Friday, October 15, 2010

6 Things That Are Secretly Turning You Into A Bad Person: #4. Going Green

We've all heard by now how Al Gore campaigns to save the environment while using an inordinate amount of energy at his mansion. The British have their own green punching bag in Prince Charles, another prominent green campaigner who's regularly called out in the tabloids for things like taking private flights to pick up awards for his environmentalism. And of course, we all know some obnoxious "go green" advocate who smugly carries his groceries in reusable bags and then loads them into his SUV.

No, but you are an asshole.
According to studies, if you took better care of the environment you would be more likely to be a selfish, lying, cheating and stealing douche bag. No, they haven't isolated a connection between old-man ponytails and super villainy. Behavioral psychologists believe it has something to do with a psychological mechanism called "moral balancing." It's the same reason you tell yourself not to worry about that second beer after finishing a big exam.
It's a different mechanism that tells you not to worry about that 11th beer after finishing that big 10th beer.
The theory goes that the better you are in one way, the less good you feel like you have to be in others. What makes green behavior special is that with most types of good behavior -- studying for the aforementioned exam or running a marathon -- there's an obvious, long-term return on your investment (one step closer to graduation and one of those shiny tinfoil blankets, respectively). With ecologically conscious behavior, the world isn't exactly in a rush to pay you back. Your grandkids are the ones who get to reap all that sweet breathable air.
To compensate, you cut yourself more breaks when no one else is looking. In the linked study, the green participants were more likely to steal from a group or cheat at video games. In the real world, you might tell yourself it all balances out in the long run when you hit a kid with your smart car.

Besides, your car probably sustained more damage than that kid.

So while your tiny carbon footprint might be saving the rain forest, and your ethical clothing may be saving some kids in the Third World, your lying and cheating is making life hell for those around you. And that's not even mentioning the bumper stickers.


  1. Going green is a big scam. I'm not going green anytime soon myself.

  2. Haha.
    I dont believe in this whole global warming being our fault thing.
    If it is really as bad as they say it is, they will inforce laws forcing us to recycle and what not.

  3. This is so weird, if anything i thought it'd be the opposite !

  4. The only thing I do to go green is recycle, then again in AZ it's manditory you recycle what you can.

  5. Environmentalists are usually smartasses.

  6. I know someone like this
    She goes on about green this and that, very irritating
    And yes, she has a smartcar.

  7. environmentalist overcompensation. makes sense.

  8. This whole going green thing is just another big corporation marketing scheme. Very interesting blog!

    come check mine out when you have the chance!


  9. In my house we're going green, but it's actually saving us money since the house is old and any improvement will get paid off in energy savings in a short amount of time.

  10. YES! I hate those green maniacs...they don't even know it doesn't change anything, just makes them feel better...