"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
- How my boyfriend and I learned to live on one income
- He said he was leaving. She ignored him.
- Affirmative action is doomed. Here's what progressives should do about it.
- Why conservatives see rural America as the 'real' America
- 31 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Why the poor's investment of choice is so alarming
- Why Texas Republicans may want to cool the anti-Obama land-grab talk
- Why China's Communist Party is headed for collapse
- Why atheism doesn't have the upper hand over religion
- Why you're probably drinking your beer all wrong
Subscribe to the Week