Until today, I resisted the urge to comment on Wired provocative article on Inconvenient Truths: Get Ready to Rethink What It Means to Be Green. Lynn Miller‘s comment on Goeff Livingston‘s post about Wired piece, gave me the push I needed.
First, I agree with Lynn. Anything that can draw people into thinking about their carbon footprint, has my full endorsement. Second, I would also hope that the information that is being conveyed does not further confuse citizens. People need clarity, not controversies. Third, I agree with Goeff Livingston, that any respectable journalism medium, such as Wired magazine, ought to do its homework, and convey only accurate information, to the best of their knowledge.
About Wired‘s ‘10 Green Heresies‘, here is what I think:
- Live in cities: YES and NO; I have written before about supporting research for YES. At the same time, there is something about living closer to nature that supports greener behavioral changes. It may be that we have not found yet the way to optimize the way we live in non urban settings.
- A/C is OK: NO; The fact that A/C is less of a villain than heating, does not make it right.
- Organics are not the answer: YES and NO; I do not agree with the whole setup for their argument. The bigger issue is of conservation and proper use of natural resources. Their point about the role of transportation in carbon footprint is also highly debated. I do support their point about limiting read meat and pushing a vegetarian diet.
- Farm the Forests: YES and NO; I am aware that trees are a complex issue; on the whole however, more trees is better than less, and deforestation in the Amazon is never good.
- China is the solution: YES and NO; it is hard to ignore the polluting of the rivers, and of the air, and the exponential growth of coal plants.
- Accept genetic engineering: NO; I am no expert. Still that one does not feel right. I say, let us address the issue of growing population with family planning and education, and conservation strategies. Let us eliminate the food waste, let us eat less, and less processed food.
- Carbon trading doesn’t work: YES; Carbon trading is an easy way out, that does not solve the fundamental problems of needing to produce less greenhouse gases at each source.
- Embrace nuclear power: YES (reluctantly); I know I will get a lot of grief for that one, from some of my antinukes friends. The issue here is, if not nuclear energy, so what? Can we say with confidence that renewable energies, and conservation measures will be set in place soon enough to win the race against greenhouse gas emissions?
- Used cars – not hybrids: YES and MORE; as in retrofitting old cars, biking or walking instead of driving, carpooling, and hopefully soon electric cars that will be recharged with renewable energies. I do own a Prius, but I agree with them, a little old car with good gas mileage would be just as good.
- Prepare for the worst: YES.