Monday, January 18, 2010

The color of love is green?

The New York Times has an amusing article about therapists reporting an increasing in marital strife over whether one's partner is green enough. As expected, women tend to be more in the green camp than men who are in the economic analysis or self determination camp.

I guess that it's that women tend to worry about the welfare of their children more than men, and they worry whether there will be a planet for their grandchildren. Men less so, wonder why. Sting had a song during the cold war called "Russians" where the refrain was

We share the same biology
Regardless of ideology
What might save us, me, and you
Is if the Russians love their children too

So presumably men love their children too. I see this dynamic in a couple who are good friends of mine and the split is identical as the analysis. I think part of it is that men tend to look at concrete measurable things (i.e. this heater will have a break even when?) vs qualitative measures. This is not a bad thing, especially when there is so much green washing going on.

Whatever the reason, ultimately it comes down to priorities what do you and your partner envision as a lifestyle you want:

Still, Robert Brulle, a professor of environment and sociology at Drexel University in Philadelphia, said he had seen divorces among couples who realized that their values were putting them on very different long-term trajectories.

“One still wants to live the American dream with all that means, and the other wants to give up on big materialistic consumption,” Dr. Brulle said. “Those may not be compatible.”

America is a very status conscious society, and there are very few ways of signaling status and one is the material possessions one has. (I won't explore the role of debt distorting that signal) so I think it's going to be hard to change. This is very much the case in that many women choose men of high status and rely on those signals. The contradictions abound!


At 8:31 AM , Blogger TK said...

It's actually the opposite with us. I'd like to be more green in our lifestyle than my fiancee and I think it has a lot to do with my being more quantitative, trying to be more logical than emotional.

Sustainability is an inherently scientific, logical motivator to me. Life as we know it can't continue indefinitely if all we're consuming is non-renewable resources. There's no escaping the physical logic of that.

So every non-sustainable thing we do, every piece of stuff that goes to landfill rather than recycling or compost, just contributes to humanity hitting those limits.

My fiancee get this but feels that this needs to be balanced against quality of life. We don't need lavish lifestyles but she won't accept hardship or sacrifice basic comforts (its not a status thing)

At 10:23 PM , Blogger boniourkee said...

給你一個鼓勵 ..................................................


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home