Ability to differentiate “WISH” and “CAN” is one of the cornerstones of human development. Wishing for unrealistically ambiguous results without basic understanding of the ideology and vision is the major plague of modern day green terror. The bottom-up approach of “we have a solution for world energy requirements by turning corn-reflected light into compost that can generate electricity from heat” generated more negative than positive results. Sure, it raised interest in the masses, just like politics did, but coal, oil and gas mines are expanding as always. It is not necessarily beneficial, that people are talking about the subject, just like a group of mathematicians would not be able to discuss the latest quantum chromodynamics abstraction with the shoppers at the mall.
Modern eco terror is increasingly becoming a witch hunt, just like inquisition and persecution that we should all very well remember. Anyone who does unlike eco terrorists dictate is attacked by words. The worst of all is there are no real basis to nearly anything that is being said. Hybrids get preferential treatment on the pool lane, when in fact their battery leaves as large of a carbon footprint as the next vehicle. People get together thousands of miles away to talk about reducing transportation footprints. Those clearly guilty of gluttony are just as vocal, while their carbon footprint is larger than most cars and houses.
Ecology is just like security – it must never be the goal. If you want perfect computer security, turn off and never use a computer. If you want national security, dismantle your nation. If you want to be ecological, well, to be most ecological you would have to die right now. Not only this is immoral and unethical, because the reason for this cas is not to have a reason.
We need a life first, and then, within this life, we can implement improvements. Turning our attention to what we “CAN” do realistically without any childish wizardry is the best thing we can do. Dreaming of a space exploration ship, without realizing that development of it would make a footprint equal to about a 100 years of this year’s output… Thinking of replacing cars on the road, without realizing that car leaves the biggest footprint when it is produced, not when it is used during it’s life span, and not realizing that there are more cars than humans in the developed society… None of this we really need.
Apart from Kyoto, your local eco activist is most probably nothing more than cheap skate beating out his or her envies and other problems the people who achieved something.