What Living a Green Life Actually Looks Like

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

Living a green lifestyle is great – until you see how your life would actually look if you followed the basic recommendations set forth by some leaders of the environmental movement.

Some of the “minor inconveniences” of being green include:

  • A 420 sq. ft. house
  • A highly efficient refrigerator – and no other appliances
  • No internet
  • Three of four outfits worth of clothes
  • Cold showers
  • No air conditioning

In other words, your life would suck royally Рalmost as bad as having to watch The Watch once a day, every day, for the rest of your life.

Read the whole piece here.

Drew Johnson



Digg it |  reddit |  del.icio.us |  Fark

59 Responses to “What Living a Green Life Actually Looks Like”

  1. #1 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    @45 – Basically. The real issue with nuclear power is that old reactors have been kept online because of the NIMBY’s refusing to allow new ones.

    China is probably going to build the next generation of UK reactors because they REALLY don’t give a **** about NIMBY’s, and are building tens of GW’s of nuclear power this decade alone.

    (Also, bluntly, having a Queen? Is a cheap way of ensuring that there’s ONE head of Government, who is elected. Nice tourist attraction, too – that’s the sum impact of the Monarchy on me)

    @46 – Certainly. But that requires, first, a way to raise capital separate from the current bank system…

  2. #2 |  Andrew Roth | 

    Am I wrong that the house on wheels pictured above is not anywhere near 420 sq. ft. in its current configuration? To hazard a very liberal guess, I’d say that it’s 7 ft. wide and 21 ft. long, or 147 sq. ft,. but in fact it looks more like 6×18, or 108 sq. ft.

    On closer examination, it appears that it has a folding ceiling, allowing it to be collapsed for easy transport (as shown in the picture, with the house riding on a noncommercial travel trailer) and expanded to size on site. It appears that its real footprint once assembled is more than three times its travel size. I also know from personal experience that a 420 sq. ft. studio is a lot bigger than the house shown above; I’ve stayed with friends in studios of about that size, and I’ve lived in studios that were between 500 and 600 sq. ft.

    In point of fact, after full assembly this house is NOT the equivalent of a garden shed perched on a household travel trailer. It’s small, but not remotely that small. Insinuating that it is is intellectually dishonest.

    Drew, it’s no wonder that you’re getting hosed in the comment threads.

  3. #3 |  el coronado | 

    No, why Drew’s getting hosed in the comments is because he accurately quoted a priest of the Green movement. Some asswipe named Bill Mckibben, a green advocate, said all those things. They’re right there in the link. The green movement is in a somewhat tricky spot right now, what with people starting to care more about “having a job” than “impressing morons by living a greener-than-thou life”, and they’re (obviously) not happy at having their dirty laundry exposed/quoted accurately. To (semi) quote a commenter in another thread, the biggest red flag here is the almost puritanical righteous fury the greenies show at having their dogma questioned. (Rather like the gun-grabbers and Scientology, now I think of it…..)

    As for the picture, I think Drew dared to tweak the state-sponsored Religion of the Moment by illustrating his point with an obviously ‘not 420 sq. ft.’ microshack. Humorous exaggeration on a BLOG?!? On the INTERNET??? My God…..The Horror…

  4. #4 |  americanadian | 

    Life’s tough. Do nothing then. In 50 years I wonder what a comparable article would look like. No hope, no future. The planet is warming & population growth is exploding; we’re heading to a great extinction event. Why the hell people would have children now is beyond me but have at it with your gas guzzlin cars, your freedoms, your coal, frackin, etc. Oh, & your incandescent light bulbs.
    It’s everyone’s right to burn as much energy as they want, isn’t it?
    And your health care sucks. Too.

  5. #5 |  Psion | 

    It’s a date then, Americanadian! See you in fifty years and you’ll see how the neo-Malthusians have been lying to you for their own personal gain.

  6. #6 |  Andrew Roth | 

    El Coronado,

    Drew didn’t invite criticism just by quoting McKibben. The picture of that house is misleading, particularly since he explicitly labeled it “420 sq ft house.” My guess is that the original publishers of the picture specified that it showed the house configured for transportation and touted the ease with which it could be expanded to size; I’ve seen much the same thing in the likes of the Whole Earth Catalog.

    I don’t believe that the manner in which Drew presented the house picture can be reasonably construed as hyperbolic artistic license, a reductio ad absurdum, or satire. Everything else about this post and his previous Agitator posts (with the exception of the Traficant post, perhaps) is too earnest for that. Incorporating that sort of exaggeration into an obviously satirical post would be fine, but incorporating it into a strident, earnest broadside is intellectually dishonest. Drew clearly lured his readers in with an unironic expression of outrage, so it’s completely reasonable for his readers to expect that his outrage be grounded in empirical facts, or at least reasonable observations, rather than half-cocked prejudices or visual sleights of hand. I have no way to know whether he mislabeled the house picture on purpose or out of sloppiness, but in either event it was poor journalism, so of course he has been called out on it.

