of carbon dioxide emissions from aeroplanes.”

“You can argue the planes would be flying anyway but the amount of greenhouse gases pumped out depends on the weight of the cargo.”

Vicky Hird, of Friends of the Earth, said: “We don’t want to be killjoys because receiving flowers can be lovely but why not grow your own gift?” [ Telelgraph]

Indeed, why not “grow your own gift”? In fact, since virtually everything we consume needs to be delivered somehow and thus will increase “emissions”, why not make everything you need? In fact, why not live on self-sustaining farms where you only grow what you need and subsist hand to mouth without the emissions causing conveniences of modern life like automobiles, refrigeration, air conditioning, heat, indoor plumbing, medicine, television, dvds, microwaves, electric ovens, indoor lighting, cell phones, computers, air travel, to name a few?

Well if you want an example of what this lifestyle would be like in reality see the past 10 million years of human existence up until about 100 years ago. Or go to the nearest third world country and see what life is like without modern technology.

It goes without saying that the ease of transportation (along with all the other advances brought by technology) leads to massive productivity increases which lead directly to real purchasing power and thus increased standards of living including life expectancy. We have reached a point where we have so much wealth that flowers can be shipped around the world and given as simple gifts for next to nothing. Shouldn’t we be rejoicing? Anyone truly concerned with human life would have almost spiritual level appreciation for modern technology and the quality of life it has brought about.

In fact, ironically, modern technology has resulted in appreciation of nature. It is only from the vantage point of someone who has a home and endless supply of food that you could actually even conceive of “enjoying” nature. If you were left alone in the wilderness to exist like an animal would you value a sunset or would you realize it is the last moment of light to gather food and find protection from the descending darkness of a merciless nature?

Does anyone think the environmentalists are really concerned that global warming will somehow impact our standard of living or life expectancy and that this is what concerns them? What other conveniences would they have us sacrifice? How would they have us live? Will bouquets be on the list of prohibited items under “environmental law”? In principle, wouldn’t everything we consume be on that list unless you “grow your own gifts”?

Doug Reich blogs at the The Rational Capitalist with commentary, analysis, and links upholding reason, individualism, and capitalism.

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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