Recycling and green guilt

A few years ago we published an editorial questioning whether curbside recycling made economic sense:

http://machinedesign.com/article/save-energy-dont-recycle-0713

Now comes a piece in the Chronicle of Higher Education by a professor of philosophy who posits that many of those who are ardent recyclers are essentially substituting the "green" movement for religion. In one passage, he points out

....Instead of religious sins plaguing our conscience, we now have the transgressions of leaving the water running, leaving the lights on, failing to recycle, and using plastic grocery bags instead of paper. In addition, the righteous pleasures of being more orthodox than your neighbor (in this case being more green) can still be had—the new heresies include failure to compost, or refusal to go organic. Vitriol that used to be reserved for Satan can now be discharged against evil corporate chief executives and drivers of gas-guzzling vehicles. Apocalyptic fear-mongering previously took the shape of repent or burn in hell, but now it is recycle or burn in the ozone hole. In fact, it is interesting the way environmentalism takes on the apocalyptic aspects of the traditional religious narrative.....

The whole thing makes interesting reading and is quite thoughtful. So, too, are the comments posted at the end of the piece. There are quite a few of them......

http://chronicle.com/article/Green-Guilt/63447/?sid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

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