Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Going Green can hurt relationships

The NY Times' Leslie Kaufman writes "therapists say they are seeing a rise in bickering between couples and family members over the extent to which they should change their lives to save the planet."

Stress over environmentalism, going Green, global warming and similar issues are causing "green lines" in the sand and destroying relationships. Carbon footprints have become more important than walks together.

The moral guilt associated with one's lifestyle and the environment has begun to trump our interpersonal relationships. The Al Gore induced obsession with humans destroying the planet can, according to this NY Times article, really pose separations and even divorce between couples/families.

Speaking from personal experience, I've witnessed the stress first hand.

The husband of a couple close to my family had purchased a new Toyota Hybrid weeks before the air conditioning went out on the spouse's older model Ford. Now, life in central Florida dictates A/C to be a necessity rather than a luxury for several months out of the year.

At this time, the couple has a young infant, yet the husband refused to handover his hybrid with functional A/C and even more disturbing, refused to run the air for himself.

I can't speak to whether he rolled down the windows (don't even get me started on how that effects the gas mileage) but I can confess to seeing the large sweat stains on his back after driving.

Needless to say, this didn't set well with the Misses and their tax refund provided the needed $1500 to repair her car.

As I reflected on this story with my wife, she reminded me of their bigger fight over his recycling clutter and garbage in their small home. This battle raged on for weeks before his admirable recycling campaign was relocated outside.

I personally believe we need to be good stewards of this amazing planet, but this "Cult of Environmentalism" has escalated the campaign into an aggressive, guilt filled rage against any of us that don't "toe the line."

The therapist in the aforementioned article notes: "The danger arises when one partner undergoes an environmental ‘waking up’ process way before the other, leaving a new values gap between them"

Sounds like the claims when one member of the couple or family finds religious salvation or some other spiritual epiphany.

Maybe it's a cult religion after all.

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