I get some flak about my politics and the practice of living and working from my home. Fair enough. These comments come from ardent conservatives who believed, I guess, in the concept of a home office, but seemed to be disturbed with an emphasis in my blog linking the act of working from home with the green movement.
My overall argument over the years, working from The Worldwide Home Office, has been both capitalistic and green. In short, it has been about both green as in money and green as in the environment.
Here is the truth of the matter. Americans are simply wasteful in ways that do not benefit either themselves or the community as a whole. The argument I encounter often is that we have a right to be as wasteful as we want. Where that might be true, I also have a right to be as critical about it as I want. The readers of this blog are free to buy Hummers and waste natural resources, commute hours to work, and duplicate space or build a footprint on this planet as big as his or her ego will allow. I am free to explain that there is, in my humble opinion, a better way that serves each of us better, both individually and the community as a whole. Readers are entitled to their opinions, and I am entitled to mine. Being allowed to express a difference of opinion is really the true meaning of freedom in my book.
But ultimately, the problem arises when some people see my advocacy as impinging on their free speech. These people believe it better that I not speak as it conflicts with their opinion of the World. I think I have a right to express myself and they are free to read it or not, believe it or not, or adhere to it or not.
Now, whether or not my motive for practicing law from home conflicts with someone's view of what is politically correct, my point is pretty simple. Our bedrooms are empty two-thirds of the time. Our living rooms are empty seven-eights of the time. Our office buildings are empty one-half of the time. All of this space is both the largest waste of our personal money and resources, and it is the largest single consumer of energy. Space consumes more energy and results in more pollution than cars, or anything else. Getting to and from our spaces is probably responsbile for a good bit of the oil and gas we use. The more we reduce our footprint, the more money we get to keep to spend as we personally see fit. As an added bonus, with a smaller footprint we are less dependent on foreign sources of energy. There is less polution. We have better air quality. We are less stressed. We have more time. To me, all of this amounts to more freedom.
It is true that I have often viewed this policy of mcmansions in the suburbs, macdaddy offices in the city, and a gas guzzler to get between the two as destructive both economically and environmentally. I believe that reducing our footprint we can benefit us both economically and environmentally, personally and for the greater good.
I think it is okay to be as conservative as you want and still work out of your home. Do it for the personal savings and the extra time it affords you and your family. You do not want to do it for the environment? You want to use the savings to buy a bigger house and a bigger vehicle? That is up to you.