Environmental hypocrites?

After watching the 11th hour, even though I did feel the immediate need to do more to save the planet, I couldn’t help but think if the world’s leading environmentalists are living up to their green preaches.

There has been a great deal of highly critical publicity directed at the world’s leading environmentalists going green in order to pursue a sustainable future.

Leonardo Dicaprio, writer, producer and narrator of the documentary the 11th hour, has purchased an island off the coast of Belize to build a “luxury layout, which will include an 80-room hotel and a selection of condominiums and luxury villas, all with private pools and a green theme”. The idea itself might as well contradict with what he is trying to pursue. Bulldozing a serene island to construct a “luxury” yet “eco-friendly” resort doesn’t really get me convinced.

Take Al Gore for an explicit example. The most visible leader of the world’s green movement has failed to comply to his advocacy with his conduct. According to usatoday, he and his wife live in two properties: a “10,000-square-foot, 20-room, eight-bathroom home in Nashville, and a 4,000-square-foot home in Arlington, Va” with utility bills exceeding 30,000dollars each month. He must conduct himself in a way that is consistent with the great cause he seeks to promote.

They cannot be leading environmentalists who hope to lead the general public into a long and difficult struggle for sacrifice and fundamental change if their own conduct are not consistent with their own green preaches. If the peril of climate change is so imminent that the entire social and political systems must change, their lifestyles are really playing the part.

The issue here is not only about hypocrisy; it’s a question of credibility. If these guys genuinely believe the apocalyptic vision they have put forth and call for radical changes in the way other people live- How does a single man like Mr. Dicaprio flying a private jet count as a radical change towards sustainable development?

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2 comments on “Environmental hypocrites?
  1. barrytang says:

    This is a really insightful yet critical post Ern and I am in complete agreement. It is hard to become an advocate of an ideal when you are living a contradictory lifestyle. However, I think what we must keep in mind is that a gradual transition to become a greener person is required as opposed to a radical change. One cannot expect eco-friendly supporters to completely forego their lifestyle instantly, while there may be the odd exception, the main stream of advocates will require a gradual progression to become more ecologically conscious.

  2. Caroline says:

    That may be true Barry, but when you have someone like Al Gore rallying the world to stand up and take action, it is harder to take their message seriously if they don’t take it seriously enough to change their modus operandi… I don’t expect Gore to move to a tree house, and only eat fallen fruit, but seriously, $30K for utilities?

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