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Monday, April 23, 2007

A jaw-dropping case of missing the point

If you saw yesterday's New York Times, you may have seen the following article in the Fashion & Style section:

Eco-Socialites Make Cleaning Green a Priority

In this article, we see a bunch of New York socialites attending a veritable Tupperware party. Lured there by the prospect of coverage in the New York Times Fashion & Style section, they sat and learned about a line of eco-friendly cleaners.

Let's see how committed these people, who don't need to do anything to survive, are to the green lifestyle.

These days Ms. Barnett, a former assistant district attorney in Manhattan whom Women’s Wear Daily once profiled under the headline “Sloan Ranger,” is today a consumer reporter for KNTV, the NBC television affiliate in San Jose, Calif. She recycles and has tossed away her children’s plastic sippy cups. Concerned with carbon emissions, she is about to replace the Barnetts’ two family cars with hybrids. “I turn the water off when I’m brushing my teeth,” she said. “I’m always learning, I’m always trying to improve.”

Still, she has no plans to reduce the family’s significant carbon footprint by, say, selling the Manhattan second home. “I’m not a perfect person,” she said. “I’m not the greenest woman in America.” And there was scant indication that other guests, most of whom, presumably, knew their way up the steps of a private jet, were contemplating major lifestyle cutbacks. Glancing about the room, Ms. Barnett said, “We aren’t all going to move to one-bedroom apartments.”


And then there's this:

Some listeners took their instruction obligingly, while a few glanced at watches. “I’m feeling so guilty,” said one guest, Jennifer Creel, as she made for the door. She vowed to trade in the suspect detergents at home for eco-sensitive alternatives.

Ms. Seinfeld, who is married to the comedian Jerry Seinfeld, was prepared to clamber on board. “I’m a child of two parents who grew up in the ’60s,” she said. “I’ve been recycling since I was born.” Did she plan to reduce her own carbon footprint by selling off a few of her possessions? “What I have and what I don’t have is not something I talk about,” she said.


And next:

Ms. Rockefeller wanted four kits, one as a gift to her housekeeper. “I want to spread the word,” she said.

She plans to practice conservation, to a point. Energy-saving light bulbs are fine — for the utility closet, perhaps. In other rooms, “they don’t give a very pretty light,” she said.


Wow. All I can say is, wow. Have you ever seen such an example of do as I say, not as I do? None of these individuals is willing to live a simple life, or not even that simple a life. Consider living in one 4,000 square foot home and flying commercial to vacations. These two changes would make a significant impact on the environment, while still living a lifestyle finer than almost all Americans.

Every little bit helps, sure. But at best, the obese person who orders a double cheeseburger, cheesecake, and a Diet Coke is the punchline of a joke. Any honest person knows that, to lose weight, a lot more needs to be done than have a diet soda. And to be green, a lot more needs to be done than purchasing some overpriced cleaners.

(Via Instapundit)

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