Do as We Say, Not as We Do (Enviro Edition)

If you want pure, unadulterated, gibbering environmental madness, you want to visit the Guardian or the Independent. Within those pages, you’ll find more over-the-top, doom-saying hysteria than in virtually any other collection of newspapers combined. And naturally, if you read the Guardian or Independent, you’re statistically quite likely to be among the most stone-cold envronmental extremists on planet Earth. 

What you won’t be, however, is someone who is statistically likely to live the life you propose to force others to live. In fact, you’re likely to be a far bigger environmental villain (at least, as Guardian readers would define the term) than those evil conservatives who read other U.K. newspapers and broadsheets. You’re less likely to invest in energy efficiency, less likely to economize on fuel, and, well, less likely to do just about anything that you want the government to force your fellow man to do. 

That, anyway, is the conclusion of a striking series of recently released studies reported, with some obvious chagrin, in the Guardian itself.

I’m not particularly surprised. A few years ago, I was in Aspen and had dinner with a friend and a large group of his acquaintances. One of them was quite exercised about the fate of the planet and quite proud of his solar-powered house … until my friend pointed out that his house was bigger than anything outside of a Third World palace and that the solar panels could scarcely keep his energy bills south of the annual GDP of half the counties in the United States. OK, I think that was an exaggeration, but after seeing the house from a distance, it probably wasn’t by much.