08 Sep '11, 3pm

Do individual actions make a difference? Not enough, says New York Times

The Huffington Post's eco-etiquette column yesterday featured a question from “Kimberly,” who writes "I used to be enthusiastic about going green, but now I feel like what's the point? Like a stupid reusable water bottle is going to make a difference…" She got a comforting answer, but if she’d written to the New York Times , op-ed contributor Gernot Wagner might have told her she might as well pack it in. HuffPo’s advice columnist Jennifer Grayson identified Kimberly’s problem — "You're having a F**k it moment right now" — and told her to step back, take a breather, and "remember that individual actions do make a difference." But Wagner, an economist with the Environmental Defense Fund, has a different answer for people like Kimberly: "[S]adly, individual action does not work. It distracts us from the need for collective action, and it doesn’t add up to enough. Self-intere...

Full article: http://www.grist.org/list/2011-09-08-do-individual-green-...

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