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Shallow green is one way of describing a dominant theme in early 21st century "green" thinking - green ideas are promoted and discussed in the media:
- Without real analysis or depth of understanding of the truth of the claims,
- Without an accurate analysis of the importance of the efforts promoted. It is unwise to promote actions which demand people's time and effort, yet have little impact relative to easier actions.
- Often for the purpose of selling a product or for self-promotion,
This "shallow green" effect is often tied to marketing and consumerism, or the froth and bubble of lightweight journalism. It is full of sparkling idea, and may appear to be bright green (high tech solutions to environmental challenges) whereas in fact it is not truly green at all.
- The openness enables shallow green thinking and writing, as well as greenwash and "pseudoskepticism" to be analyzed, and debunked where this is justified. Examples can be seen at Should I clean my refrigerator coils in response to false information on a high-profile website, and Hybrid vehicles, with an analysis in response to claims that hybrid cars have a larger carbon footprint than SUVs (the claims were based on false assumptions).
- Appropedia's policy (Appropedia:Rigor) of requiring claims to be scientific and rigorous is the other key support for this solution. This will obviously be an ongoing process of sifting fact from myths and false claims, and critical reading on the part of the user is an important component. Wikipedia has demonstrated the potential of this, at its best representing multiple sides of an issue and the case for each view; and even in the worst cases, being open to correction at any time.
- Deep vs. Shallow Green Building, Don Fitz, Synthesis/Regeneration 45 (Winter 2008) on greens.org. Includes "10 ways that the green building fad fails to improve the environment."
- These shallow 'green' recruits are no friends of the Earth, Janet Street-Porter, in The Independent (UK), 1 April 2007. Very harsh column with many valid points.
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