Imagine, if this happened to you, what would you think?
There you are chatting to a colleague about this and that and he says smugly “I give a tithe of all I possess to a relief fund for sub-Saharan Africa”. His tone proclaims him to be holier than holy and certainly holier than you, you godless person who should be giving to charity too.
Would you not think, what a (insert swear word of choice here)? Would you not think that this kind of behaviour was entirely socially unacceptable? Unless, your colleague is Bill Gates, in which case, you would, I assume, cut him some slack.
Why then, is it laudable for eco-swots to constantly go on about their eco-virtues? These people are messianic. I realise that they spent a long time wandering in the desert but they’re making up for it now. Who would have thought that the bearded, sandal and sock wearers would inherit the earth (for what it’s worth, of course)? They believe that the issues they raise are the most important thing in the world and, furthermore, you are too stupid to understand them, so they must lead you by their shining example. This is too important an issue not to preach about.
I know lots of people who give to charity, quietly and unostentatiously. They seem to feel no compulsion to set the world to rights by telling everyone else exactly what they should be donating and to whom. Why do the eco guilt-trip brigade feel that it is only through witnessing and fully, oh yes fully, understanding their peerless behaviour that the rest of us can be brought to our senses? Personally, if I meet someone else who has to tell me why I must recycle for the planet, I intend to invest all our savings in a Hummer (well, given the stock market crash, a small deposit, say a tenner).
Can I be the start of the backlash, please?
For clarification: I do believe it’s good to give charity; I sort my rubbish for recycling; I only drive to work once a week, on other days I sometimes even cycle; I use rechargeable batteries and recycle the old ones; I bring reuseable bags to the supermarket; I try to take the train rather than the plane when I can. I just don’t feel compelled to tell everyone all the time. Though I appreciate I just did.
For further clarification: this probably isn’t relevant for Americans. You could possibly do with some eco voices in the wilderness over there. I would be very happy to export some of our fully-functional European models. This would probably be good for the balance of payments also and world trade would be the overall winner.
Perhaps I should stop while I still can.