What are some examples of hypocrisy regarding America and the environment?

I'm not looking for a political discussion, debate, fight, etc. here, I was just wondering.

You can extend "America" to other countries and the world in general as well if you'd like.

My examples:


- Running on treadmills in an indoor gym instead of running outside on a beautiful day

- Hour-long showers everyday (an exaggeration for most people)

- Buying lots and lots of clothes, toys, products, etc. (1,800 gallons of water to produce enough cotton for 1 pair of jeans; 400 for a cotton t-shirt) (Americans buy a lot of clothes)

- Using individual modes of transportation instead of using public/mass transportation (teenagers get new cars for their Sweet 16's)


@mebekili This was just an innocent question that was not designed to provoke a political or societal debate and it can be extended to other countries. Can you read clearly? First two sentences, please. This was not intended to show my dislike of America. In fact, I love America and am a proud American who has lived in America for my entire life, so honestly, I can say that I know a lot about America. This was just an innocent question.

And yes, I know that my definition of "hypocrisy" isn't necessarily the definition written in Webster's Dictionary, but you get the point.

No, the point is that America is all for saving and conserving gas while cars run around a circular track 200 times many times a year. But yes, I agree with you regarding exercise indoors. I haven't thought of that, so thanks for pointing that out.

Update 2:

Compared to many other countries, America is one of the most if not consumer-oriented countries in the world. I don't want to start a political argument here, like I said the past two times, but I would like to point out our multi-trillion dollar debt, some of it in part of people overusing their credit cards and spiraling into debt continously buying new clothes and gadgets. If not in your area, in my area, there are people who get a new wardrobe everywhere in America whereas in places like China, they reuse their clothes and rarely buy new clothes nevertheless an entire wardrobe. And again, I did say that you could extend "America" to other countries and to the world.

I have known many kids who have received cars for their sweet 16's. Though that may not be the case for everyone or for you, it may be the case for some people.

Update 3:

Yes, I do know subways can't run all the way from the East to the West Coast, but people could make an effort to use buses more instead of private transportation. Referring to the statement above, there are many, many kids in my high school who drive to school when they can perfectly use the school bus.

7 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Best Answer

    Oh I think you can start at the top and compare the American condition to other countries for clues. Americana's consume more energy than anywhere else in the world but we pay less individually for it than almost anywhere else.

    We would like clean and cheap energy but it is always "NIMBY" (not in my back yard: http://www.religion-online.org/showarticle.asp?tit... )

    The world talks about alternative fuels but subsidizes fossil fuels 10 times more: http://www.gizmag.com/government-subsidies-fossil-...

    We put pollution controls on cars yet one container ship puts out more pollution than 50 million cars: http://electric-vehicles-cars-bikes.blogspot.com/2... It only takes 4 container ships to equal all the pollution from all the cars in America.

  • 9 years ago

    I'm Australian. Australia in general is probably just as hypocritical on environmental matters as is the USA. Our government condemns whaling (there's no financial loss for Australia in that) while mining and exporting more coal than any other country (I'm not sure of that, we may only be second). The two big political parties pretend to care about the environment but don't want to do anything about reducing our greenhouse gas production because it will cost the big companies some of their profits.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    It's only hypocrisy if the same individual people who are arguing against those things are also doing those things. Hypocrisy is a person by person behavior and cannot be attributed to an entire country, race, ethnicity, or any other group. No individual is responsible for the actions of another, nor for the statements and promotions of another.

    It seems to me your question is slanted toward trying to find arguments against a country, instead of trying to understand human behavior -- and hypocrisy is completely and utterly human, not codified into laws... and laws are what governments are about.

    I've never seen a NASCAR participant try to convince anyone to buy a fuel efficient vehicle. For some an indoor exercise environment with filtered air is a necessity due to allergies or asthma -- you can want a clean environment, but still need to exercise is a place that won't make you personally ill.... that's not hypocrisy, that's reality. Personally, I drive as little as possible, and I don't watch NASCAR -- I think driving around in loops is idiotic and not at all entertaining, and a waste of fuel. But others are into it and that's up to them.

    Americans aren't the only ones who "buy a lot of clothes" -- but for some reason you want to make it sound unique to one country.... what, exactly, are you trying to prove?

    And I don't know a single teenager who got a car for their "sweet 16" -- not a one.... that notion is movie mythology for the most part, and certainly not the standard for the average American.... most American families can't afford to give their kids new cars when they turn 16. Some of the very wealthy may do this, but it is far from the norm. I rode a bicycle through my teen years -- as did many others I knew. Most of those I knew who had cars had worked, saved their own money and bought a used "fixer-upper" to drive using their own money. Personally, I babysat, mowed lawns, cleaned houses, ran errands, etc. when I wasn't in school -- and saved my money.

    As for transportation, many of us use a combination of mass transit and personal transportation. The reality is that this country is HUGE and mass transit simply does not go everywhere someone may need to go.

    It seems to me you're getting your information on the US from bad movies and even worse propaganda -- perhaps you need to look beyond those things to see what's real, as opposed to what has been put in front of you as a reason to dislike people you apparently don't know much about.


    If you're an American and live here, how can you then spew stereotypes that are not true as if they are and need to be explained?

  • BGS
    Lv 4
    9 years ago

    Hypocrisy means saying one thing and doing another. Your examples may be examples of hypocrisy if there is also evidence that these very things have been condemned by the people doing them.

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  • America telling the rest of the world how to clean up their own backyard all the while trampling the world's resources. Consumerism has American's by the hair.

  • 9 years ago

    Hi, If you can, check out the movie Zeitgeist Addendum

    Source(s): =)
  • Peter
    Lv 6
    9 years ago

    Al Gore

    He wants everyone to stop makine CO2 (also know as breathing) but he flies around the world, in jets spewing CO2, to make speeches so he can make money. He has a mansion with a bigger carbon footprint that some towns.

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