I’m not an anti-environmentalist. Pollution is an economic externality, and we have to make sure that our policies account for it (preferably with a pollution tax or cap and trade, rather than with regulation). But I do find the smug moral superiority of environmentalists like Al “Manbearpig” Gore rather offputting.
Which is why I can’t resist passing along this research from Britain’s Exeter University:
The research team questioned 200 people on their environmental attitudes and split them into three groups, based on a commitment to green living. They found the longest and the most frequent flights were taken by those who were most aware of environmental issues, including the threat posed by climate change. Questioned on their heavy use of flying, one respondent said: “I recycle 100% of what I can, there’s not one piece of paper goes in my bin, so that makes me feel less guilty about flying as much as I do.”Barr said “green” lifestyles at home and frequent flying were linked to income, with wealthier people more likely to be engaged in both activities.He said: “The findings indicate that even those people who appear to be very committed to environmental action find it difficult to transfer these behaviours into more problematic contexts.”In other words, I’m happy to be green as long as it doesn’t interfere with my ski trips to St. Moritz. Nice work, a–hole.
Conservation is a wonderful thing, but you gotta walk the walk if you’re going to talk the talk.