Is the Green Movement Just a Fad?

The latest cover of Indianapolis Monthly features a female standing behind a reel mower. The magazine features articles on green builders, food markets, places to recycle, and hybrid cars . It seems that every major publication in the nation has had at least one issue about the new “green entrepreneurs.” Advertisements are even sprinkling in green themes. I think it’s great that the public has started to think about the planet at large. However, “green thinking” was popular in the 1970’s. Is it real this time, or just another trend?

I believe that we don’t really have a choice this time. Last time, we just ignored the problem and went back to demanding an ever increasing amount of oil. However, I believe that prospect is out of the window. Experts debate about peak oil, but either way you go it is hard to imagine a significant jump in oil production. India and China have started demanding more oil, leaving less for us. Oil exporting countries are also using more of their own and exporting less. So the renewable energy revolution will have to be real.

How does Indianapolis Monthly fare for representing a true green revolution? For one, the championing of hybrid cars seems a bit unrealistic right now. It can take as much pollution and energy to build a hybrid as it saves over its life. Then there is the issue of disposing the massive batteries. Manufacturing them might get better over time, but hybrids might never cause a significant reduction in the emission of fossil fuels. Thankfully, the other 3 topics seem to fare better. So, is it a case of “3 out of 4” ain’t bad? Or are people really just going to focus on building more cars that don’t seem to solve many problems?

Comments 4

  • I find it interesting how few people recognize that hybrids are a selfish purchase, at best an environmental wash.

    I read an article a month or so ago that talked about the reasons people buy Prius’s. The number one reason was “it makes a statement about me” and the number 2 reason was that “it’s good for the environment.” So, the number one reason to buy a Prius is vanity and the second reason is not exactly truth. Wonderful.

  • I know…I must admit that at first I was excited about them and even considered purchasing one, then I found out all of the drawbacks.

  • Good points on the post. I’ve heard people blame our president on rising oil prices, but this is worldwide demand here that keeps increasing, and it will only go up, long gone are the 1.49 per gallon days of a few years ago.

    Also with hybrids – the technology is still too expensive. Hybrid technology will set you back 4 or 5 thousand from regular price. The reason the Prius is successful is it’s a hybrid only car, you can “make a statement”, rather than just get a hybrid version of a civic.

    Right now if I was to buy a car I’d get a Toyota Yaris – 34-40 mpg and less than 15 grand. I’m happy with that and its almost 10 grand less than a Prius.

  • I’m glad I didn’t end up getting a hybrid — I can spend more money on living in a walkable neighborhood instead and that’s much more environmental.

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