Saturday, September 8, 2012

There Is No "Easy" Button

"The hard facts are these: If we sum up the easy, cost-effective, eco-efficiency measures we should all embrace, the best we get is a slowing of the growth of environmental damage ... Obsessing over recycling and installing a few special light bulbs won't cut it. We need to be looking at fundamental change in our energy, transportation and agricultural systems rather than technological tweaking on the margins, and this means changes and costs that our current and would-be leaders seem afraid to discuss. Which is a pity, since Americans are at their best when they're struggling together, and sometimes with one another, toward difficult goals ... Surely we must do the easy things: They slow the damage and themselves become enabling symbols of empathy for future generations. But we cannot permit our leaders to sell us short. To stop at 'easy' is to say that the best we can do is accept an uninspired politics of guilt around a parade of uncoordinated individual action."

--Michael Maniates, Professor of Political Science and Environmental Science, Allegheny College

Photos by Anthony F. Chiffolo

1 comment:

Michael Maniates said...

Thanks for highlighting my work. For a more recent exploration of the same themes, see Maniates and Meyer, eds., The Environmental Politics of Sacrifice, MIT Press, 2010. Cheers, Michael Maniates