This morning after my calisthenics I watched people walking from the cafe across the street carrying disposable cups, probably to drink at home, where I’m sure they could have brewed coffee themselves with nothing disposable or skipped coffee.
They do it every day. Millions of people in New York get takeout multiple meals per day. To clarify—they’re spending more money for less convenience, less health, less free time, and more pollution.
I look at a lot of polluting behavior like addiction. Wikipedia’s definition describes polluting behavior:
Addiction is a biopsychosocial disorder characterized by repeated use of drugs, or repetitive engagement in a behavior such as gambling, despite harm to self and others.
Sounds about right, considering that people know about the plastic in the ocean yet buy bottled water, know the globe is warming yet burn fossil fuels profligately, and so on—for no improvement to their lives.
Why? Because addicts lie to themselves and others.
I see people buying from Zara and H&M, Starbucks, McDonald’s, other doof purveyors, airlines, and other sources that impoverish, poison, pollute, and deprive of time people could spend working or with family. Like heroin or sugar addicts, they convince themselves that these things improve their lives and attack others for not understanding.
I hear people lying to themselves and others about their polluting addictions. The early ones I noticed were “I can’t avoid flying”, “what one person does doesn’t matter,” and “you can do it because you’re privileged but I can’t”. As bald-faced lies as a cocaine addict saying he or she can’t stop or whatever else excuses they give. See more in my post The cause of our environmental problems, aka “the addiction speaking”.
I’m not calling quitting an addiction like gambling, flying, or Taco Bell easy, just that people lie to themselves. However what I’m writing reads, I’m communicating with compassion and empathy, but talking straight.
How do I know? Because everyone knows.
I searched “addicts lie” and tons came up. The first results:
- Why Do Addicts Lie and Manipulate? – narconon.org
- Why Is My Addicted Loved One Always Telling Lies?
- The Honest Truth Why Addicts Lie – Addictions Treatment
- The Truth About Lying and Addiction | Why Do Addicts Lie?
- Why Addicts Lie? Most Common Reason | IGotSober | Omaha Rehab
- 20 Lies Addicts Tell Themselves – Tranquil Shores
- Most Common Reasons Why Addicts Lie | the River Source
- Common Ways Addicts Manipulate Others | Gateway Foundation
- 7 Honest Reasons Why Addicts Lie – Psych Central.com
- 6 Things an Addict Will Never Tell You | Psychology Today
I haven’t read them all, but they clarify a major piece of the challenge we face leading people to change polluting behavior. They also clarify why people spout such nonsense about buying food costing more than doof, that flying brings them to family, and so on.
Here are some reasons from the second article listed above that seem to apply to people’s explanations for driving biking distances and other addictions:
- Addicts Lie to Avoid Confrontation
- People With Addictions Don’t Like Forced Change
- Addicts Want to Escape Negativity
- Loved Ones Enable Lying
- Life Without Addiction Can Seem Like a Void
- Addicts Feel Ashamed
The article goes into more depth for each, but how many apply to people you know who order takeout multiple times per month and empty their garbage every week or more?
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On initiative, leadership, the environment, and burpees