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“Why Bother?”

23 April 2008

Why bother? Why take personal action to reduce my carbon footprint when there are so many other people out there polluting regardless? What do I have to gain? If you’ve ever questioned the impact of personal actions (and, let’s face it – we ALL question at some point), I highly recommend reading Michael Pollan’s article, “Why Bother?” from the Times Magazine.

Going personally green is a bet, nothing more or less, though it’s one we probably all should make, even if the odds of it paying off aren’t great. Sometimes you have to act as if acting will make a difference, even when you can’t prove that it will. That, after all, was precisely what happened in Communist Czechoslovakia and Poland, when a handful of individuals like Vaclav Havel and Adam Michnik resolved that they would simply conduct their lives “as if” they lived in a free society. That improbable bet created a tiny space of liberty that, in time, expanded to take in, and then help take down, the whole of the Eastern bloc.

Pollan’s article does a great job of examining both sides of the issue, so this isn’t just “green propoganda” – it’s a thoughtful and insightful look at the difference that individual action makes and why we should all be making changes in our own lives.

Learn how to get the most bang for your buck, be good to the environment and save money, too, with the Minnesota Energy Challenge!

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