Al Gore makes a strong point: With global population pushing seven billion, there might be a billion of us daily clawing away at coal fields with gigantic shovels, stripping forests with high-tech rolling saws, denuding the hills for firewood, driving more cars and extracting more petroleum than ever before. We are consuming electric power to run air conditioners, TVs and factories in places that previously have never seen them. How can we think this would not have an impact? …
Where, then, does the vehement denial come from? Progressives need to “grok” the mindset behind this refusal. Some have absorbed American Exceptionalism into their very being. Reared in suburban, mall-cruising, upper-middle-class families, they have enjoyed living large and simply cannot fathom scaling back.
Others, the “wannabe” crowd, are striving to get there. The 6,000-square-foot house with three SUVs is baseline. All us hippies (old and young) and anti-growth, Obama-voting idealists are getting in the way with our crazy talk of limits and extinction. Any criticism of our shop-til-you-drop culture is taken as heresy.
Fewer and fewer Americans travel to other countries to witness how more mature economies are tackling these issues. Canadians, Europeans and others are labeled as simply jealous of our “freedom” to pilot 8-mpg monster trucks 30 miles to the nearest Walmart. It’s high time to call them out on it and clear the air.
— Larry Abbott