Hollywood’s Carbon Footprint

by | Mar 20, 2015

No more movies. No more lights. No more power usage.


From their mansions high atop Malibu and Beverly Hills, Sheryl Crow, Laurie David, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ed Begley, et. al are constantly admonishing us little people to do without in order to save the environment or lessen our “carbon footprint”. Now, I’m sure that they would not want to be considered hypocrites, and so I have a suggestion for Hollywood.

But first, it should be pointed out that movies and the entertainment industry in general are a recent phenomena. They are a by-product of the enormous wealth created by capitalism. Specifically, movies are an American creation. Not only is the technology and ingenuity of movie making distinctly American, but the concept of the “Hollywood ending” could only have been created in a benevolent and optimistic culture which in turn depends on the prosperity, wealth, and freedom of a capitalist culture. Twentieth century socialism gave the world Mao, Hitler, and Stalin. Capitalism and Hollywood gave the world Fred Astaire, Lucy and Mickey Mouse.Could anyone even one hundred years ago imagine that we would have a society with so much wealth that it could afford an entire “entertainment” industry? Would they have imagined that actors and musicians considered by most at that time to be rogues (I guess not much has changed) could make enormous fortunes plying their seemingly insignificant trades? You would think that those who make their living in the entertainment industry today would have the most profound gratitude for capitalism, technology, industrial civilization and those who make that civilization possible: the scientists and businessmen. Wouldn’t they understand that their profession could only exist in the most advanced, most sophisticated and wealthiest of societies? Could you imagine the Sheryl Crow’s, Eddie Vedder’s and Laurie David’s of the world left to their own devices existing in a pre-industrial society? Yet, isn’t it ironic that the A-list celebrities who benefit the most are the first ones to damn technology, capitalism and industrial civilization and to tell the rest of us to live without.

We have heard in the past from various environmental groups that we should not deliver flowers (gas), use toilet paper (trees), drive SUV’s (gas), build homes (trees) etc. etc. and these things are kind of essential, right? Well, can you think of any industry less necessary and more wasteful than the entertainment industry?

Imagine how much energy is used in the making of a film? There is pre-production travel to scout locations and meetings between producers, directors and actors which surely necessitates travel locally and globally. Then the production itself entails hundreds if not thousands of people carting all manner of people and equipment from site to site by truck, bus, and airplane. There are trailers for the actors and crew during the filming. There is electricity to run the lights, cameras and equipment. The costumes use fabrics possibly made through third world exploitation. The cosmetics they use may have been tested on animals and were made by chemical companies who generate waste. Then these films must be shown in theaters which use power to light, air condition and show the film all which takes place in a giant building (which alone kills thousands of trees during construction). Then there is all the plastic in the dvd cases and the shrinkwrap on the new cases which are sold in stores which again must be lit and powered. Then there are the people at home who must travel to the video store or buy from netflix which necessitates even more travel not to mention the power being used by the millions of people watching TVs and dvd players. What about the music industry with the studios, dvds, touring buses, stadium productions, etc etc. I am just scratching the surface here and all for what – a little entertainment?

Surely, Earth Mother is very angry or sick or something and surely the air is August or July color (someone must get Talking Hawk to evaluate this).

Certainly, Hollywood of all places must do it’s part in lessening man’s carbon footprint on Earth Mother. So, no more movies. No more lights. No more power usage. No more travel and especially no more toilet paper. I submit that actors should simply go into the woods and pretend to be other people. They can not advertise this because that too would be wasteful so must rely on word of mouth as long as they do not drive cars or use any form of transportation to tell others. Also, they can not have wardrobe or cosmetics. They must not even burn wood to keep warm since that would harm trees (and maybe even “virgin” trees.) They can not kill other animals for food, and I think it is debatable whether they should even be allowed to pick fruit and berries off of trees as the effect of this picking may have an unknown impact on the health of the trees and therefore on the ecosystem.

Musicians must not record any more music in power gobbling studios nor travel anywhere to play unless they can carry the equipment on their person. The instruments can not be made of plastic or wood. Guitar strings must be made out of natural fibers not found or harvested from any living plant. Written music uses paper so that is out. Music will once again be handed down from one generation to the next as it once was (back when things were ideal – remember that?). They are under the same restrictions as the actors so they must simply go into the woods and play, and if anyone happens to hear them then that is fine. They must not play too loud as that might also disturb the animals and therefore have an unknown impact on the ecosystem. If anyone gets sick they must simply die and be returned to nature.

And to all those who argue that environmentalists really want to help man and not save nature for its own sake – you can see from my proposal how much better off man will be.

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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