Every once in awhile I read something that makes me outright chuckle. Last night I was sort of surfing around and I found a little gem. “You want to save the earth? Here’s a little hint. Don’t. Buy. Shit.” It was tucked away in an article over at Pajamas Media; Desperate (Green) Housewives. The article is a response to another at the New York Times which more or less takes a sarcastic look at the antics of suburban mothers consumed with “ecoanxiety” who are doing little things and spending lots of money to make the bad feelings go away. Laura McKenna takes the game a little further and points out the erratic hypocrisy of that particular style of “hip” green living in general.
I really had to laugh at the whole thing. What are those bad feelings called? You know the ones you get when you realise that your 4000 square foot house that is home to four people creates a huge tax on resources, not to mention all the stuff that it is filled with? The favored phrase is “ecoanxiety”, of course, anxiety is something that sounds treatable, pop a pill and relieve your anxiety, treat that symptom, get over it. It is a term coined to express an interior reality, a trick of the mind, a feeling that is rooted in mindset, something you should be able to just get over. If you call it what it really is, if you dare speak the word “guilt” then you create an external reality. With guilt there is something real wrong, something you must correct. There is no quick pill to take, you must repent to fix what you are doing. Guilt supposes a moral judgement.
If you feel guilty because your lifestyle is consuming more resources than is equitable than that is where you should start, your lifestyle. All those little pacifying “baby steps” might be better than nothing and they might make the “Green Moms” feel better, but the root problem, the core issue is left untouched.