Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The latest Oxymoron - Consumer driven Environmentalism

Are we taking it too far? The New environmentalism.

Ask my friends, I would be the first on the wire about climate change, ecological footprints, energy efficiency et all.
But are we taking all this a bit too far? Sure being ecologically sensitive is great. But fashion statements are making all this a bit too frivolous. People are making supposedly ecologically sensitive statements in their lives because it is fashionable to do so, not because it is the right thing to do. Do you say, "So what? whatever their motives, people are treading down the right path aren't they?"? True. But only to a certain point in time. If being ecologically sensitive is but a fad, it will run its course and we will be right back in square 1.

Take a look at this
The Cardiff Diet
The ecologically sensitive diet for Cardiff residents is all bloody brilliant. But even a vegan hermit wouldn't stick to it. When people who've started replacing their incandescent bulbs with fluorescent ones see that the Jones' are doing the Cardiff diet... well , need I elaborate? I'll tell you what faddists will do. They'll shop where the Jones' do for all the stuff in the cardiff diet and then when they've been seen doing the right things, they swing the SUV around and go to the nearest Tesco to get their kiwi fruit, Chilean wine and Indian mangoes.

We need to be more rational about the whole ecologically sensitive thingy. People are living in a world of plenty where being a planet saving super-family doesn't just take a lot of effort but also a lot of self-control.

And we should take every possible effort to discourage the faddists. When we create faddists who'll simply look for air miles on Caribbean bananas, we're creating people who've no vested interest in creating a better world. When their interest wanes, they will not simply give up their fad and go away. Rather they will attempt to justify their leaving and tell all and sundry about why they left and why the others should too. And you can be sure they won't pick up the next eco-sensitive fad. "Oh I tried that, it all just so much bull".

It indeed is better to have a smaller if genuine bunch of people who understand how they impact the world with their choices. This bunch will grow organically(pardon the pun :D) and we'll find in a generation, a genuinely concerned people instead of a bunch of people who're so proud of having funneled their bathwater to their garden that they are done with their eco-sensitive deed for the lifetime.
Greywater recycling
This though is the way people need to be aware. To conserve, reduce, reuse and recycle whenever, wherever, however they can and yet not make hermits out of themselves. Opinion leaders from the growing community of responsible people can push for policy changes to make regions more responsible and then nations.

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