Green Police

Green PoliceIf you watched the superbowl this past weekend, then you are probably familiar with the ‘Green Police’ ad by Audi touting their diesel A3 TDI. While the spot was quite amusing, it can also be a bit sad as that is what many people think of the green movement.

I don’t want to over dramatize it, because it was obviously poking fun a the extreme behaviors and righteousness of some in the eco friendly community, but it makes it easy for others to say: “see how silly all this green stuff is.”

With an EPA-rated 42 mpg on the highway and a 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, the new A3 TDI is one of the ‘greenest’ cars out there, but it still doesn’t take away from the fact that it is still a car and a major contributor to greenhouse gasses, pollution, energy and waste- even if you use biodiesel. If I was to really pick apart the commercial, its quite hilarious that one offender was arrested for requesting a plastic bag while the guy driving a car (a 5 seater all alone at that) would be praised. I mean what kind of backwards environmentalism is that?

Obviously this was just a silly car commercial with Audi poking fun of having the greenest car, while at the same time promoting it, is just them playing both sides of the coin at the same time. It’s great marketing and evokes laughter; maybe I am just getting too sensitive and protective of the environment and the green movement and I just need to laugh at the ridiculousness of it all, but it still makes me sad.

Comments 15

  1. It’s okay for an eco-minded person to hold their environmental view (I am an environmentally-responsible person myself, to a reasonable degree). It’s okay for that person to promote their position to try and convince others to hold their point of view. The problem is the association with gov’t. Gov’t has no right to limit the economic freedoms of its free and sovereign citizens. Though this commercial was poking fun, it still reflects what many believe to be going on in society.

  2. I am a super hard core environmentalist.
    I loved the Audi Ad!!
    It was so creative and fresh and reminded me of the very creative ads from the 70’s
    My favorite scene was the couple staight from 1975 in the hot tub and the Green Police want to cite him and he makes a mad dash around the pool.
    So incredibly creative.
    I think those Environmentalists who are upset need to get out of their Private Jets and get over themselves.

  3. I’m totally with Slainte26 here. 🙂 I get completely what you are saying, but I totally chose to over-dramatize it. Not so much because of the green movement, but because of the implication of government control. I just posted about it myself this morning and why I think it is a major ad fail (in most regards).


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    I think that’s where this commercial did the biggest disservice, it portrayed the green movement as an authoritarian one. It’s not about forcing people to change, but empowering them with the knowledge of the outcome of their choices so we can all do something about it. This should be something we all want.

    On the other hand, some things will need to be forced. I have seen it countless times in my own line of work- we ‘infringe’ on the rights of landowners to ‘do with what they please with their own land’- even when that means preventing them from dumping garbage/oil/sewage in ‘their’ stream.

    We live in a global world and our actions have an affect on things, not just locally, but in some cases globally. The individual was not only poisoning his own stream, but all of his down-stream neighbors who were powerless to stop him. In this regard, it was the ‘environmentalists’ and ‘government regulation’ which saved the day, not only for the environment, but the downstream landowners as well.

    These laws may be ‘environmental’ in appearance, but prevent the suffering of tens, thousands or millions of individuals as well.

    Coming off my tangent, I think the commercial itself was indeed an atrocity. It created a reality for a green authoritarian society oppressing its people (and not the manufacturers of these goods), all while greenwashing a car.

  5. As soon as I saw the ad, I bristled at the thought of buying a product to assuage authoritarian goons. Why not have environmentalists pin green stars of david of their chests? Wouldn’t that be the same thing? We are slowly losing our rights as government makes ever increasing demands for the sake of the environment. Look at low flow toilets, besides having to flush them twice, please explain to me how water is destroyed? Doesn’t all water enventually flow to the same place? But I digress, stupid ad that made me hate VW.

  6. “I think that’s where this commercial did the biggest disservice, it portrayed the green movement as an authoritarian one…On the other hand, some things will need to be forced.”

    “Forced”… The very spirit of the authoritarian. The commercial is a very effective humorous critique of your view.

    The biggest problem with the modern environmental movement is it is turning the personal preferences of the envirotarians into legislative decrees of “forced” compliance. What was once merely your choice will now be the law for all us once free citizens.

    It’s going to happen with light bulbs, solar panels, housing and already is happening with paper vs plastic and plastic water bottles. It continues to happen with automobiles as people try to exercise their freedom of choice and envirotarians try to excise the freedom of choice.

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    I see how that statement seems a bit contradictory, but where do we draw the line? Are you free to kill or injure your neighbor as part of your ‘free will?’ It’s an extreme example, but what I have seen while I worked as a ‘government authoritarian’ environmental regulatory agency is a complete disregard for others in pursuit of a selfish individualistic agenda (usually money related.) Besides, are you really THAT upset that you may have to change from incandescent lightbulbs to CFL bulbs? Especially knowing that it will not only save you money in replacement costs, but also in energy costs?

    The freedoms of the individual are nice, but with the population growth and indulgent lifestyles of most Americans/Europeans and modern nations, there comes a time that we must realize the price for our lifestyles- both to the environment and to the people that share this planet with us.

  8. There’s certainly an increasing level of government coercion going on in the whole “green” movement. It’s ridiculous to say it’s only about “telling people about options.”

    In San Jose, they have outlawed shopping bags – paper or plastic. You have to bring your own. That is not something that would ever pass a vote of the people.

    I use compact fluorescents in most of my house, but there are some places that they just don’t work – they’re very vibration sensitive, for one thing, and are the wrong thing to put in a garage door opener. But Our Masters Who Be In Washington have decreed that no more incandescent bulbs may be purchased. This is just plain nuts.

