Might As Well

Buffalo Buick Lesabres… Is anything not loaded these days?

If you haven’t noticed, the New York Times increasingly occupies some weird space. While still not the Kaplan test prep daily, what was at one time a very insular ‘paper of record’ has become a kind of de facto stamp of conventionality whatever the subject, whether congestion pricing, missile defense or Teabaggerism. I mean, think back to the role it played in the run up to the Iraq war. Stunning. The paper with a record.

But this article, what is it? It’s Earth Day as a concept, supply your own detachment! (Included at some subscription levels). As though it’s really not a place you live, a contradictory sphere where progress has led to peril, yet where these issues are just a bunch of ironic curios we find in a box in the garage that get more delicious with the passage of time. Former protestors against nuclear power are now supporters of nuclear as green energy! You don’t say! What does any of it mean? Why would you even ask that? How gauche! Only those who don’t already know.

Last week, the National Academy of Sciences reported that genetically engineered foods had helped consumers, farmers and the environment by lowering costs, reducing the use of pesticide and herbicide, and encouraging tillage techniques that reduce soil erosion and water pollution.

“I daresay the environmental movement has done more harm with its opposition to genetic engineering than with any other thing we’ve been wrong about,” Mr. Brand writes in “Whole Earth Discipline.” “We’ve starved people, hindered science, hurt the natural environment, and denied our own practitioners a crucial tool.”

Can you even get more counterintuitive than that? Watch as we become our own nemesis. USA! NYT! It’s meta ambivalence for the generation too busy to hate care, one week per year where we care enough to care again. For a day. About something.