Jonah Goldberg

"We have turned out the lights in the studio," NBC's Bob Costas told viewers of Sunday's Dallas Cowboys-Philadelphia Eagles game, "to kick off a week that will include more than 150 hours of programming designed to raise awareness about environmental issues." Discerning viewers with eyes keen enough to pierce the sanctimonious glare of Costas' candlelit silhouette may have noticed that the stadium's klieg lights still shone brightly.

On a typical game day, a large football stadium burns about 65,000 kilowatt hours of electricity and 35,000 cubic feet of natural gas. The cars driving to the game spew about 200 metric tons of CO2 (and that assumes nobody's driving SUVs or RVs, which is like assuming tailgaters are eating only sushi). There's also the electricity used to broadcast the game and to watch it. But thank goodness Costas turned off the studio lights for a minute or two.

NBC's "Green Week" continued apace (well after this writing). Morbidly obese contestants on "The Biggest Loser" lugged piles of recyclable cans up ramps and into enormous collection bins. Of course, the cans were delivered to the stunt by diesel truck. So a lot of energy - and sweat! - that could have been used toward fermenting homebrew tofu, or whatever energy is supposed to be used for, was wasted on viewer schadenfreude. The winners of the challenge each received a hybrid SUV. Alas, one of the winners didn't own a car to begin with, so the net result was one more car on the road and a little more CO2 in the air.

On "Days of Our Lives," a fictional couple had a fictionally "green" wedding.

The cast of the "Today" show burned massive amounts of jet fuel sending its hosts to the corners of the globe, leaving a "carbon footprint" larger than those left near the recycle bin on "The Biggest Loser."

I could go on, but you've seen the tyranny of Green even if you've never turned on NBC. Green is everywhere. Every magazine feels compelled to sell some sliced tree-meat in a special "green issue," but they feel so guilty about it, they ditch their glossy paper for pulp that gives it the feel of a hemp-commune newsletter that doubles as sustainable toilet paper. Food magazines have replaced "delicious" with "sustainable" as the highest praise. "Green is the new black" according to fashion writers who at least think certain cliches never go out of style.


Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online,and the author of the book The Tyranny of Clichés. You can reach him via Twitter @JonahNRO.
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