I was just called a watermelon on Facebook. Mirrors don’t lie. I must admit my bald round head does have a mellon shape. But they were not talking about my looks. Watermelons are people that are green on the outside and red in the middle. Get it? I was just called a communist!
The next question is whether you will be called a watermelon too?
Who are watermelons
Similar to my use of social media, I am always playing catch up on the right vs. left thing. Apparently the term watermelon was first used in 2013. A British fellow named James Delingpole wrote a book exposing watermelons. He describes himself as an “English contrarian columnist and novelist.”
What Contrarian Delingpole believes he has exposed is a “shocking story” of watermelon people attempting world domination by corrupting the human desire to protect Earth. He explains a “Climategate scandal” where “red on the inside” people are using climate science to create “mass hysteria.” Their goal is to raise taxes, crush the free enterprise system and steal our liberty. What Delingpole exposes are “liberty-loathing, humanity-hating watermelons of the modern environmental movement” who do not want to save the world but rule it.
Are we watermelons?
How could I be a watermelon? I am a economist. I have started businesses. I even wrote a book called The Secret Green Sauce to help entrepreneurs and businesses make more money.
My own path is indicative of how many of us “watermelons” became engaged in sustainability. In 2007, after a decade of studying the numbers, I became convinced that global warming was real and manmade. Convincing myself of this was not easy. I first heard the words “global warming” while working inside an oil refinery. So I am understanding to those still struggling to accept climate change. But encouragingly, I am not so lonely as I once was on believing climate change is real. Polls now point to 65% of Americans having this same understanding.
Could I be a watermelon because I have written extensively on climate change’s disruptive impacts on technology, public policy and business? I founded Earth 2017 as a free online resource for businesses and communities seeking best practices and innovations for enhancing planet sustainability, human health and PROFITS. I proudly, and appreciatively, write for Triple Pundit and Latin Business Today.
My story is representative of almost everyone I know in sustainability. They are business people, volunteers, community leaders, spouses and parents. All approach sustainability with a desire to make our world and country a better place for all. My fellow business people see we can also make money by making a difference. Does that makes us watermelons?
How could watermelons be so misunderstood
In defense of watermelons I believe this is all a misunderstanding. Let’s explore Contrarian Delingpole’s list of watermelon threats. The one that gets my attention is raising taxes. I am against this. Like we don’t pay enough taxes already!
But as an economist I sure like the idea of taxing things we don’t want and not taxing things we want more of. So I like the idea of removing payroll taxes because we want more jobs and these taxes make it more expensive to hire people. I like the idea of taxing pollution. Who wants more pollution? What if we taxed pollution enough that we could tax our income less? Anyone that is not an oil company or electric utility want to vote against this idea?
Delingpole also charges watermelons with liberty loathing. I loath riding behind diesel trucks and inhaling their pollution. I loath business lobbying that wraps itself in the principals of free enterprise and free speech but with the real intent of gaining competitive advantage through legislation or regulation. I loath businesses who use mass marketing to promote products they know to be linked to our obesity epidemic or global warming.
That means I am in favor of public policy that protects humans. I want regulations that require food companies to put the nutrition truth on the front of their packages, and make this information easy to understand, rather than plastering them with the word “natural.” I would prefer our Congress act on global warming. If they can’t or won’t then regulation looks like a necessary evil that is better than letting pollution destroy my children’s future. I support building codes that promote energy efficiency and lower electric bills. Is all of that liberty loathing or just supporting common sense public policy?
Come to think of it, I like eating watermelon and so do most kids. Is it liberty loathing to feed them watermelon rather than pizzas that lobbyist inspired legislation has defined to be a vegetable? (Now for a real conspiracy! Did you know that watermelon is both a fruit and vegetable?)
Eating watermelon this Earth Day!
Now that I have been called out I can see nothing wrong with embracing who I am. I love America and its freedom. I am a capitalist and a business person. Less taxes and government rules would be preferred but not at the expense of hurting people or our planet. Like most Americans I am trying to do right in the hopes of leaving this world a little better than I found it.
Will you join me in having some watermelon on Earth Day? I promise you won’t turn red on the inside.