Always Do the Right Thing (Because 99 Is Not 100)

Da Mayor: Always do the right thing.

Mookie: That’s it?

Da Mayor: That’s it.

Mookie: I got it. I’m gone.

If every American were to make every single lifestyle change suggested in the film, An Inconvenient Truth, it would only result in a 21% decrease in carbon emissions. In fact, while the average human produces 2500 pounds of waste per year, the average per capita waste output is 26 tons…because 97% of waste is produced by agriculture and industry.

Individual lifestyle changes won’t do anything to “save the planet,” so why bother?

To help answer that question, I defer to Valter, one of the catadores (pickers of recyclable waste in Brazil) featured in the excellent documentary, Waste Land. “One single can is of great importance,” Valter explained, when asked about the value of recycling, “because 99 is not 100.”

My translation: Never lose sight of the big picture but always do the right thing.

Who wouldn’t want to witness a major reversal of some of our current catastrophic global eco-trends? But, as the legendary journalist I.F. Stone once said: “If you expect an answer to your question during your lifetime, you’re not asking a big enough question.” Making daily—even hourly—choices of resistance isn’t necessarily about being present when the current corporate-dominated paradigm shifts (or is shifted). It’s about doing the right thing…here and now. It’s about defying the dominant culture in any way we can.

For example, when you buy a used shirt at a local thrift shop instead of opting for a brand new article of clothing sold by a store that supports sweatshop labor, you don’t expect that specific purchase to end workplace inequality and put a halt to conspicuous consumption. You buy the used shirt simply because it’s the right thing to do.

This mentality counters those who say stuff like: “Why should I use public transportation instead of drive? All those other motorists are still using their cars anyway.” Sure…they are. But you’re not. 99 is not 100 and you, dear comrade, are doing the right thing.

Whether you aim to recycle your old cell phone or to knock over a cell phone tower—again—it comes down to remaining aware of the institutional framework while still doing the right thing many times a day…all with the same ultimate goal: dismantling a societal system that’s relentlessly assaulting our planet and everything that lives on it.

Mickey Z. is the author of 11 books, most recently the novel Darker Shade of Green. Until the laws are changed or the power runs out, he can be found on an obscure website called Facebook. Read other articles by Mickey.

8 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Gary S. Corseri said on February 16th, 2011 at 3:10pm #

    A nice moral booster-shot, Mickey.

    Thanks.

  2. hayate said on February 16th, 2011 at 9:09pm #

    “Always Do the Right Thing”

    And the right thing right now is:

    Disempower the zionist element.

    Completely.

  3. Deadbeat said on February 17th, 2011 at 12:14am #

    This article is useless. It is just about taking unorganized individualistic feel-good actions that do not amount to any real change.

  4. Don Hawkins said on February 17th, 2011 at 3:12am #

    {http://www.freakyweather.com/}

    Please note the top story from our friend’s at Freaky Weather Scientists Link Extreme Flooding and Snow to Climate Change. This does seem like a rather big story and I wonder will the Weather Channel cover this after all they do call themselves The Weather Channel. How will it effect golfing Worldwide let’s start off slow.

    A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.
    Margaret Mead

    Small group of thoughtful people and in old 2011 that group just might not be as small as the few think. Thoughtful and dare we add having a soul. Mickey’s and ER’s thought’s same page and many people I talk with also same page so a real try.

    The House Energy and Commerce Committee issued the following news release:

    This evening on the House Floor, Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) engaged in a colloquy with Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Mike Simpson (R-ID) to discuss provisions in the Continuing Resolution government funding package that would temporarily block the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act. This temporary halt on the EPA’s overreaching regulatory efforts will happen in conjunction with efforts to permanently make clear that such regulations were never envisioned by Congress under current law. Power Gen Worldwide

    A real try well no and watch for the back up plan when more people see and hear called cap and trade the last joke played on life third planet from the Sun. Why can’t we tax carbon oh wise one’s? Yes only a start as this economic system called Capitalism in it’s present form is destroying the home planet we call Earth seem’s simple enough to understand don’t you think? How about an eye on top of the Pyramid with a big sign that read’s we didn’t forget this time. Got to run carpet tile is your friend.

  5. Don Hawkins said on February 17th, 2011 at 3:34am #

    To the people at Freaky Weather if you need money just ask and I will send you all what I can keep it simple forest for the tree’s and all that truth and knowledge will do just fine. Ok then how do we build this Pyramid who in New York City with a little money to get started that just might have had one of those Epiphany moment’s how about the rally call it the day of light’s? The light the light run for your live’s it’s gaining on us hurry more messages talk faster prop’s more prop’s chart’s we need chart’s.

  6. hayate said on February 17th, 2011 at 11:32am #

    Deadbeat

    “It is just about taking unorganized individualistic feel-good actions that do not amount to any real change.”

    That’s the sort of actions zionists prefer the left to take.

  7. kalidasa said on February 17th, 2011 at 11:33am #

    “Now, if 6 turned up to be 9,
    I don’t mind, I don’t mind…”

  8. AaronG said on February 18th, 2011 at 4:11am #

    Tree hugger: The planet’s gonna be uninhabitable by 2100, man!!

    Realist: What should I do?

    Tree hugger: Turn your lights off, sell your car and walk everywhere

    Realist: OK, I’ll do it……….so when will the earth be uninhabitable if I do that?

    Tree hugger: Oh, about…….um……..July 2101

    Realist: I got it. I’m gone.