Green Spot: Getting off the Green ‘Party’

I think perhaps I realized a serious flaw with the ‘green’ movement today: we’ve turned it into a party instead of a movement for real change.  In the party, everyone is a winner and no one loses.  We can all be green by recycling one item a week and ignore the hard choices ahead.

The reality is much more difficult.  Our systems which our society is based on are not working they way we need them to in the future.  We are still too dependent on fossil fuel regardless of if we recycle our newspaper or not.  We’ve ignored the question should we have newspapers at all?  Should it be all digital instead and if you want a print copy let a high speed print on demand service that only makes the exact number needed in day.  No extra copies.  If you decide you want one and didn’t sign up for print version then too bad.  Saving resources trumps easy.

Yet when you start to examine our lives you can’t help be realize getting off fossil fuels are going to be painful.  It will not be easy or cheap.  It will cost trillions of dollars and take decades to do.  And here’s the real issue: we won’t get it right the first time.  Hell, it may even take a tries to make things work in any given sub-system.  We need to get over the idea there will be one way to do it.  Instead there will be thousands of possible ways and we will have to try most of them.  The good ones will take off and others will fail.  It’s going to be just like every other invention we’ve done so far.  Trial and error will get the job done.

In the end, change will happen because there isn’t another choice.  Being wasteful should cost a lot and easy should have it’s price.  The party is going to be over soon, then the real work will begin.  We either start to live truly in a sustainable way with our environments or we fail to continue to exist this way at all in the long term.

So how are you enjoying the green party where everything that says ‘green’ is cool?

3 thoughts on “Green Spot: Getting off the Green ‘Party’”

  1. I would like to see the government make all alternative energy expenses income tax deductible…for everyone, not just businesses.

    Even if they did this on a trial basis for say 2 years, it may encourage a lot more trial and error. It might speed up the process. We might even see retail stores opening up specializing in green energy solutions. Solar panels, wind turbines etc.

    The green party is just one of the trial and error activities. It does help to get people thinking along this line.

  2. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this green “party” you speak of.
    Maybe I just live in a hardcore green area, but I’ve never heard of anyone ever being considered green and cool for just recycling one item a week (or equivalent).

    If you mean the recent trend in products becoming more “green”, and even high-end grocery stores switching to a pay-for-plastic-bags system (and encouraging people to bring their own bags and bins instead of buying any plastic bags at all), then I still think it’s a good thing. Sure, it’s hyped up, and sure, it’s only a tiny start and not an end point, but it’s getting people to pay attention. Making something seem cool and mainstream is, unfortunately, one of the only ways to get the attention of the public at large.
    No one says “Wow, that grocery store is so green and awesome for doing that!!”, we say “Good, took them long enough” and wait for the next green change they make.

  3. CM,

    I cleaned up your Opps. Actually that is a good idea depending on how you craft it.


    Interesting. The greener area you live the less likely being green is going to mean anything. Actually it would be nice to get to the point where it is just what people do and the concept of ‘going green’ is just obvious to everyone.


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