    The “Green Police” is pretty much where we’re headed.

  9. As for CFL’s…I’ve put them all over the place and this is my take on this “green” technology being forced on us: they contaminate mercury, fail to live up to their longevity estimates, can’t be disposed of easily, (ie, end up in the garbage),often fail in enclosed (hot) fixtures, often emit the wrong color, lag at start-up making them impractical for stairways (where you want light BEFORE you step down), delay lighting in cold climates…need I go on? They are pieces of crap and they were in fact forced on us certainly for profit, and not mine. Want something better? Here are the LED’s!!! Ooops…lots more money though. What a scam we’ve fallen for.

  10. Look if the green movement was honest with itself and everyone they should have been behind Nuclear energy for decades.

    Nuclear has the lowest emissions of both C02 since it does not produce any as a byproduct and also releases the least amount of radiation into the air.

    But we know that truth and freedom of thought are alien concepts to the hive-mind of the green movement.

    I am for helping the environment but I am not for reducing the standard of living in first world countries back to the third world just to make environmentalist happy.

    Have your beliefs is fine it is when those views are attempted to be imposed through legislation and regulation is where the contention arises.

  11. The chic ecologist equates some guy dumping Oil/Sewage? and garbage in a stream with people who dont want to use cfl bulbs???.this dumping in streams may have happened 30 plus years ago, but i think we all have come a long way from those days.It’s this type of over reaction to an issue on the part of the “Greens” that really annoys the majority of the population.I don’t want to be told i have to use a certainj kind of bulb or paper or drive a prius.I live in the Northeast and i am amazed at the amount of wooded areas we have and the proliferation of wildlife,(to the pint of becoming a serious problem)30% of the town i live in is comprised of open space.The enviros need to back off a little. A lot of us remember the 70’s when they said(paul Erdman) we’d all be frozen in solid ice by now,people starving on a massive scale and no clean water to drink,and this was just in the United States.And remember the black holes and the ozone layer etc etc. This is why Global warming and the “green” movement is just a big yawn to a lot of people.

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    What I think you fail to realize is this is the same kind of reaction people had to dumping garbage in the streams, and being allowed to do whatever they want to and with their land not so long ago. The EPA, California Coastal Commission, Department of Fish and Wildlife, all of these were created by the people in reaction to the harm people were doing to each other.
    That is great that you have a lot of open space in your town, but when 95% of the forests in the United States have been cut down in the last 150 or so years, I would say we have a problem.
    And lets really be honest here- the government isn’t telling you what to do, they are setting guidelines for companies to produce more efficient products, and in many ways pushing innovation. Incandescent bulbs aren’t going away, actually companies are developing more efficient incandescent bulbs that match the performance of CFL bulbs. Without this push, there would be absolutely no reason to change anything.

  13. It’s a funny ad, but I agree that it is a disservice. It pandered to the Superbowl audience that thinks being Green is unnecessary, and it’s this lack of public education that breeds the negative stereotype of environmentalists.

    On top of that, being green can often be a far more expensive choice, which is exactly why the government SHOULD be involved. But IMO, govt should focus more on business law and less heavily on consumer mandates. This will force businesses to adapt by making the green solution cheaper, and do the work of education the consumer better.

  14. “I see how that statement seems a bit contradictory…”

    It doesn’t seem contradictory, it IS contradictory.

    “…where do we draw the line?” Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness…and property rights. These are as valid to non-fanatics as they are to fanatics.

    If I’m polluting upstream then I’m affecting the property rights and liberty of those down stream. If I build a steel foundry or hog farm in my suburban back yard, then I am affecting the liberty and property rights of my neighbors. If I dump raw sewage into a small recreational lake than I am affecting the liberty of those who use the lake and the property rights of those who live on the lake.

    If I buy an SUV or conventional light bulb I am not affecting anyone’s liberty or property rights.

    If you legislate away my choice to buy an SUV or a conventional light bulb you ARE affecting my liberty and my property rights.

    So to answer your question “Are you free to kill or injure your neighbor as part of your ‘free will?'” No, because it violates THEIR rights to life and liberty.

    Take a lesson from the NRA or MADD. The NRA believes in the individual right to own guns, but they don’t try to mandate gun ownership. MADD doesn’t campaign against drinking, or driving, just drinking AND driving, because the latter has a much greater chance of violating someone’s life, liberty, or property rights. Both groups have OTHER peoples’ liberty as their foundational belief.

    The modern green movement has authoritarianism as their foundational belief. Other peoples’ liberty is not an option. Go green their way or go to jail.

    Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness…and property rights. These rights are not just for the fanatics, but for the rest of us as well.

    Exercise your freedom in a way that allows others their freedom. Then you won’t be the subject of satire in ads.

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    I think it is this statement right here that we disagree on:
    “If I buy an SUV or conventional light bulb I am not affecting anyone’s liberty or property rights.”

    When you have a more global view, then you can see how these actually can affect other people. Global warming, pollution, sweat-shop labor, use of resources, etc, all have an effect on the people of this world.

    The more electricity we use (inefficient incandescent bulbs), the more pollution we create (since renewable energy should not be forced on us) which affects us all.

    Similarly with SUVs- Did you know that if your neighbor drives a hummer, they are actually costing you more money in transportation costs through road maintenance? Hummers exceed residential road weight specifications and actually damage the roads, causing potholes and wear at an accelerated rate, costing more in taxes to maintain these roads. How is that for personal freedom?

    Society dictates our rights to life and liberty, so what about my right to clean air and clean water? What about others in foreign countries that are suffering at our expense because of OUR rights to life and liberty? This is a global issue and we need to begin looking beyond our own backyard.

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