Democrats find 'green' political convention tough to enforce

DENVER–The Democratic Party has boasted that its convention here will be “the most environmentally-sustainable” gathering in the party’s history, complete with a director of sustainability, low-power lighting in some areas, and calculations of carbon footprints.

Some of the goals include diverting 85 percent of waste that would normally go to a landfill, finding hundreds of people to sort waste into recycling-compost-landfill containers, and devising what The Wall Street Journal described as “lean ‘n’ green” catering guidelines that say food described thusly must not be fried and shall contain three of the following colors: red, green, yellow, blue/purple, and white.

That was the claim. And it has worked to a large extent: a troika of trash containers (again, recycling, compost, and landfill) dot the convention complex, even in areas that aren’t officially part of the event. Drinking straws are made from corn and biodegradable. Room keys for hotels are made of wood. Delegates are buying carbon offsets.

But reality doesn’t always match expectations. Bikes aren’t permitted inside the convention’s security perimeter, so golf carts and other vehicles are used. The wooden card keys proved buggy, and some were replaced with more-reliable plastic. Fried mini-donuts were prominently on sale inside the Pepsi Center. Party VIPs and celebrities told their decidedly non-green town cars and GMC Yukon XL mega-SUVs–rented from limo provider A Class Above Transportation–to idle, with engines and air conditioning on, in the nearby pickup area. (What self-respecting conference-goer wants to climb into a GMC Yukon when it’s a toasty 93 degrees in the shade?)

Plus, a gathering of tens of thousands of people (and perhaps 70,000 for Barack Obama’s Thursday acceptance speech) generate a whopping amount of trash. Even if it’s sorted, recycling Obama-Biden signs takes energy, as does trucking in what the Journal reported to be 900 volunteers to monitor waste cans and perform the trash-separation, thereby taking them away from tasks that might be more productive.

Let us stipulate that the Democratic Party, perhaps because it was good marketing or perhaps because it was a sound principle, made an effort to promote recycling here. But whopping huge mounds of trash remain unavoidable–and the presence of idling SUVs–show that the concept remains more of a slogan than reality. (Then again, probably the only way to hold a “green” convention is to do it entirely over the Internet.)

These and the other photos were taken at the Democratic convention near the Pepsi Center. When you have tens of thousands of people, huge mounds of trash are inevitable.

(Credit: Declan McCullagh/CNET News)

(Credit: Declan McCullagh/CNET News)
(Credit: Declan McCullagh/CNET News)
(Credit: Declan McCullagh/CNET News)
(Credit: Declan McCullagh/CNET News)

25 thoughts on “Democrats find 'green' political convention tough to enforce

  1. If they really wanted to be “green”, as ridiculous a term as that is, they wouldn’t have made all the stupid little banners and signs for each individual to hold and wave around like morons at a moron gathering.
    They should have setup CO2 generators so all the plants in the area would have been happier and more efficient. Now THAT would have been green.

  2. We will start to believe its a crisis when the people claiming it is a crisis start acting like it is a crisis.

  3. Another eye-roller moment…
    What does it mean to be “green”? It means Gore, Pelosi, Boxer, et al ride about town in their SUV’s with the A/C on full blast. As for the serfs, they are to practice what the elite preach. If “going green” means making sacrifices, I wonder who’s collecting the sacrifices. Guess.
    All this to be politically correct and fashionably chic.

  4. I guess it’s the same old, same old: Do what I say, not what I do! Or, what’s good for the goose isn’t necessarily good for the gander!
    Jack Koenig, A VERY Independent Voter

  5. Reminds me, somehow, of Germany,
    we had a Green Secretary of State at the top of the most frequent flyers.
    And a pseudo-green Secretary for environment who, due to PR traveled by by train,
    but his limousine was parallely on the road to pick him up on his arrival.
    Huummmh, in the 60ties we used acid to become mad, but the world was more sound.
    Now we use prozac to become sound, but the world is more weird.
    Somewhere we have ignored the “Next Exit” sign

  6. “Green” is a feeling.
    If you FEEL green, that’s all that matters.
    The people sitting in those cozy limos and Yukons felt very green, and therefore had very small carbon footprints.
    It was a very green convention.

  7. How can one be green
    and yet to plants be mean?
    They simply cannot do
    without a gas called CO2

  8. In that last photo, that appears to be a Coca-Cola “Give Back” recycling bin.
    Is she sifting through the trash pulling out recycleables? If so, file that one under “Jobs you couldn’t pay me enough to do.”

  9. The same bunch of knuckle heads who promoted low flow toilets which require multiple flushes… didn’t save water and aggravated a lot of people.

  10. Every startup in human history begins due to bad expierience,
    every setdown in human history begins due to too good expierience.
    Not that I am religious, I am still on the agnostic way of live – I simply do not know –
    but somehow I am reminded of Father Brown – a fictive person made by G. K. Chesterton – and his opinion:
    “The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected.”

  11. “who promoted low flow toilets which require multiple flushes” Richard DeSousa
    And low flow shower heads. But the flow restricter can often be drilled out. Sanctimonious knuckle heads I say.
    Al Bundy had “The Mighty Fergusson”. Those were the days.

  12. Some quotes from thinking people, just for fun:
    “Its human nature. We know the better and we choose the worse”
    “Schools today take such great pains to point out that they teach
    critical thinking, when in fact they simply criticize those people
    and ideas they disagree with and call that process critical thinking.”
    “The majority never has right on its side. Never, I
    say! That is one of these social lies against which an
    independent, intelligent man must wage war. Who is it that
    constitute the majority of the population in a country? Is it the
    clever folk, or the stupid? I don’t imagine you will dispute the
    fact that at present the stupid people are in an absolutely
    overwhelming majority all the world over. But, good Lord!–you
    can never pretend that it is right that the stupid folk should
    govern the clever ones I (Uproar and cries.) Oh, yes–you can
    shout me down, I know! But you cannot answer me. The majority has
    might on its side–unfortunately; but right it has not. I am in
    the right–I and a few other scattered individuals. The minority
    is always in the right. (Renewed uproar.)”
    – The character Dr. Stockman, ‘An Enemy of the People’ by Henrik Ibsen –
    “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your
    right to say it.”
    (attributed to Voltaire)

  13. Tom,
    That was a paraphrase from George Orwell’s classic book Animal Farm. “All animals are equal, some animals are more equal than others.” Sort of like super delegates.

  14. statePoet1775:
    About a year after congress made low flush toilets all that you could buy in this country I did the unthinkable. My water supply is my own well and my sewage system is my own septic tank and drain field (new and modern by the way). So, I went to Canada and bought a toilet for the addition on my house. I did not declare it when I crossed back into the U.S.
    I guess that makes me an “international crapper smuggler”. LOL

  15. Gary: “That was a paraphrase from George Orwell’s classic book Animal Farm. ”
    I know, how prophetic.

  16. Green? Fire Works in the sky.
    How does one capture the smoke gasses from these toy bombs?
    Nottinghamshire was such a place as todays Green Political Church.

  17. Come on, it’s okay – they’ll be paying Al Gore’s company for their Carbon Credits and say 100 “Hail Tippers” and all will be even and forgiven.

  18. It’s interesting what the AGW religion has done. “Being green” simply means being a believer in an ideology focused around the completely false and idiotic notion of “carbon pollution”. They then lump anything and everything possibly having an environmental effect in with that false idea, some of which may be based on fact, and others which are of questionable merit. In the end, as one would expect, “being green” is about money, and is essentially a sleight of hand. It’s snake oil, dressed up in a pretty green package. I despise the Democrats for doing that, but it must be pointed out that the Republicans are getting in on the act now too.

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