There once was a Canadian couple who lived in denial.
They believed they could live the Californian dream with a Green conscience too, retro-fitted with snug windows and thick insulation and equipped with solar panels and air conditioners positioned at high settings.
He was a developer, but a “progressive” developer if you must know. He had learned that he could push through almost any development if he tacked the word “sustainable” in front of it. So he was closing deals all the time. Attending meetings all the time. Meeting with local and regional politicians all the time. So it was important to make a good impression. To be smart, he must look smart.
That is where his “suit” fetish came in. He made a habit of buying a new suit almost every day. Soon the closets of home filled up with suits so that there was no space left over for anything else but his suits.
What was his wife’s response? As a member of the Sierra Club, it was congenitally impossible for her to tell him to simply stop growing his wardrobe. Growth is inevitable.
Her philosophy was “growth management”. So she went out and bought closet organizers. Again and again. She would buy them to compress the inventory of her husband’s suits, and then weeks later, more compression was called for, and the cycle would be repeated. Voila! Smart growth. Alas, it was evident her strategy would not work ad infinitum. Her stress level was rising. Eventually she was ripping out the R50 insulation, sending it to the dump and replacing it with some of her husband’s suits.
Sensing her frustration, her husband proposed that they buy a bigger house in a better neigbourhood. One with more closet space. She countered that as an environmentalist, she would have no part of it. The energy problems we have today, she argued, issued out of the fact that very large homes were being occupied by too few people. So she was going to proceed with her plans of having a third and fourth child. After all, as far as the environment is concerned, it is as Ontario Green Party leader Frank de Jong said, “population is a red herring”, because as his federal leader, Elizabeth May remarked, it is not how many people that live in Canada that is important, “but whether they live like Bill Gates or Ghandhi.”
So just keep them comin’. More and more suits. More and more babies, more and more immigrants, lets just find smarter ways to pack them all in like the men with white gloves who push commuters into Japanese subway trains. Green living habits of conserve, recycle and reduce feed the obsessive compulsive disorders of those who feel the need to fixate on the trivial in order to avoid the facing the truly lethal dangers of over-population in our society.
This neurotic wife of the pack rat forms the template for urban planners across the continent.