And who, you may ask, gave us that prestigious honor? We gave it to ourselves, of course! Why not?
If you've been having an actual life and plodding away at a real job lately, you may have missed that "sustainability" is the latest obsession in the precincts of the Left, particularly academia. But what does it actually mean? That's the great thing about it -- nobody knows!
For example, the big thing now if you are an academic institution is that you must divest your endowment from investments in companies in the fossil fuel business. If you have ever taken an economics course, or even thought about the subject for a few minutes, you will realize that divestment from fossil fuels by a few or even many academic institutions will have exactly zero effect on the production and consumption of fossil fuels, although it might slightly raise the returns on investments in fossil fuels for those still willing to make them, of which there will assuredly be plenty. So this is just a completely futile symbolic gesture. Then why divest? Because it's "sustainable"!
George Will has a great column a few days ago making fun of the campus "sustainability" movement, titled "Sustainability Gone Mad On College Campuses." Will in turn refers to a report just out from the National Association of Scholars calling the "sustainability" movement "higher education's new fundamentalism." Why fundamentalism? Here's Will's take:
Like many religions’ premises, the sustainability movement’s premises are more assumed than demonstrated. Second, weighing the costs of obedience to sustainability’s commandments is considered unworthy. Third, the sustainability crusade supplies acolytes with a worldview that infuses their lives with purpose and meaning. Fourth, the sustainability movement uses apocalyptic rhetoric to express its eschatology. Fifth, the church of sustainability seeks converts, encourages conformity to orthodoxy and regards rival interpretations of reality as heretical impediments to salvation.
And he hasn't even gotten to the wonderful feeling of superiority over the lesser humans that you can get from engaging in completely futile symbolic gestures. But he does get to the real point, which is promoting socialism and bureaucratic control:
The unvarying progressive agenda is for government to supplant markets in allocating wealth and opportunity. “Sustainability” swaddles this agenda in “science,” as progressives understand it — “settled” findings that would be grim if they did not mandate progressivism.
Don't believe that sustainability has gone mad on campuses? Check out the endless breastbeating issuing from my own degree-granters, Yale and Harvard. Here is Yale's "sustainability" web page, and here is Harvard's. Would you think that these seemingly prestigious institutions would be capable of at least a smidgeon of critical thinking? Forget it. Just today I got an email from Yale reporting that a task force had recommended that Yale adopt its very own carbon charge "as an incentive to reduce Yale's carbon emissions." Do they even know that China and India between them plan to build 1000 or so new coal power stations over about the next decade? But of course, facts like that are irrelevant. This is about performing meaningless gestures to demonstrate that you are part of the cool group.
So of course, performing meaningless gestures is exactly what the Manhattan Contrarian has done to win its prestigious "most sustainable web site" award. For example, we live in Manhattan! Here in Manhattan, we always eat locally produced food, except when we don't. Hey, it's cold here half the year -- you can't expect us to eat nothing but potatoes and carrots all winter! We save huge amounts on heat and air conditioning by having our home be right adjacent to the neighbors. We drive a fraction as much as you guys in the hinterlands. And that's just the start. For example, unlike climate campaigner Barack Obama, we didn't take a flight on Air Force One to Florida to make a speech for Earth Day! And unlike Leonardo di Caprio, we didn't take six flights on private jets in the past month! Think of the thousands of gallons of evil fossil fuel we have saved. Clearly the Manhattan Contrarian is a worthy recipient of the "world's most sustainable web site" award.