Green Gone Wrong

Through the 20th Century, we did more harm to the environment than we knew. Now, as Heather Rodgers exposes in ‘Green Gone Wrong’, we’re doing far less good than we imagine. Whether it’s U.S. car companies stalling fuel efficient cars, impotent carbon offset programs, the downside of biofuels, or toxic compromises in organic labeling, we are ‘undermining the environmental revolution.’ Market forces alone don’t work is a main argument, and Rodgers travels the ends of the earth to make the point. But what does work? She spotlights super energy efficient green buildings in Germany’s Black Forest, mass production green cars in China and organic farming in New York’s Hudson Valley (though this last at the cost of farmers living like starving artists). She’s chosen to highlight these areas rather than document the wrongs more comprehensively. There’s is no mention of the LEED green building standard or recycling programs, and limited discussion of the forces of human nature that may hold up progress. But there’s enough suggested in the delusion that buying earth friendly products can save the planet. The question are too large for any one country to answer  , but the seeds of change are out there. If not, then the June 2, 2011 headline may offer the best hope, “Planet Earth Doesn’t Know How to Make It Any Clearer it Wants Everyone to Leave.”

Next: Is reclaiming lumber good for the environment?