[Santa Rosa Press Democrat editorial], May 4, 2003: Californians call themselves environmentalists while consuming ever more resources
It’s rare for newspapers to promote the work done by other newspapers, but “State of Denial” should be read by every Californian. Be prepared: It will make you squirm.
The report (available online at ) points out the hypocrisy of a citizenry that has turned California into an environmental haven while, at the same time, consuming massive amounts of resources. And, if Marin County is any measure, the larger your environmental pretentions, the greater your consumption…. If everyone lived like the environmentally precious residents of Marin County — whose consumption is the largest measured by the folks who do the footprint calculations — we would need 5.4 planets. To measure your ecological footprint, go to

The equation is brutally simple: all other things being equal, more “throughput” of stuff means more environmental impact. And we’re addicted to stuff.
But of course all other things are never equal, so specifically which high quality, eco-groovy, dematerializing substitutions you make in your home or industrial process can acutally make things worse, unless the right sort of careful thinking underlies those choices.