A tour of Grist's Earth Confessions website

24 Apr

The Reference Frame had an interesting post today. In it, he received a link to a enviro-prank website which urges visitors to confess their sins against the earth.

To summarize a funny blog post, it turns out the site isn’t a joke at all. It’s a serious site run by Grist. This blew Lubos’ mind, how could they be so idiotic? I decided to visit to see just how ridiculous the site was. I thought perhaps it was a bit of tongue in cheek.

While the website is intended to be humorous, the concept of eco-guilt is not pretend. Here is what you see when you first visit the site:

Swear off your evil eco ways forever? Evil! Well, when you click, you are shown this:

So now you are invited to pray to Mother Earth and confess your eco-sins. Apparently, some people enter the eco-confessions booth and simply don’t know where to start. That’s why the folks at grist have the “Generate Sin” button at the bottom. Here’s a list of the generated evil eco-sins:

I use plastic grocery bags because paper sucks and bringing my own cloth bags sucks even worse.

I secretly like to hear reports that global warming isn’t real because it decreases my guilt level.

I don’t buy recycled paper because it seems dirty.

I justify eating watermelon all year long by telling myself it’s always in season somewhere in the world.

I don’t have a compost pile because it grosses me out.

I fill my recycle garbage can full of trash and then put a layer of cardboard on the top to hide it.

I think littering is ok as long as it’s something small.

I love horsepower more than I love the environment.

I drink bottled water because it makes me feel fancy.

I don’t buy organic because that shit’s expensive.

I pretend to not know what a carbon footprint is.

I refuse to read that new book or watch that new documentary about how jacked up our food supply is because I don’t want to know.

I dress my passenger seat in a jacket and hat and then use the carpool lane.

I want to clip bike commuters who slow down traffic with my side mirrors.

Really, truly pathetic. I was going to comment on each “eco-sin” but I think readers can see why they are just plain stupid.

Alright, so you’ve either picked a generated eco-sin or you’ve written your own. Now you click confess, and you see this:

So we need to repeat a our saint’s prayer, and sin no more. At this point, I could see how some religious people (Catholics in particular) might get a bit upset. It could be viewed as mocking religion in general, especially once you see what the prayer cards look like. So if you click on the bottom, view prayer card, then you get your very own saint to pray too. There are multiple saints depending on what your eco-sin is. If your eco-sin dealt with global warming, you get to pray to this saint:

There is so much wrong with this. First of all, hurricanes are not increasing, severe weather is not increasing, and weather isn’t going to make humans go the way of the dinosaur (at least not because of human activity).

Now, there are a few options you can do once you’ve confessed your eco-sin and prayed to your eco-saint. You can confess another sin. You can share your sin on Facebook, Twitter, or e-mail it. You can print it off (evangelical material?).

You can also view the Sin gallery. There are some genuine confession there (not many), lots of generated confessions, and lots of satirical confessions like mine. Here’s a sampling of some funny ones:

When I’ve seen greenies jetting all over the globe lecturing other people about climate change I foolishly went on with my life. My bad.

By not driving as much as I should I’m starving mother nature of beneficial carbon dioxide. I promise to do better from now on.

I exhale too much methane …. aaaahhhh ….

I refuse to read newspaper articles telling me how biofuels are hiking food price because contrarily to poor people I can afford it.

I could have killed Al Gore when he was visiting Harvard University but I have shamefully missed the opportunity.

Built a coal fired power station in the back yard

I have posted comments which mock, deride, ridicule and calumniate the believers of CAGW on my anti-pseudo-science blog.

I laughed when they said both the hot and the cold weather was because of global warming.

My personal favorite:

I lit a polar bear on fire

I’m assuming that’s a joke anyways.

Well, if after all this eco-guilt has been purged, and you still feel guilty, you can click on the link “Still feeling guilty?“. That bring you to the this page:

That’s right, if you still have eco-guilt you can buy Grist indulgences! Donating to this pristine non-profit group (as they call it, “join our congregation for good”) will presumably earn you a ticket to Mother Earth herself.

You can also subscribe to their weekly newsletter, and their “weekly sinners” option, which they describe as “The week’s best sins handpicked and delivered fresh each week.”

I’m fairly certain religious folks will tell you that sin isn’t something to joke about. The concept of a Priest compiling the “best sins of the week” during confession and sending them out in an e-mail is blasphemous.

As I said, the website is intended to be funny. But it appears to be at the expense of mocking the Catholic practice of confession. Either that or they are serious, in which case it can no longer be denied that environmentalism is religious. I’d be interested in seeing if those of the Catholic faith find this amusing or offensive. I just find it stupid.



Posted by on April 24, 2011 in Uncategorized


6 responses to “A tour of Grist's Earth Confessions website

  1. William Teach

    April 24, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    Heh heh. You have to go a long way back in the sins to fine mine, which was about eating baby seals.

    I don’t think Grist thought that their idiotic eco-sin website would get nailed by the non-ecowackos.

  2. Jan v J

    April 24, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    I’d skin a polar bear (for the white fur) if I wasn’t too busy clubbing baby seals.
    Oooh! Love the crunch as that club goes in!
    Maybe when I’ve finished ……..

  3. Jan v J

    April 24, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    Forgive me – peccavi!

  4. Josualdo

    April 25, 2011 at 6:08 am

    Oh, and here too, I made it to the top 9 sins… I’m beyond any hope of green salvation.

  5. Tatiana Covington

    April 25, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    I eat meat, I fart, I fly whenever I fucking well feel like it, I fart, I watch a huge flatscreen TV, I fart, I use electric power from the Palo Verde Nuclear Station at all hours, I fart, I blast loud Wagnerian music at all hours to help me write my science-fiction saga already so big that to print it on slaughtered trees would deforest America and Canada, I fart, I use animal products at every opportunity, and I fart! All to rack up lots of carbon dioxide!

    And I scorn greenies whenever I can! While running over squirrels and burning gasoline!

    So there!

  6. Tatiana Covington

    April 25, 2011 at 11:30 pm

    PS: Catholicism is just as ridiculous as is every other religion, including Judaism and Islam. We would all be much better off without any religions!


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