"With apologies to a cliché that predates the advent of Earth Day by a year, it is easy being green. Too easy," says Sharon Begley in Newsweek. Anybody can buy "adorable reusable shopping bags" and "organic clothing," and anybody can recycle their wine bottles. But, unfortunately, the "only kind" of green action that "makes a difference" is contacting lawmakers and urging them to support new environmenal laws (think, a climate bill):
"All environmental progress [to date] has come through national- and international-level regulation—to be blunt, by forcing people and industry to stop doing environmentally bad things and start doing environmentally good things, not by relying on individuals' green good will or even the power of the marketplace.
"By believing that green shopping—or even recycling, turning down the thermostat, or carpooling—is enough, we consent to the continuation of the same societal practices that got us into this mess. Compared with the scale of the disaster, changing individual behavior is pathetically inadequate."
Read the entire article in Newsweek.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why is the West so afraid of Islam?
- How Ronald Reagan turned America into a nation of children
- Why Mitt Romney is perfectly poised for a comeback in 2016
- 8 secrets to steal from power networkers
- The Nazi smart bomb that inspired China's most dangerous weapon
- 8 things the world's most extraordinary survivors can teach you about resilience
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- 10 things you need to know today: August 1, 2014
- How to make classic pulled pork
- Hey, GOP: American exceptionalism demands compassion at the border
Subscribe to the Week