Sunday, April 16, 2006

Where are the green buzzwords?

Q: Your blog claims to be about "sustainability," but you have no mention of recycling, freecycling, peak oil, vegan soy milk, global warming, global cooling, or endangered species. What's up with that?

A: Thank you for asking! You are one of the many two hypothetical astute readers to inquire about the lack of green buzzwords here.

First, let me assure both of you astute hypothetical readers that all those concepts lurk in my mind somewhere. I suspect they'll find their way into my writing. The things that I value should be apparent in everything I say, if I'm doing it right.

Second, assembling a large puzzle can take some time. There are a lot of pieces to fit together. We'll get there.

Third, do you really need me to tell you about those buzzwords? Odds are you're here because:

  • your favorite search engine listed this site when you looked for aardvarks blue dust mites something totally unrelated, or...

  • you're already interested in sustainability and so you already know as much about those topics as I do, or...

  • you're not really interested in sustainability (yet), and so yet another web site that repeats those terms and lists 500 links to other green web sites...well, that just doesn't hold your attention.

I understand.

My purpose here is to bolster the smaller and less-noticed community of folks who emphasize cultural effects and values. Remarkable changes in behavior, attitude, and effectiveness can result from small changes in personal values. Effectively influencing each others' values benefits from credibility, time, and a little investment in persuasive technique. Without some common language about shared values, without some frame of reference, more blogs about recycling probably won't make much difference.

So this talk of puzzles, frames of reference, and metaphors is a way to build a shared context. It's a way to create a shared language, some sort of credibility, and a foundation for future ideas.

Thanks for your time and attention.



If you really do need a hint to find a green buying guide or a nearby organic grocery, please let me know. Just leave a comment; I'll try to help.

Use of strike-through font for humorous effect cheerfully plagiarized from inspired by the authors at It's probably used elsewhere, but those folks get blame credit for inspiring me.


bully said...

Hi, I got here from the ishmael site. Since I also suffer from a long list of hypothetical readers, the talking to myself thing has come in handy. I usually just leave notes though. Maybe you'll inspire me to start addressing whole entries to the latest comment from Bob Saget? Time will tell.
Anyways, good luck on putting your values into everything you say. I've found it rather difficult. Sometimes it's just easier to be funny or talk about emotions or relay little experiences.
Have you read Neil Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death?

etbnc said...

Bully, thanks for validating my blogging existence!

Yes, I've read Postman's book. It's a good one. I had already stopped paying attention to "the news", although I hadn't really thought about why. I just lost interest. When I read Amusing Ourselves to Death I had an Aha! moment; Postman explained to me why the news had become unsatisfying and unhelpful.