The Clean Hippie

Seeking the sustainable life in New York City

My Letter of the Week to My Reps July 23, 2010

Way to go. I just saw the news about the so-called “Energy Bill,” which is really just democrats rolling over and showing their bellies to the Republicans.

“We can’t get the votes. It’s not possible.” Is that all we will ever hear from Democrats? At least Republicans get it done, even if I disagree with all of their policies. I had such high hopes when Obama got elected. I thought maybe since Democrats had taken it back, they would have the courage and conviction to undo Bush’s policies and steer us away from relying on oil from dangerous petro-states. To address the crisis of our time: climate change. To clean up the air and the Gulf. Instead we have…. Nothing at all.

Your legacy will be the Congress who was too scared to save our country from poisoning itself with oil and coal. Congratulations.


Alden Wicker

New York, NY 10025



It’s Blog Action Day! YAAAY! October 15, 2009

Filed under: Cool sites,green angst — Alden @ 8:58 pm
Tags: , ,

In honor of this momentous occasion, I’m going to talk a little bit about climate change. I know most of my readers aren’t die hard tree-huggers like me. It’s ok. I just hope I can drive home what a big deal this is.

Let me just say first off, yes, it is real. (I’m talking to you, Emerson.) The arctic oceans are acidifying as their glaciers melt away into oblivion, which will seriously f up the delicious fish supply coming from that region. The flooding of poor coastal regions will force those affected to retreat into unstable regions, provoking war. (You know, where the United States inevitably gets involved? Sweet.) Water supplies are threatened too. Chaos, disharmony, unhappiness. A whole lot of unhappiness.

Look, maybe you don’t care about the Bangladeshis. Ok. But think about how the cute little Annapolis Harbour will look like it did a few years back. Remember, when downtown flooded. Didn’t know MD could have its own Venice, did you?


And then there are all the species that are threatened by climate change. All that pretty coral that makes for good snorkling? It’s not doing so hot. Those sea creatures never did anything to you! Though I suppose mosquitos will make it through ok. They always do.

Look, I’m not expecting you to start buying all your food from Whole Foods. I just want you to be aware that there is a bigass Copenhagen meeting in December. What happens there could have a big affect on the quality of life of us, and our children.

If we don’t pay a little now, we WILL be paying in the future. Promise. A little bit more expensive gas now will save us from a lot of grief. I just don’t want to tell my kid someday, “I don’t know why we didn’t do something, sweetie. We just really messed up.”

Support big action in Copenhagen. Go to and tell the world that you want something to be done!

Thanks yall!


It’s enormous September 3, 2009

Filed under: green angst,Tips — Alden @ 9:03 pm
Tags: , , , ,

I was reading Seth Godin’s blog yesterday, and really enjoyed his post about “Enormity.” What is enormity? Read on.


Pronunciation: \i-ˈnȯr-mə-tē\

Function: noun

1 : an outrageous, improper, vicious, or immoral act 
2 : the quality or state of being immoderate, monstrous, or outrageous; especially : great wickedness <the enormity of the crimes committed during the Third Reich

It’s doesn’t mean huge. It means overwhelming. And that’s what climate change is to me. Overwhelming. At times I feel myself dissolving under the weight of it, especially when I think of the conference in Copenhagen, and what will happen if politics gets in the way of actually doing anything. Apocalypse? The end of our race? Or even just my home deep underwater, or the Chesapeake Bay, where I grew up swimming and sailing, becoming an ecological wasteland.

My friends spend more time worrying about my mental health than worrying about climate change when I try to talk to them about it. “It’s ok,” they tell me. “Just relax.” or “Can we not talk about this?”

I’m not an activist. In fact, I haven’t yet found a place to volunteer yet in NYC. These little things I do often seem to disappear into the grand scheme of things like puffs of smoke from an herbal cigarette. Why try? That is where Seth’s quote comes in:

The problem with enormity in marketing is that it doesn’t work. Enormity should pull at our heartstrings, but it usually shuts us down.

Show us too many sick kids, unfair imprisonments or burned bodies and you won’t get a bigger donation, you’ll just get averted eyes.

If you’ve got a small, fixable problem, people will rush to help, because people like to be on the winning side, take credit and do something that worked. If you’ve got a generational problem, something that is going to take herculean effort and even then probably won’t pan out, we’re going to move on in search of something smaller.

Not fair, but true.

So for now, I’m going to just relax, breathe, and take little steps. Public transportation. Recycling. Trying to eat less meat and more local vegetables. The enormity will still be there, but this is what I can do. And people may ridicule No Impact Man for being ludicrous and not really doing anything important, but it’s the little things that will change the world. Yelling about global warming has done what so far?