John Montanari: Spare the virtuous lifestyle columns please

Last modified: Wednesday, April 30, 2014
To the editor:

Marty Nathan is, of course, free to pursue whatever lifestyle choices she wants — as am I, even if I don’t brag about how virtuous my choices are in the pages of the Gazette (“Answering climate change call,” guest column, April 25).

And like her, I eagerly await the day when alternative sources of energy will be plentiful and cheap enough to replace fossil fuels — for many reasons, including ecological, climatological and geopolitical. Until then, however, the chances that fossil fuels will not continue to power a developing and power-hungry planet are nil. Does she really think that billions of people will now cease to drive, eat meat and engage in other supposedly undesirable activities just because she and other activists demand it, or that the evidence really requires the immediate adoption of a far more austere lifestyle than most of us would accept?

From what I read and where I sit, such restrictive demands, based on alarmist and unsupportable predictions of immediate devastation, repel rather than compel emulation. I’d love to be able to find common ground with Nathan and her cohort, but can’t get past their well-nigh religious certainty and apocalyptic pronouncements. Neither, it seems to me, can many, many others who are trying to make sense of this crucial but confusing issue, and make smart decisions for themselves and their planet. Perhaps a different approach would be more beneficial.

John Montanari