Todd Zywicki emerges from wherever he's been lurking to highlight a ridiculously one-sided column on "conspicuous virtue" - people allegedly buying expensive things for the ability to shout about the moral quality of their purchases. The column shows the usual hatred for all things environmental.
The column fails to realize that people could buy these things and not only fail to publicize their virtue, but not even consider themselves especially virtuous. It has no knowledge of the encouragement to reduce overall consumption, to buy second-hand, to use things until they wear out. And there's the usual critique of Prius-owners like me, who because we can't be saving money on gas overall, must be proclaiming our ability to purchase a modestly-priced car (and the 80-90% air pollution reductions are completely unknown to the author).
My opinion - I don't even care if the column's right about the motives behind a subset of the purchases which the author assumes to be the entire meaning of the environmental movement. If people do the right thing, I'm glad they're doing it.
UPDATE: fixed bad link
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