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Environment

The Ugly Truth About Being Green

Collide-a-ScapeBy Keith KloorAugust 21, 2010 6:45 PM

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In a longish essay in the Wall Street Journal weekend edition, Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, tells a story about why

being green is hard. My wife and I recently built what is arguably the greenest home for miles around. OK, stop. This is a good time to define "green." The greenest home is the one you don't build. If you really want to save the Earth, move in with another family and share a house that's already built. Better yet, live in the forest and eat whatever the squirrels don't want. Don't brag to me about riding your bicycle to work; a lot of energy went into building that bicycle. Stop being a hypocrite like me. I prefer a more pragmatic definition of green. I think of it as living the life you want, with as much Earth-wise efficiency as your time and budget reasonably allow. Now back to our story.

I recommend you read it. Adams clearly went to great lengths to build his green house, but he has no illusions about the tradeoffs involved, the psychological appeal of being an "early adopter," and the aesthetics of hippies. The piece is hilarious and spot-on. If only more environmentalists talked like this.

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