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Todd's basic claim is that the environment is too important for us to waste resources and money on ideas that don't actually work. He cites many examples, mainly from the Pacific Northwest, where good intention was high but results were low. Money that we spend on ineffective policy is money that we don't have to spend on effective plans. So getting caught up in fashionable, but wasteful, environment trends actually harms the environment by distracting us from making real progress.
Todd does a great job approaching a controversial topic in a honest way. He explains why well-intentioned and reasonable people may believe an eco-fad. He specifically looks at why Politicians, Businesses, Scientists, and Media would each succumb to eco-fads and identifies popular eco-fads in forestry, climate, and energy.
Todd's book champions accountability as a critical leg for any environmental program. One example from the book that jumps out at me was the green school initiatives in the Seattle area. The original claim was that the schools spent more money with the goal to be 30% more efficient, and afterwards we found they were actually less efficient. He argues the "green" choice is to redirect those funds to environment programs that actually are effective. What impressed me about the book was that Todd doesn't just cite the stat and leave, but actually explains why they ended up being less efficient and includes his conversations with proponents of the initiative. You really get a comprehensive understanding.
He also recognizes that not all environmental and energy policies are eco-fads and talks about positive solutions.
This is an excellent read for anybody trying to understand the environmental issues better and looking for how they can effectively be part of the solution.
Eco-Fads: How the Rise of Trendy Environmentalism Is Harming the Environment, will likely be the best psychology book you've ever read. For people with logical, analytical minds, green extremism can be quite exasperating. Myers helps those of us who value facts and reason understand what motivates environmental extremists.
Myers spent many years working as an environmentalist in state government. Along the way he kept his eyes and mind open to the conflicts between maintaining a healthy environment and how so many varied interests use the environment to further their own selfish interests. As a result, Myers understands these issues better than anyone I have encountered in a half-century of work on environmental battlefields.
Green Building Myths Exposed In his introductory chapter, he takes on myths about green buildings. A prime goal of environmental activists is to force builders to incorporate green designs and maximize energy efficiency. The activists claim the upfront costs of building green more than pay for themselves in the long run. Myers, however, cuts through the fuzzy math to show how green buildings are almost always prohibitively costly and are often (and ironically) bad for the environment.
As an example, environmental activists claim green buildings provide more fresh air, which reduces the potential for "sick buildings" and cuts down on sick days and absenteeism. The reduction in lost worker time more than pays for the additional upfront construction costs, the activists say. Myers persuasively shows none of this is true.
Much Money, Few Benefits Wasting money on efforts that produce no tangible environmental benefit should be condemned. Increasingly, however, the opposite is happening.Read more ›
The green world has gone mad. In a single-minded crusade to save the planet from impending doom, the green movement charges ahead with orders to enact policy first and ask questions later. In "Eco-Fads: How the Rise of Trendy Environmentalism Is Harming the Environment", Todd Myers asks the questions and assesses the true impact of "green" policies and solutions while outlining an argument for why science and positive results have little to do with the agenda pushed forward by green advocates.
Myers' skeptical approach for looking past the feel-good emotional value of programs such as green schools and dreaded CFL bulbs is why the green movement should resist reacting to "Eco-Fads" as a vampire to holy water.
In the 16th-century, Galileo Galilei was not the first to become entangled in the dynamic between orthodoxy and science. "It vexes me when they would constrain science by the authority of the Scriptures, and yet do not consider themselves bound to answer reason and experiment," Galileo wrote, a quote that is frequently misused by atheists to suggest that the 17-century astronomer was himself a non-believer. But what Galileo more likely meant was that the domain of the unseen - religion - should not assume authority over those things that can be observed for in doing so one would trade facts gained through scientific observation for those more fashionable to the tastes of religious minds.
In his own way, in "Eco-Fads" Myers carries on the tradition of Galileo for being resistant to the dominating force of dogma, though religious orthodoxy has been replaced by the green movement's absolutism.Read more ›