I find this dichotomy disturbing. If you truly wish to perform environmental conservation, stay the heck away from the last pristine biome in the world.
But there's recently been a tendency among us middle class ed-u-ma-cated folk to worship the "environmental" solutions, when common sense tells you: that's worse than what we were doing!
case 1: my "green" dishwasher. If I use the "saver" cycle, I must completely wash my dishes first, and they don't go through a sanitization cycle. Then, they don't dry, so water just stands in the dishwasher. Talk about a "green" cycle. In order to actually get clean dishes, we have to use the "high heat" setting. Which is no longer green. :(
case 2: the stupid CFL lightbulbs. Talk about a scam. GE and the rest couldn't compete with the Chinese when it came to making incandescent lightbulbs. Since their profit margin was dying, they decided to do what any honest American entrepreneur would do: legislate their problem away! They got congress to pass a law that all of us Yanks have to use CFL lightbulbs. You know them, the spiral bulbs that are supposed to last something like 5 years (NOT) and are full of TOXIC MERCURY SALTS. Nice. A bulb breaks, you need an EPA clean up kit. Additionally, they take for freaking EVER to warm up. God bless you if you put one of these crappy things outside. By the time the thing warms up enough to create light, it's morning. We've started buying LED lightbulbs, which are supposed to last 10 years (Right. Have they even had one for 10 years to test this?) but at least they're not toxic. And darn are they bright. I feel like the gestapo is questioning me when I turn one on in the morning.
I'm sure there are more. But thinking about the silliness and hypocrisy makes my teeth itch. Like that "Into the Wild" book. Just the idea of reading about some suburban kid who decided to "live off the land" and proceed to starve to death seems like an exercise in futility. I can't believe they made a movie out of that crap. I thought I was alone in this thinking, but apparently I am not. Perhaps all is not lost. Perhaps there are more voices in the not-wilderness who respect the wilderness enough to leave it be.
But meanwhile, I'm sitting in an assembly, encouraging my kids to think about visiting Antarctica. Whatever.