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Great article and not in the least mendacious or clueless. I would like to add only that this politicization of the personal has infected the concept of an "externality." More people are arguing that people's personal decisions to eat, for example, junk food create an externality on the rest of us who are required to pay higher taxes -- say in Medicaid costs.

On Mario's last sentence: intervention begets intervention.

"As government’s role grows, more and more decisions that we think of as personal are becoming political – with all the problems that brings." - Steve

That includes turning people into adversaries. Where diverse lifestyles, opinions, and evaluations were once tolerated (or even celebrated), they become points of conflict, contention, and eventually coercion.

Politicising decisions erodes civil society, and in the process it allows the worst to rise to the top. Perhaps in a future essay you should focus on the morally corrupting consequences of politicising the personal, since the myth that government interaction is the source of civilisation is all too prevalent.

Oops! That is supposed to read "government intervention" -- not "interaction."

"The personal is the political" was a slogan of the radicalized New Left in the 1970s. The radical left is once again in the ascendency.

Mario, Do you find it astounding that Steve can write something that is "not in the least mendacious or clueless"?

Yes, Barkley, I do.

Stop impersonating Rizzo, DeLong!

Excellent post Steve on The Freeman. I did a little research on "The Green Police" over at the Audi website and these folks are serious about their message. Here is what I found on their site:

"Who Are the Green Police?

Green Police: Who are they? Here is a quick primer.

Every day consumers around the globe are faced with a myriad of decisions in their quest to become more environmentally responsible citizens. Paper or plastic? Bottled water or tap water? Gas or electric? Compost bucket or recycling bin? So many questions; yet so many conflicting answers. It can be overwhelming.

Now consumers have help, from the Green Police.

As part of the lead up to their third consecutive Super Bowl ad, Audi has created a fictional Green Police unit that are caricatures of today’s “green movement”. The Green Police are a humorous group of individuals that have joined forces in an effort to collectively help guide consumers to make the right decision when it comes to the environment.

Coincidentally, there are several real Green Police units globally that are furthering green practices and environmental issues. For example, Israel's main arm of the Ministry of Environmental ProtectionEnvironmental ProtectionAudi strives to help protect the environment in all aspects of our vehicle manufacturing.Environmental Protection in the area of enforcement and deterrence is called; you guessed it, the Green Police. New York has officers within the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation that are fondly called the “Green Police”. The United Kingdom’s Environment Agency deploys a squad decked out in green jackets to monitor excessive CO2 emissions.

As part of the 60-second ad, Audi worked with the band Cheap Trick to turn their 1979 smash hit “Dream Police” into a tongue-in-cheek version called “Green Police”. Since making its television debut during the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl, the idea of the Green Police ignited political, social and environmental conversation. But viewed strictly in the context of the Audi Green Car Super Bowl commerical the Green Police exist as simple social satire.

The Green Police really dramatize the impact every day choices have on the environment— from choosing paper or plastic bags at the grocery store and drinking bottled water to the cars we drive. The point of the Green Police then are to show that one of the easiest of those choices is driving the Audi A3 TDI clean diesel, which was just named the Green Car of the Year by the Green Car Journal. With an A3 TDI clean diesel Americans can feel great about being green while also enjoying a finely engineered, luxury automobile which does not sacrifice performance or leading-edge design.

The Audi Green Police are here to entertain and educate so our decisions regarding the environment are smarter and well-informed to make them a little easier."

Here is a link to their site with more videos as well.

BTW, Doug, the NY DEC folks really do ride around in cars that look like police cars but with green trim. I've been calling them the Green Police for years. But not fondly.

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