I just read a guest blog on the Scientific American website about how to reach more people to convince them that living in apartments in the city is what environmentalists do ... along with some other, what I call "catch phrases" or non-thought-out "rules" that are not sustainable and actually make no sense.
For instance, I had always assumed that protecting the environment was something that one aspired to have *everyone* do, not just an elite enlightened few who could float above us on their superiority. What would be the point of the latter except to build up someone's insecure self-esteem? To change the way a culture works and how people treat the Earth on a whole seems a more sustainable goal if you are thinking of helping the Earth and not an individual's ego.
So, you want everyone to live in apartments in the city. Everyone? Or just the elite superior "environmentalists"? Everyone living in apartments in the city with no suburbs and only farms for producing food but no one else living outside the city. What is it about the word "sustainable" that these people don't understand? To me that idea is one of those non-thought-out highschool kid mentality ideas of a kid who is too young to really understand critical thinking. So when adults throw that stuff I find it annoying and frustrating. Have they considered that if EVERYONE lived in apartments in the city and the suburbs became an abandoned ghost town that the overpopulation itself would be overwhelming and horrible?
I'm not just saying this because I did hear that from psuedo-environmentalists when we moved to suburbs, but because throwing out cliches and not thinking through issues actually seems destructive to me. Like how PETA gives animal rights activists a bad name when they pull bizarre and often offensive stunts. I have a theory that there are plants from the beef industry in PETA and their whole agenda is to make PETA seem so crazy they discredit animal rights activists to such a degree that no one listens to the people who actually do want animals treated humanely.
Here's a weird thought for sustainable environmentalism ... maybe we should change our consumerist culture? Maybe we should start getting rid of the bulk of advertising and start pushing an agenda that if you buy something new you use it until it doesn't work anymore before you replace it? Why don't we teach people that they only need what they need and that a four person family doesn't need a 3500 square foot house and you don't need new cars every two years and fashion is bullshit - you just need clothes to keep you warm, or cool, or from getting a sunburn, or so your horse bites your shirt sleeve instead of your bare arm. How about teaching our society to find self-worth in who each person is not what they own and good god can we just completely annihilate jobs like "lifestyle experts"???
That to me is the first step in creating a sustainable environmentalist attitude. Then add in decent public transportation EVERYWHERE, not just in San Francisco and Chicago and New York. And out to the suburbs. I know more people who use public transportation out where we live than I do in the city because the county transportation is way better and reliable than the city public transportation.
Plus, the loudest of my neighbors who complained about how living in the suburbs was bad for the environment DROVE to work everyday. She lived in the city and worked in the city but she drove to work, drove to the grocery store and still had the nerve to tell me moving to the suburbs was bad for the environment. I even chastised her once for buying plastic menstrual pads and suggested she get some Glad Rags instead. But she said they were too gross. And she *had* to drive to work because of the timing of buses. Uh-huh. You can throw stones at everyone else but when it comes to doing something yourself you're full of excuses. That's how I see the folks that don't actively try to think of sustainable solutions for our society but instead just throw out these old tired cliches and then feel superior because of them. Disingenuous is the word of the day here.