Wrong generation really, I'm not a baby boomer, but I'll bite - yes as you say "green" is a really vague buzzword that everyone wants to jump on, sometimes with rubbish products that break straight away or that are only green in a small way, without addressing real issues or causing people to think they can buy their way out of our problems.
I'm a post baby boomer, born in the 70s, consumed during the 80s and 90s as if the world was infinite, as did all of "western" society and as you probably did yourself if you were around then, it was pretty hard not to, and I didn't question this really until the september 11 incidents. So I share that responsibility: as anyone alive and part of society now and in those years has, and probably much farther back in time and in different non-western societies as well, I helped fuck things up for our kids and other species.
But where I disagree with you is how to deal with this situation: one way, as you seem to do, is to just give up and only see the bad side of the so called green movement. I see it as a great opportunity for our teenage society to finally come of age and embrace it's limits, but I don't need anyone to agree with me on that. In anything there are positives, and one thing about being a "modern" environmentalist is that you can be more holistic - it's not about single issues any more, you don't need a beard, and it's certainly not such a side issue that people will not believe you. Most people nowadays have heard of peak oil, climate change, the food and credit crisis and the huge Ponzi schemes the financial system was built on. If you dig deeper you find even more crises that can seem really unsolvable. So what do you do? Just give up, dig for the last drops of oil, fight for the last scraps of food and secure the future maybe half or one generation down the road for your own family or country?
In everything we do there is good and bad. I really have trouble when companies go on about not being "evil" - it's very hard to be purely good, and we have to live with the fact that being alive means eating other living things, consuming resources and sometimes being destructive, but also it includes being creative, wise, strong etc. So nothing we do will be completely safe or positive, and no so called green products will be either, but we can go for the best we know, and try to do the best we can, improving our choices as we go.
What I think though is that everyone can have a positive vision for where they want things to go. These don't have to be the same vision, and sometimes they might even conflict, which is ok as long as we accept that people have differences. So in your example of carbon monoxide or electric car batteries, I think it's a bit of a waste of time to try and measure between how good one or another thing is - sure within reason, but it's a waste of time to aim for total green purity, and I think I prefer seeing this as a road with many corners and stops along the way, rather than just as green vs not green. Changing to low energy lightbulbs, recycling more or convincing people about a coming financial crash feels a bit 2007 now, so we have to keep going farther. People still have issues they see as more or less important than others, but if you give up, how are you going to keep going forward? Same with IT. Don't listen to the idiots or marketing departments, just make your own future and don't give up.
ps:Disclaimer: I'm a webmaster for Transition Bristol in the UK. You can read more about the transition movement here: http://www.transitiontowns.org/