Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Honey or Vinegar?

A piece that was part eulogy, part editorial ran in today's Nashua Telegraph, written by veteran environmental reporter, David Brooks. In it, he bares his soul,
I confess that despite my willingness to spend time and money on home efficiency – including installing a solar water heater on the roof long before the state gave rebates for it, which has helped cut our electricity use in half over four years – my household is a PLL failure. We haven’t reduced our dryer use at all.
Hauling wet clothes downstairs and outdoors is such a hassle and hanging them on a line inside the (largely unheated) guest room next to the washroom dries them so slowly that I’ve occasionally had to rewash cotton T-shirts that started smelling musty.
Those are feeble excuses; after all, my little old grandmother dried clothes on a line all her life. Laziness has won out, I fear.
If Project Laundry List sticks around and gets stronger, though, maybe it will convince me.
I am all full of piss and vinegar as I read this epitaph. It is an epitaph not so much for Project Laundry List, but for a nation that has seen "the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness."

As I head to China, where the government sometimes just tells you what to do imperially and imperiously, I must say that I am tired of the Project Laundry List approach that I have tirelessly espoused--the "positive approach to change" baloney; the no guilt trip for you; it is all about choices, honey, and you are doing some good things for which we are very proud of you. 

Only in a country where everybody is supposedly accepted and free (everybody's mind is so open, their brains are falling out) would a whole branch of psychology develop to look at social marketing and behavioral economics. Only in a nation oblivious to the most obvious of inconvenient truths would there be an annual conference put on by ACEEE that deals with tactics for behavior change. When is it going to be all right to say, you know what you need to do, dammit, stop with the excuses and get to work? I hope that day is coming.