Heather Rogers, author of Green Gone Wrong: How Our Economy Is Undermining the Environmental Revolution, will be speaking about Green Gone Wrong at 6.30pm today at the ICA. She will be in interview with Kirsty Wright, the climate justice campaigner for the World Development Movement. For more information and tickets, please see here.
Heather has contributed to Compass – the UK’s most influential ideas and action based political pressure group with over 30,000 members and supporters across the country:
Not so long ago health food, solar panels, and electric mini cars were the purview of activists, hippies, and renegade engineers. Recently, however, a rush of fashionable responses to ecological meltdown hascrowded out the previous generation’s reaction-often characterized as strident and blaming.
The new green wave, typified by the phrase lazy environmentalism, is geared toward the masses that aren’t willing to sacrifice. The new naturalists don’t reject the free market for its reckless degradation of the air, water, and soil as the previous generation of environmentalists did. Instead they aspire to turn the forces of economic growth and development away from despoliation and toward regeneration.
The promise implicit in the changes individuals are asked to make is that global warming can be stopped by swapping out dirty products for green ones, with little disruption to daily life. Getting behind the wheel of a gas-electric hybrid is not so different from driving a regular car. Ethanol and biodiesel come out the nozzle the same as ordinary petrol. Eating organic breakfast cereal no longer feels unfamiliar because it’s coated with sugar and comes in cartoon-covered boxes. And paying a little extra for an airline ticket to cancel out CO2 emissions from a flight takes almost no effort at all. One of the most popular current tools to counteract the mucking up of the earth is the reusable shopping bag. Nowadays more people are bringing them along to the store so they won’t need new plastic bags each time. These totes-often decorated with colorful images of trees and animals, or sporting slogans like I AM NOT A PLASTIC BAG or I AM EARTH WISE-exemplify today’s popular environmentalism. There is good that comes from using them, but they are also symbols that convey responsibility while glossing over the more significant issues of what goes into those bags, how much, and how often…”
Read the full piece here.
And also watch Heather on Reuters’ The Great Debate and listen to her speak about Green Gone Wrong on Night Waves on BBC Radio 3. Rana Mitter hosts a discussion of how markets can promote or hinder environmental issues, with the author Heather Rogers challenging many of the sacred cows of environmentalism, and the economist Catherine Cameron arguing that green issues would be best left to the market.