Monday, January 18, 2010

Environmental disputes get a new twist

Sociologists have long talked about the role of values in understanding people's attitudes toward the environment and the role of generational change in values for understanding the emergence of the environmental movement.

Similarly, anyone who has seen an episode of Ed Begley Jr.'s environmental awareness show Living with Ed has a sense of the potential tension differences in environmental commitment can make. An ongoing part of the show's narrative shtick are the conflicts between Ed and his less zealous wife Rachelle Carson who has to put up with Ed's uncompromising beliefs. So, it shouldn't come as a surprise. But, nonetheless, it is interesting to note that therapists are reporting an increase in green disputes among family members.

1 comment:

  1. I read the article; it's a very sharp description of the problem. This is a difficult problem for many couples and families, mine included. But I'll pass along something I heard from Pat Murphy, founder of The Community Solution. That's the film about "Cuba during the Special Period" and how they evolved out of that crisis by changing their food production system. Pat said that during profound ecological crises, such as we face, the one thing we need most is EACH OTHER. We need community. We need mutual support. We need to help each other meet the challenges we face. So go slow on the organic gardening, giving up the car, downsizing the house, cutting back on shopping--all that will come with time. If one partner doesn't see the need for these changes now, eventually they will be forced to change when the crisis is full blown. When gas hits $2 a litre, everyone will be forced to drive less, whether they're "green" or not. So just be patient. Meanwhile, the most important thing is to keep your relationship going, so long as its otherwise a healthy one.