Everybody cares about the environment until they want to see the Eiffel Tower

September 7, 2016 by Joshua
in Awareness, Nature

If you want to turn anyone into a know-it-all who thinks they have a PhD in nutrition, tell them your eating habits and they’ll show off how much they know.

If you want to make someone forget about supply and demand, personal responsibility, accountability, and causality, point out how much flying in planes affects the environment.

They’ll give you foolish nonsense about how the plane was going to fly anyway, how one day planes will be solar, and other nonsense serving only two purposes:

1. They want to sleep at night despite knowing they’re contributing more to global warming and pollution than nearly anyone who has ever lived

Of the roughly 100 billion people who have ever lived, if you’ve flown across an ocean, you probably contributed more to the sea levels rising than 99.9999999% (I didn’t count the 9’s but I’m sure I could put a few more in) of anyone. What an incredible achievement!

I’m one of this “elite,” many times over. So are you. How do you feel about that? Do you own up to it?

2. They really want to see Rome, Paris, or whatever and don’t want to feel bad about it

People feel incredibly entitled about seeing parts of the world others have and they want to. People who get enraged about how companies pollute, work people in sweatshops, imprison too many people, and so on, lose all sense of personal responsibility for the consequences of their actions.

They get pissed about how Zara and H&M use toxic stuff, but they fly. They get pissed about Apple and Foxconn using sweatshops, but they proudly pay to spew tons of toxic jet fuel into the atmosphere we all share. (Apple users still bought the Apple stuff. Nothing will stop some of them).

Of those 100 billion who didn’t fly a plane, I’d bet many of them found ways to be happy, probably happier than people who crave traveling so far, taking for granted things they can discover closer.

Anyway, I went to London and Paris earlier this year. In the spirit of my experiment avoiding food packaging, which has improved my life incredibly by filling it with more fresh fruits and vegetables, I decided to avoid flying for a year. Hardly an achievement, but it still takes effort in our culture. Most people I know have flown just in the past few months.

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2 responses on “Everybody cares about the environment until they want to see the Eiffel Tower

  1. Pingback: 365 days, flying, and the definition of impossibility | Joshua Spodek

  2. Pingback: Two big problems with how we work on global warming, and solutions | Joshua Spodek

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