Sunday, 21 July 2019

Consumerism Will Kill the Earth

Even Extinction Rebellion is conveniently neglecting an inconvenient truth.

We cannot have rampant consumerism driven by limitless economic growth AND save the earth.

They can stop as much traffic as they like, causing as many additional fumes as they like in the gridlock. Here is what ER are NOT campaigning against:

  • The betrayal of the Green Belt
  • All new buildings (predicted only to last 50 years which doesn't even outlive their carbon construction footprint)
  • The demolition of heritage buildings rather than their refurbishment and retro-greening.
  • The failure to tackle empty buildings, brownfield sites and non-dom home ownership.
  • Air conditioning
  • Unnecessary travel, particularly flights
  • Multiple holidays per year
  • Single season fashions
  • Moulded shoes which cannot be repaired
  • Food miles
  • Food waste
  • Computers, tablets and phones having to be regularly disposed of and replaced when their software is 'no longer supported' by manufacturer.
  • Smart meters NOT saving either money or the environment and costing energy to run
  • The scrapping of all old but reliable energy meters in 'smart meter' favour. Plus the scrapping of smart meters when switching suppliers.
  • The 'smarting' of all analogue systems, which then require disposal of analogue systems and have a lot more to go wrong with them thus contributing to their short lives.
  • Hot tubs
  • Jacuzzi's
  • Personal swimming pools
  • Banks of lights in every property and premises.
  • Built-in obsolescence in manufacturing
  • Vehicles written off which are perfectly repairable after accidents but deemed 'economically unrepairable' by insurers who do not wish to pay out for repairs
  • Cars which require front moulded units to be replaced every time a headlight needs to be replaced
  • Non recyclable 'energy saving' bulbs
  • Single use plastics, among other single-use items
  • Unnecessary fireworks (ie when it isn't New Year or Bonfire Night)
  • Chinese lanterns
  • The fall of the school bus and rise of individual journeys to drop children to/from their schools
  • Unnecessary commuting to work
  • Multiple vehicle ownership per household
  • Building new estates where there is no existing infrastructure
  • Charges on rubbish dumps, encouraging fly tipping
  • Barbecues
  • Unnecessary gadgets and other goods.
  • Overpopulation
  • Lack of cheap, reliable and plentiful public transport.
  • 'The Internet of Things' which will encourage unprecedented consumption in getting people to link their every gadget to the internet!

Finally, while there is much each consumer, sorry, individual, can do, it is OUR governments who permit all of the above to be produced and sold and do nothing to discourage overpopulation.

We also need to remember that most people only modify their behaviour when they have to.

Poor people are generally automatically careful in their consumption. Wealthy people have no fear of the bills and will probably carry on wasting as many resources as they can without a second thought.

Limitless economic growth is not sustainable. On any level. Fairer wealth distribution and sensible reproductive levels are what is needed. Along with economic stability worldwide. We give ourselves the right to control animal populations when we deem them to be overbreeding (and by and large animals are far more sensible than we are and will only breed according to what the land can support) but fail to control our own numbers, and at the morally appropriate juncture, creation.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is all true - but we can't run society in any way approaching the way we have been and address these issues.

At the risk of mentioning the B-Word, one thing the Grauniad was bleating about was the Mini camshaft (or was it a crankshaft?) that crosses the channel multiple times before being put into the engine of Mini. The thrust of their argument was that Brexit will destroy our ability to make things in that way. I was left thinking what the hell kind of world has people clamouring for politicians to declare a climate change emergency and yet being indifferent to this kind of insane and wanton wastefulness.