Dogbert: Pro-active Environmentalist

By David L. Brown

I never miss a chance to read the Dilbert cartoon strip. In fact, it’s the only one I follow and over the years I have found many pearls of wisdom from Scott Adams’s genius. Today was no exception, and since it involves our favorite subject — how to react to climate change and declining energy resources — I present the strip here:


As usual, Dogbert is one step ahead of Dilbert and ready to put his own ideas to immediate use. Will Dilbert lose his job and thus help save the planet?

Unfortunately, there are no simple answers to the ongoing destruction of our planet, the result of human fecundity and greed and the limited resources of the Earth. What we need is the “dogged” determination to face the challenges of over-population, resource depletion and climate change with resolve and commitment. Sadly, such determination is likely to be seen only in a comic, and not in the real world where serious questions are seldom even considered because to paraphrase Al Gore, they are “inconvenient truths” that politicians, auto makers, and oil companies do not want to acknowledge.

In fact, Dogbert’s strategy reflects a common error that pervades the subject — namely, the constant search for easy answers. Giving bad advice costs nothing, and is therefore an appealing “solution” to our environmental problems. Similar “feel good” easy solutions include the idea of planting trees to offset one’s heavy environmental “footprint,” and all manner of other ways of pretending to do something about the environment without actually being inconvenienced.

We need some inconveniencing here, folks.

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