The ad hominem argument is often derided as a logical fallacy, and it is assuredly true that one’s failure to live one’s values is not necessarily a refutation of the validity of the values themselves. Nevertheless, there’s much to be said in favor of the proposition ‘if you talk the talk, then walk the walk.’
A new and apparently very popular book by “best-selling author” Daniel Goleman, Ecological Intelligence: How Knowing the Hidden Impacts of What We Buy Can Change Everything is discussed in an interview with the author in How to Live With Ecological Intelligence in Scientific American.
I can’t express an opinion about the book, not having read it — but before you do, you may want to read this interview, with special attention to Goleman’s response to the final question “how are you practicing ‘ecological intelligence’ in your own life?”
Goleman answers “I’m starting to do small things. When I started this exploration I was completely clueless. I’m still relatively clueless.” He then offers precisely three ways in which he’s “started practicing green” in his own life: His wife has bought some stainless steel water bottles so they no longer buy bottled water. They threw out some plastic food storage containers that “seem to leach BPA.” And he asked his lecture agent to stop scheduling him for worldwide trips, and to send videos instead. “I’ve done this in half a dozen venues and it works well. It cuts down enormously on my carbon footprint.”
Yeah. Quite the ecomaniac, huh?