Boston Globe: "Don't buy green"
Two articles this week suggest that buying "green" products like fluorescent bulbs and recycled plastic toys can be counterproductive. In Slate, Ideas contributing writer Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow discusses social-science research that has explored the effects of such small actions on our psyches. Studies have found that the warm glow of self-satisfaction they produce leads us to relax our ethical standards in other areas of our lives.The NY Times stripped bare the feel-good eco-movement a couple years ago with "Eco-socialites make cleaning green a priority"
In The Washington Post’s Outlook section, meanwhile, Mike Tidwell, executive director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, makes the more familiar case that small-scale individual acts are no substitute for large-scale public policy.
These days Ms. Barnett, a former assistant district attorney in Manhattan whom Women's Wear Daily once profiled under the headline "Sloan Ranger," is today a consumer reporter for KNTV, the NBC television affiliate in San Jose, Calif. She recycles and has tossed away her children's plastic sippy cups. Concerned with carbon emissions, she is about to replace the Barnetts' two family cars with hybrids. "I turn the water off when I’m brushing my teeth," she said. "I'm always learning, I'm always trying to improve."Heavens, no! How about some CFL bulbs?
Still, she has no plans to reduce the family’s significant carbon footprint by, say, selling the Manhattan second home. "I'm not a perfect person," she said. "I'm not the greenest woman in America." And there was scant indication that other guests, most of whom, presumably, knew their way up the steps of a private jet, were contemplating major lifestyle cutbacks. Glancing about the room, Ms. Barnett said, "We aren't all going to move to one-bedroom apartments."
She plans to practice conservation, to a point. Energy-saving light bulbs are fine - for the utility closet, perhaps. In other rooms, "they don’t give a very pretty light," she said.Classic stuff.
Extra – Don't forget about this oldie: "Gore defends mansion's power consumption."