Hampshire / Opinions

Environmental Hypocrisy at Hampshire College: Cigarette Butts



by Xavier A. Torres de Janon —

General American hypocrisy is no mystery. Politicians and laws proclaim self-determination and human rights, while interventionist state policies and blind support towards oppressive dictatorships abroad continue. A country that demands on less developed states to be more environmentally sound, while actually considering fracking to get more hydrocarbons. The list goes on.

Today I got out of my bus, and while heading towards the library, I saw near the rocks in front of the RCC a disgustingly beautiful art piece. It consisted of dozens of cigarette butts aligned on the ground to form something resembling a small wave. Yesterday, I had seen a student squatting on the ground near this spot scrambling; now I understand what they were doing. I give huge kudos to this student (or perhaps it was a group of students who made this art piece; if so, I direct my admiration to all of them).

Now to the problem exposed by this art display. I cannot conceive and tolerate a supposedly environmental-friendly school with students polluting with their disposed cigarette butts. I have no issue with smoking in itself; it’s a life choice and I will not go into that. What disturbs me is the hypocrisy with which some smokers indifferently throw away their cigarette butts on the ground. I am absolutely convinced that if you asked any of these polluters their stances on environmental justice, climate change, global warming and sustainability, they will most likely be of the more ‘greener’ kind. These probable attendants of another Rally Against Climate Silence or similar events and initiatives, students who demand environmental consciousness, awareness and action, are however contributing to pollution to the campus.

This behavior is pure environmental hypocrisy. I challenge any cigarette butt polluter to actually come forward and say that their actions are okay. That contributing to environmental contaminants is not such a big issue. American hypocrisy is real, but shouldn’t Hampshire students act to challenge this conception? It’s sad and disappointing that this is happening in our campus. I wonder in what other areas Hampshire students are as hypocritical as this.

One thought on “Environmental Hypocrisy at Hampshire College: Cigarette Butts

  1. Hampshire students “tolerance” is also a hypocrisy. If you don’t swing politically left or if you happen to align yourself with anything that is may misidentify you as a right winger the kids lose their so-called tolerance.

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