Originally Posted by jwing
My work in energy efficiency lead me to rubbing elbows with energy economists and that lead me to believe that collectively is the only way to reverse the destructive trend. But getting enough people to all think collectively requires central control of the breadth and depth that I want nothing to do with - to me the USA is already excessively controlling its citizens.
But I agree that working as individuals and small groups may be futile.
Once I was angry at some beavers who had felled several large aspen trees to get enough twigs to build a dam. The area looked like hell and the resulting pond inundated my favorite mountain bike trail through a wildflower meadow. Then I thought, why be angry, they are just beavers doing what beavers do. Well, I think homo sapiens are doing what homo sapiens do. And the world goes on. I'm glad I got to do so many things that future people won't be able to, but they will do things I can't even imagine.
I guess I'm not quite so pessimistic. It is possible to change behavior on a mass scale over time. Per capita energy use dropped in the late 70's. People do actually use seat belts today and a lot few people smoke than they used to. In some cases it can take decades.
European countries have made great strides in renewables and energy conservation. We should be embarrassed.