Environmental bling

So I’m just reading an article before I head off to bed, and I’m somewhat bitterly glad to read a sentence providing evidence on a topic I’ve felt strongly about for quite some time. So the article I’m reading is in The Age and here’s the quote I saw:

A social researcher, Mark McCrindle, of McCrindle Research, says his studies have shown while most people are concerned about the environment, they are not prepared to pay more to make a difference.

And how true is that?

Throughout life, I’ve known so many people and organisations who profess their deep and passionate love of the environment. Then when prompted to elaborate, these people often then talk about how they switch the lights off at home, choose to reuse supermarket plastic bags or even plant trees on volunteer days. While those are great sentiments, the reality is that they’re token acts which don’t actually affect the environment much at all.

What does effect the environment is the fact that these supposed environmentalists drive two cars, live in McMansions and eat loads of meat. I’m not just referring to the amount of carbon produced from these acts, such the burning of petrol when driving a car, but also the environmental impact in producing the products themselves. For example, huge amounts of energy and coal would have been used/burned, in the process of mining the iron used for the steel in the car.

The truth is, a lot of these passionate lovers of the environment pay lip service to environmental causes in an effort to feel better about themselves. Yet these same people will absolutely refuse to make any real sacrifices for the benefit of the environment, because it would mean compromising on their lifestyle. They’ll continue driving their four wheel drives or building decks for their homes because in the end, the reality is that they actually don’t care that much. To borrow a term from a friend, this supposed care of nature is just ‘environmental bling’; a shiny fashion accessory with with no real value or worth.

This isn’t to say that everyone who isn’t committed to the environment are evil sinners. But if you do make the claim that you’re a committed environmentalist, back your talk up. Or then again, it might be easier to just admit that you actually don’t care that much.

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