As everyone with a pulse knows at this point, green is hot. Everybody wants a piece of it. You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a new green website.

Consequently, your trusty blog author is bombarded with roughly five kerjillion press releases a day. And that’s a conservative estimate.

What’s more, the PR releases are starting to sound more and more alike. Let me excerpt two I got just in the last day. One begins:

Hi David,

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Have you noticed that going green is the "new black?" Helping to save the environment was once reserved solely for activists, but as it becomes easier to participate in green causes, celebrities and consumers alike are joining the environmental cause. If you’re not quite sure what you can do without completely altering your lifestyle, here’s an easy and fun way to begin your journey: create a short video.


Funny. Here’s another one:

Hi – Here’s a great story about a new American Phenomenon – Green Guilt!

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As you know many Americans are embracing the new “green revolution.” But in reality most of us still drive trucks or SUVs, forget to recycle and have no idea what’s in our food. BUT – we are embarrassed to admit it because not being green is such a faux pas. In reality it’s hard to practice what you preach and people are experiencing a new American phenomenon… GREEN GUILT!!!

Now a new website lets people confess their “eco-sins.”

These two sound exactly — and I mean exactly — like probably two dozen other PR emails I’ve gotten in the last few months. Suffice to say, if you want to be green but don’t want to inconvenience yourself, your options on the internet are legion. I can think of about 10 sites off the top of my head that are happy to accept, e.g., your short video.

To make a semi-serious point: it would be easy to look at all this stuff and mock the shallowness, the obsession with "easy" things that you can do. But mocking does not make friends. It certainly doesn’t make a movement. It’s worth remembering that for those not schooled in the minutiae of climate, it is genuinely hard to figure out how to make a meaningful individual contribution, especially since most people are already overwhelmed with the workaday obligations of work, family, etc.

We need to figure out a way to channel all this interest, to make it deeper and enduring. Raining contempt down on our fellow citizens, savaging every small and imperfect attempt they make, does not strike me as an apt means to that end.

A little friendly ribbing though …