Walmart's Faux Greening = McCain's Faux Change
by Pat Healy, Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 12:25:50 PM EDT
If Walmart is a green company then John McCain is a candidate of change. Both are ridiculous suggestions, and both are being propagated by these two antiquated refuges of Republican America.
McCain, for his part, is suddenly casting himself as an agent of change after spending the last two years cozying up and currying favors from the Bush-Rove-Falwell axis.
And Walmart? Well, the world's largest retailer has launched a much-ballyhooed greening initiative that has won acclaim from everyone from the Wall Street Journal to Bill Clinton.
Just to be fair, let's take them at their word for second - Maybe McCain and Walmart read some polls and learned that, wow, people want change and want to go green.
But even if that's the case, it doesn't make them the gold standard. They've still got a lot of atoning to do.
Walmart is the poster-child for suburban sprawl in America and their stores take up more square mileage than the entire island of Manhattan! When they move out of those stores to pursue greener pastures (leaving the local economy conquered and depleted), the stores sit empty and the parking lot crumbles.
When Walmart builds new Supercenters, they don't hesitate to pave over wetlands or suffocate corn fields with asphalt. And their green plan for these new stores seems to overlook that rainwater flushes garbage form their Supercenters' Mega-Parking Lots into the local waterways.
And then there's China - they place that produces 70% of Walmart products. Don't even get me started about China. The stories about mercury spills and raw chemical discharges would disgust you.
I hope Walmart can reform some of these practices. I hope that they're serious about being greener. But I'm not going to hold my breath - It'd be like taking McCain's word that he's going to bring change to the White House.