I feel it necessary to begin by stating that I share my colleague's opinion on two points: It is the individual's responsibility to make their wants known and to be more proactive with whatever entity--be it business or government--able to effect those desired changes; and American's are not very interested in pushing the green movement forward. Although, regarding this last point, only statistics can prove if it's because they're sedated by trite entertainments or because they haven't fallen for the green lobby's promises of unicorn-infested utopia.
The problem with the green movement is that it isn't an individualistic grass-roots movement; it's legislated mandates fraught with burdensome restrictions and financial punishments designed to either bankrupt the worst offenders or force them into Cap-and-Trade schemes, whereby they may continue to be naughty but must pay for the privilege. It's an economy based on Chicken-Little-hysterics, radical ideology, and government subsidies, rather than one driven by the free-market.
It is understandable that "management directive" tops the list as the greater motivator of green conversion amongst the companies responding to the survey. They would be the ones receiving all of the notices from Washington that they had better make the switch before stricter and stricter regulations force their companies to face financial consequences. However, what sorts of things should the Greens be asking them to do?
Switch to those energy-efficient CFL bulbs?
- Aside from containing enough mercury to pollute 528 gallons of water, they are so potentially dangerous that they require an eleven-step process to clean safely if broken; among which is a recommended "airing-out" of one's home to remove any airborne toxins. A broken incandescent bulb requires just three steps: Tell the kids to stand back; sweep it up; and throw it out
Plugging into a wind farm grid?
- Windmills are only as reliable as the weather: which is to say, "Not very." When factoring in the noise pollution and dead birds, even environmentalists have a love-hate relationship with the unsightly fans.
- The government subsidies [$23 per MWh for wind versus $0.50 for coal] needed to create and sustain this unproved industry have resulted in higher utility bills in states where renewable-energy mandates exist.
"The Institute for Energy Research has found electricity prices are almost 40 percent higher in states with mandates (in New York they are double) and although mandates may not be the only reason, they clearly contribute. In New Mexico in 2010 consumers were fighting a 21.2 percent increase in electric rates as a result of a 2009 law that set renewable mandates at 10 percent for 2011 (and 15 percent by 2015). In Montana the legislature is already considering repealing its mandate after a study by the American Tradition Institute and the Montana Policy Institute found Montana’s mandate would cause the loss of 1,874 jobs by 2015 and cost an additional $225 million in electricity bills for consumers." (Link)
And, as for asking automotive companies how they plan to top the Prius or Volt?
- Shouldn't be hard, with Prius topping the 2011 Car Complaint Index and a little issue with Volts only reaching the promised 40 miles per charge under ideal circumstances--ideal circumstances being that it is neither too hot nor too cold. Who knew batteries could be so fickle?
So, as we look to the various green options offered Joe Shmoe, we find that he is not wasting an opportunity to make his wishes known. He is making his wishes known; it's just that the green lobby is too blinded by smug to see them.
John Hardee is a Marketing Commuincations Specialist for Rotor Clip Company, Inc.