Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Never Out Of Fashion

Front-page story in today's WSJ on how Democrats are trying make the national convention in Denver The Greenest Show on Earth (sub req):

Much of the hand-wringing can be blamed on Denver's Democratic mayor, John Hickenlooper, who challenged his party and his city to "make this the greenest convention in the history of the planet."

Convention organizers hired the first-ever Director of Greening, longtime environmental activist Andrea Robinson. Her response to the mayor's challenge: "That terrifies me."


*****

To police the four-day event Aug. 25-28, she's assembling (via paperless online signup) a trash brigade. Decked out in green shirts, 900 volunteers will hover at waste-disposal stations to make sure delegates put each scrap of trash in the proper bin. Lest a fork slip into the wrong container unnoticed, volunteers will paw through every bag before it is hauled away.

*****

Democrats say the point is to build habits that will endure long after the convention. To that end, the city has staged "greening workshops" attended by hundreds of caterers, restaurant owners and hotel managers. "It's the new patriotism," Mayor Hickenlooper says.

Neighbors Jim and Seth are outside their homes on a beautiful summer morning. Seth is preparing his recycling while Jim is unfurling an American flag.

"Hey Jim, whadya doin'?," Seth bellows.

"Just putting Old Glory up," Jim replies.

"Dude, that jingoistic flag stuff is soooooo 2002," Seth chides, "This...

Seth begins pawing through his garbage like some starving raccoon.

"....is the new patriotism."

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