    To put it another way, there’s a difference between P.J. O’Rourke taking liberties with the facts and John Stossel taking liberties with the facts. In this case, Drew is clearly channelling Stossel.

    This isn’t the first time that Drew has walked into a firestorm by resorting to dubious sources. The flak that he took a few weeks ago for using an atrocious screed in the Daily Caller as the basis for a critique of government dependency was even more deserved than what he’s taking for this piece.

    I guess the upshot is that, regardless of who writes it, partisan hackwork doesn’t go uncriticized around here. I certainly wouldn’t have challenged Drew so aggressively if he had used better sources and been more meticulous in his writing.

  7. #7 |  Elliot | 

    @americanadian (#54), you come across as a parody, compressing an impressive number of cliched hyperboles. You watch too many movies.

    If the global temperature continues to increase, then in 50 years people will likely be adapting to the change, as they have done throughout history. Sea walls may protect coastal cities. Russia and Canada will enjoy a bounty of riches as warmer temperatures will benefit them. People will watch documentaries and clip shows showing predictions from today, and laugh, and laugh, and laugh.

    Even better, if natural forces cause global temperatures to go into a cooling cycle, Canada will miss out on the benefits of warming, and people will still laugh, and laugh, and laugh.

  8. #8 |  Andrew Roth | 

    Re: Psion #55:

    I’m willing to entertain the notion that some of the Malthusians have ulterior motives because I damn near know for a fact that some of their adversaries on the right have ulterior motives. I stress some, not all, but at the same time most of the noise on the right with respect to population comes from the asshat contingent.

    These are generally the same people who insist on imposing their sick sexual neuroses and geopolitical paranoia on the public at large, e.g., Rick Santorum and Michele Bachmann. On the be-fruitful-and-multiply right, there’s a lot of common cause between the deeply repressed and resentful fringe of Catholic natural family planning zealots, the Mormon manifest destiny set and the Baptist/evangelical quiverfull breeders. It’s not uncommon to hear politicians, preachers or public intellectuals from this coalition speak approvingly of the fact that their followers are raising more children for the war (sometimes metaphorical, sometimes literal) against Islam and/or atheistic hedonism.

    In my more cynical moments I’ve wondered whether one of the reasons for the Catholic Church’s positions against birth control and in support of reckless breeding is to raise more children for the pleasure of pedophile priests. It’s a sick and disturbing thought, but I can’t imagine a much more positive gloss being put on simultaneous campaigns by an institution to suppress sexuality among its happily and willfully married couples and to harbor and obstruct justice on behalf of known sexual predators in its clergy. At the same time, the desire to raise more children in order to more readily go to war at a time when the US is killing and maiming the best of its youth in pursuit of dubious objectives abroad (more often an old line Protestant or nondenominational goal than a Catholic one) is equally hideous on examination, just in a different way from the pedophile priest scandal.

    For the record, I joined the Catholic Church in spite of this sickness, not because of it. I may have been too optimistic about the Church’s ability or willingness to move beyond its more stupid and destructive obsessions.

    One thing I can say for sure is that I’m awfully sick of the insinuations that the childless are that way because they hate children and families. Of course the Catholic clergy and religious are exempted from this critique because they (ostensibly) aren’t having illicit sexy time, a situation that makes the scolding all the more ridiculous but also all the more scary because people actually put credence in it.

    It has become painfully clear to me that regardless of the underlying virtue of the practices being advocated, once matters of sex and childrearing become politicized it’s time for reasonable people of goodwill to cry foul. Loudly. The zealots on both sides are prone to thrash around like bulls in a china shop, with no regard for the amount of collateral damage that they cause in the pursuit of their monomaniacal goals. A decent society confronts such people.

    All the same, it’s no wonder that so many reasonable people of goodwill disengage from the political system when they see what an intractable mess the crazies have made of it. The loudest, most influential factions in many debates clearly have no interest in compromise, consensus or the commonweal. All they want to do is foam and spit venom at their adversaries.

  9. #9 |  Elliot | 

    @Andrew Roth (#58): “left” and “right” describe directions, not politics. That’s a counter-intellectual, archaic model from centuries ago, which excludes important disctinctions and stupidly puts highly similar people at opposite ends (e.g., Hitler and Stalin) but is also used to squash highly dissimilar people into a single point (e.g., religious right and secular libertarians).

    I don’t care if people choose to have more children, so long as they take responsibility for providing for them and raising them. Any government law, tax, etc. which punishes or encourages more or less children is anti-freedom.

    The arguments against the Malthusians which I have read basically compare the predicitons with the current data, so we can all laugh. Of those sources I can recall, none of them were religious in nature, or “right wing” by any reasonable measure.

    You need to get out more. Seek out authors who are rational who express skepticism and criticism of whatever you take as common wisdom. Ignore the religious knee-jerkers.