When it comes to green technologies, America has historically been a launching point for plenty of environmentally-friendly innovations — the compact fluorescent bulb, wind turbines, lithium ion batteries — only to eventually come up short and pass the buck onto other countries when it comes to implementation. So why are we so bad at going green?
Wired.com takes a look at the history of green technology, and then comes up with a few reason the average American consumer really isn’t very good when it comes to embracing green technology in daily life.
1. Conservations makes you look lame: Back in the day, when only the rich could have running water and keep their iceboxes running at full blast, it was desirable to be able to afford to waste. Seems some are still holding onto that and will immediately run out to buy a pretty new phone when the old one still works perfectly fine. Yeah, I’m talking to you, bro.
2. We’ve got the resources, let’s use them all up!: This reasoning is nothing new — why use solar power when natural gas is cheap? We’ll all be dead in 100 years, who cares about the future when I can drive my car four blocks to the store and not have to walk?
3. We want flashy: Green isn’t a “new” idea, and therefore it’s boring. Basically only hybrid cars are cool enough for us to seek them out and be “wowed” by them. This will change, but slowly.
4. Lobbyists are good at their jobs: The guys and gals who make money off burning fossil fuels have smart people in the government pleading their case, and the cash to back them.
5. Environmentalists are annoying: If I have to listen to Al Gore remind me one more time to recycle, I’mma throw this can right in the trash! Well, that’s how some people feel, apparently, like they’re being harangued into helping the planet.
Just remember, your kids are going to have deal with the messes you make. In the long run, let’s hope going green gets a lot cooler, for everyone’s sakes.
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