Greed in the Name of Green

Greed in the Name of Green

Jonathan B.
Mar 5, 2008

Monica Hesse's above-named Washington Post article scolds us soundly:

Really going green, [Paul] Hawken says, "means having less. It does mean less. Everyone is saying, 'You don't have to change your lifestyle.' Well, yes, actually, you do."

Deep down, we know that Anna Sova sheets aren't going to change the world. And we also know that not everyone shares Hesse's lament about our throwaway culture, like Josh Dorfman (aka The Lazy Environmentalist), who is also quoted in the article.

But still, we read it and thought, "Yikes. This is about us."

Dorfman is quoted as saying:

"Buying stuff is intrinsically wrapped up in our identities," Dorfman says. "You can't change that behavior. It's better to say, 'You're a crazy shopaholic. You're not going to stop being a crazy shopaholic. But if you're going to buy 50 pairs of jeans, buy them from this better place.' "

But the article begs a question: what then, are we supposed to do about very real environmental problems? There's an answer given, but it's tongue-in-cheek. We think the evidence is piling up: if we're looking for a real solution to environmental and social problems, we need legislative action: individual choice is not going to cut it.

We don't see the point of vilifying consumption: we don't have enough space to all become subsistence farmers, so most people simply don't have a choice but to consume. And speaking of consume: this is the kind of hopelessly depressing article that makes us pine for a mid-afternoon beer. (An organic one, of course.) Cheers!

Read the full Washington Post article here.

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