I am reading with amusement and some disillusion about what characterizes the lifestyles of those who “go green.” Green is a facade and in fact I know it is a facade and a justification in a backward sort of way of being more hedonistic. God help us!!
Here is more from the Washington Post and Michael Rosenwald on this issue:
Like most Whole Foods shoppers, David Bain thinks he is a decent citizen of Earth. His family buys mostly organic food. They recycle. He recently fortified his green credentials by removing a leaking oil tank in his yard.
But here’s a head scratcher: Though the Bains live in Arlington within walking distance of Whole Foods, they often drive there in an SUV that gets just 19 miles per gallon. He has noticed that his SUV is not alone in the lot.
Does that make Bain a hypocrite? He paused before responding: “I could see how people would come to that conclusion, but I don’t have the illusion that people’s decision-making is always logical.”
We drink Diet Coke — with Quarter Pounders and fries at McDonald’s. We go to the gym — and ride the elevator to the second floor. We install tankless water heaters — then take longer showers. We drive SUVs to see Al Gore’s speeches on global warming.
These behavioral riddles beg explanation, and social psychologists are offering one in new studies. The academic name for such quizzical behavior is moral licensing. It seems that we have a good/bad balance sheet in our heads that we’re probably not even aware of. For many people, doing good makes it easier — and often more likely — to do bad. It works in reverse, too: Do bad, then do good.