Being Green Isn't Cool Anymore. Was it Ever?

Back in the day five years ago when Graham was dreaming up TreeHugger, the idea was to take the concept of "green" away from the hippie imagery and make it cool and mainstream. However, after crisis piled on after crisis, it quickly became apparent that it isn't about being cool, it is about survival. It also became obvious that there is no point going on about "oh my god we're all gonna die" if we want anyone to bother reading us, but that we have to be upbeat and positive about the things that we have to do and that individuals CAN do to move forward. So we talk a lot less about bamboo skivvies and a lot more about vegetable gardens.

Five years later, Alice Thomson of the London Times looks around and suggests that the green movement is dead, because Conservative leader David Cameron is no longer nailing a wind turbine to his roof, but "grows his own vegetables and holidays barefoot in Britain because it is less extravagant, not because he is trying to reduce his global footprint."She contines :

"But paradoxically, just as Britain is turning its back on the environment, the country is finally becoming greener. Fewer people are moving house so they are buying fewer new white goods such as washing machines and fridges. They may not be queueing up for £9 organic Poilâne bread, but for the first time in a decade they are discarding less food. They buy less impulsively and think more carefully before their weekly shop. Children are wearing hand-me-down uniforms rather than new ones made in sweatshops.

Bottled water sales have fallen. Garden centres have reported a 10 per cent rise in the sales of vegetable seeds in the past 12 months. People are saving money by growing their own potatoes and carrots. They are turning off their central heating for a few more months of the year and ditching their second car rather than buying an electric runaround. And instead of carbon-offsetting their holidays, they are simply going on fewer of them."

She says that it is the economy, stupid, not the green movement. Commenters trot out the usual "environmentalism is fundamentally elitist and is driven by pious snobs who can't bear the thought of the proletariat enjoying similar lifestyle choices. In response, an "alternative" lifestyle has been invented which conveniently is only available to the affluent few."

In fact, I think it proves that we are actually succeeding brilliantly. Environmentalism is hardly elitist if everyone is doing it.

It is a dumb article in a dumb paper, but it is worth reading, as it represents the last gasp of the right-wing anti-green in Britain, as they try to co-opt the changes happening and call them their own. Coming to America soon. ::Times of London
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Tags: Carbon Footprint


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