Why should normal people curb their emissions when rich people with much bigger emissions don’t bother?

… If we feel we’ll “miss out” on luxuries or experiences enjoyed by others through making efforts to live more sustainably, it might be enough to make us quit.

I recently watched actor Will Smith’s YouTube Premium documentary, “The Best Shape of My Life”.

The six-part series shows the midlife crisis of a rich father of three, tortuously completing his autobiography whilst trying to lose 20lbs.

His journey took him over 8000 miles across the earth from Los Angeles to Dubai, where he climbed the stairwell and tower of the Burj Khalifa, the tallest skyscraper in the world, for a little bit of morning cardio.

Appearing frequently throughout the series were multiple cartons of JUSTWater, plain mineral water packaged within a 90% plant-derived container.

Created by an eco-conscious company co-founded by Will’s second son, Jaden Smith, the term “carbon offsetting” came to mind.

But whether or not the Smith family are attempting to curb their collective carbon emissions is another discussion.

The real problem is:

Why should normal people, with normal carbon emissions, make any attempt to curb those emissions, when people as indulgent as Will Smith continue to live a life without restraint?

It’s true, we shouldn’t be concerned with the poor choices of others until we can fix our own.

But we’re all concerned with what’s fair.

And if we feel we’ll “miss out” on luxuries or experiences enjoyed by others through making efforts to live more sustainably, it might be enough to make us quit.

So, the challenge faced by environmentalists and eco-friendly retailers is:

How to communicate the value of living more responsibly in a world littered with extravagance.

And how to explain why one individual’s efforts are not done in vain.

I will continue to explore this theme in subsequent blog posts.

Blog Index

Leave a Reply