In Shelby's words:
The gig changed me.
For one, my bar for kooky, beyond-the-pale behavior is way higher.
Shelby explained this as meaning she didn't find composting or bike commuting that strange any more.
However, Shelby gave up a 15-year journalism career after just one year on the green beat because:
I used to report on religion for The Oregonian. But I hadn't encountered unblinking, unthinking religious fervor until I suggested that some CFLs don't work so well, and that not everyone can afford to buy all organic, all the time. Green blaspheme! I'm lucky we don't do witch trials anymore, or this column might have ended a lot earlier.
The full "Good-bye Greenies" article poses an eloquent case for keeping green values in our lives without making ours and others' lives miserable.
In the words of Edward Abbey, "...it is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it's still here."
This is my beef with the whole "green" thing and why I hold it at arms length(while practicing frugality, prudence, thinking for myself and most of all "be still and know"--the baby gets thrown out with the bathwater, so much becomes yet another marketing ploy, and actual plain ol love and right relation with the earth never infects the user. It's just another cool thing to do, buy green things because eventually it will save the planet because someone said so(follow the money). People never go deep into the wild and come to know it as it is, on it's terms.
And like someone else said here, if you poop in a flush toilet you're completely SOL with some greens--that high-falutin attitude evangelizes no one. People are people are people everywhere you go.
In my own life I'm "evolving" like Ed did, rolling in the mud and taking it in body and soul, not because it will save the planet, or make me cool, or politically correct, but because it brings me fully alive and truly part of the real world. Fall in love and the good deeds will follow.
I know that I have my hobby horses in this field, but they're mainly with the basics (well, I think...).
You do what you can do, with what you have, under the existing circumstances. You learn along the way, and maybe change a few things, a few ways of doing things. You tend to look ahead and contemplate what you can do in the future.
You just do what you can do NOW. And if that's just recycling paper and containers, good for you!
I am really put off by a lot of the politics of green..but I also want to do the best to do my best on my land without making it a religion..
I still drive a car, use electricity on the grid..for now at least..flush a toilet..wash clothes the washer way..etc..even have tv's and holy cow yes COMPUTERS !!
Wyldthang, I enjoyed your appreciation for Edward Abbey and nature in general, however any of us rolls around in it!
Sue, as always, very wise views. Hadn't heard the "hobby horses in this field" line before - that one took me a minute!
Brenda, I'm glad you flush a toilet!
I see it as we all have our parts and we're all doing the best we can. Just as some folks are numbers people, some are kinesthetic and can't do math to save their life, and some are heavily linguistic; well, we have some eco folks focusing on making local food available in the schools, some just learning how to recycle, and some voting with their dollars for organic only, or recycled only. It all helps, it's all valuable, it's all on a spectrum both socially and personally. Very rich, indeed.