I will attempt to justify my points by responding to Eli's comment.
Eli wrote the following-
You're going to have to explain to me how buying free trade coffee and eating less meat stands in the way of progress.
There's a fascinating article about Free Trade Coffee in Reason magazine by Kerry Howley, "Absolution in Your Cup, The real meaning of Fair Trade coffee." The article highlights on the overall point I have about hippie hypocrisy, that being the unintended negative consequences of socialist activism.
The best hope for farmers lies with consumers demanding better coffee, not just from Starbucks but from the supermarket shelf. This may be inevitable; a generation weaned on high-quality lattes is not going to turn to instant Nescafe as it grows more affluent. But there are signs that Fair Trade, with its predilection for uniformity, is retarding, not accelerating, that process.
"Fair Trade does not incentivize quality," explains Geoff Watts of Intelligentsia Coffee, who has spent the last nine years training coffee farmers in Africa and Central America. Fair Trade co-ops are composed of hundreds of farmers producing vastly different qualities of coffee. Often their output is blended together for sale to roasters, masking any quality improvements one farmer may have felt motivated to implement. Money then flows back to the co-op, not the individual farmer, and is distributed equally among the members. "There is no reward for the guy who works harder than his neighbor," says Watts. Nor is there much motivation for individual farmers to learn better farming techniques, experiment with new types of coffee, or seek new markets.
The system thus breeds anonymity and mediocrity in a business that desperately needs to focus on branding and identity. Ironically, this mimics the problems brought on by multinationals: Treating coffee as a single commodity, in large undifferentiated lots, prevents any single farmer from excelling and advancing.
Also, I don't see you with malaria or starving.
I thank the use of DDT and industrialized farming for that, two things that are constantly being protested against and villified by hippies. DDT was what was used to eradicate the overgrowth of moquitoes in the US, thus controlling and pretty much eliminating the disease from our country. According to U.N. estimates, malaria kills one child every 30 seconds and more than a million people each year. The late Dr. J. Gordon Edwards estimated that 190 people per minute are either dying or suffering directly or indirectly from the USA ban of DDT and other pesticides. (And yes, believe it or not, there is a documentary film about this whole issue, "3 Billion and Counting"). Again, another example of western hippie folks attempting to "fight the man" so they can feel good about their conscience, when in all acuality they are making things worse for the majority. (I would recommend the following page for more details about the stunning tragedy of malaria in the third world.)
Nobody expects someone who is bedridden to be concerned with polluting less. However, seems to me someone who reaps the benefits of capitalistic exploitation and whose country is a leader in gluttony and waste would do good to consider ways to make the situation better.
I agree, but even more so I would hope that we as a country would do no harm first, and then we can worry about ways to make the situation better. And this is my point. Many environmental movements, from the mining protests of Rosia Montana to the banning of DDT, have had unintended consquences that ended up making things worse overall for the population.
That means doing what's best for people and the planet (the only place in the vast universe with what we call life). The "hippies" don't have it all wrong, Tim.
The "hippies" certainly don't have it all right either Eli. And too many times they are given a free pass when their protests and movements supposedly for the purposes of "saving the planet" end up hurting humanity. Don't be fooled that they can do no wrong. In the case of Rosia Montana and the malaria stricken third world, they can and have done wrong. And people are dead and suffering because of it.
I leave you with some Cox And Forkum to make my final point, respond if you like Eli, and GO TITANS!!!!