Sunday, November 25, 2007

Who said it's about sacrifice?

There are some folks out there who believe that sustainability means painful sacrifice and a bland, boring life. There are even some who question whether trying to simplify the holidays isn't somehow Grinch-like, if not downright patriotic. Some of them apparently write for the New York Times. Yes, I know there are some grim-faced environmental zealots who try to turn every conversation into an object lesson on climate change. But, if the recent scientific reports are even half-true, we could use a few more of them and fewer wasteful, thoughtless consumers. Being the Nice White Lady that I am, I prefer to keep my efforts personal (but not necessarily private). Here's my consumer fantasy: a sustainable lifestyle that preserves my time, energy and money without sucking the fun, novelty and delight from life. Am I crazy for thinking that one of the wealthiest economies in the world can't provide that in its diverse and creative marketplace? Of course I'm not! And if several million other consumers insisted on this new American dream, I think it would be an exciting sign of hope. Looks to me like the real Grinch is the one who's writing Style section articles that quote an American Enterprise Institute scholar on environmental issues without comment or critique, reserving his satirical flourishes for the "green evangelists" he profiles.

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