Eco-quandary: Fox News goes … green – the new corporate color

NPR had a very interesting story this morning about Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. being on a big green kick. The company plans to be carbon neutral by 2010. You can listen to the whole story here.

The story mentions that Fox News personalities are not exactly known for their green take on life and business. Many of them deny global warming. But News Corp. is forging on, even encouraging writers for Fox TV programming to include environmental topics.

Other companies are delving into greenness, too. Enterprise Rent-a-Car has pledged to plant 50 million trees, with TV ads touting their program.

But so does SC Johnson, the manufacturer of Pledge, Windex and many other brands. I find it extremely difficult to believe SC Johnson is “Doing what’s right for the environment” when the company specializes in manufacturing chemical-laden, disposable cleaning products to clog our landfills.

One good point on the SC Johnson Web site, however, is that sanitizing products can help prevent disease in the developing world. The problem seems to be that — especially through advertising — we are told in the United States that everything must be sanitized, all the time. TV ads make us think “God forbid my child should eat something that has touched an unsanitary surface!”

In fact, for normal, healthy people, a bit of dirt can help boost our immune systems and keep people (including children) healthier.

When sickness or disaster strike, we are indeed very fortunate to be able to sanitize our environment. I have had either one killer sickness or a series of four illnesses this past week — so I’ll confess that on Saturday, I broke out my little-used disinfecting wipes (purchased before I started this whole green kick) and wiped down the knobs and handles in my bathroom to try to protect the rest of my family. But we aren’t going overboard — our main defenses are hand washing and not sharing cups, utensils or food.

Balance is the key. And we can all start watching for it on Fox.