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I’m Doing My Inconsequential Part For The Environment | The Onion – America’s Finest News Source
I just came across this article today through a link of a link of a link (cyberspace black hole that sucks your life away).

It’s so true that it makes me laugh. Have I become cynical? I think not. More realistic I would say. Well, the line between cynical and realistic is blurry. In the past I might feel uneasy reading something like this, but now I think it’s just the truth.

So why do it? Why bother recycling or conserve water? If you rent and the utilities are included, why bother turning off lights, heater, computer, or hot water? Given that there is no economic incentive and our impact is negligible, it is irrational to be “green”.

This is a direct quote from the article:

At the very least, I know with absolute certainty that I have done everything I can to nurture and protect the environment, through genuinely well-intentioned albeit minuscule actions, tragically destined to have absolutely no substantive effect. For I sleep better at night knowing that I have as much influence on global environmental policy as I would had I never been born.

Well said. It’s about self interest anyway. It feels good to be “green”. I use quote-unquote green because the ultimate result is not important (although we won’t feel too good if we find out our efforts are wasted). What matters are the immediate rewards: the thought of being a socially responsible citizen, the pleasure of putting perfectly reusable aluminum cans into a recycling bin, and the mileage you are getting on your hybrid car. Don’t get me wrong, they all have a positive impact. My point is that some actions have higher “feel good” factor than others. For example, light bulb versus heating system. Switching to compact fluorescent light bulb is easy and visible, while switching to better insulation and efficient heating are neither easy nor visible. It makes sense, environmentally, to focus on insulation or turning down the thermostat (just look at your utilities bills, Winter months are the highest).

Perhaps being “green” just isn’t cool enough. If there is a day when those who take public transit or drive hybrid cars get laid more than those who drive Ferrari or Hummers, that’s the day real social change occurs.

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One Comment

  1. I knew you were going to make up something new seeing that new header in flickr 😛


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