I know that this article at Bananenplanet is filled with generalizations, but many of them rang true to me. Thoughtful article that suggests that Americans need to look in the mirror. Here are some of the main points:
- We Know Nothing About The Rest Of The World
- The Quality of Life For The Average American Is Not That Great
- The Rest Of The World Is Not A Slum-Ridden Shithole Compared To Us
- We’re Paranoid
- We’re Status-Obsessed And Seek Attention
- We Are Very Unhealthy
- We Mistake Comfort For Happiness
Can we have endless growth (as proposed by many as the solution to our economic woes) on a finite planet? John Atcheson of Common Dreams explains why this idea of endless growth is absurd:
Right now, it takes 1.5 Earths worth of resources to maintain our current economy. By 2050, assuming only moderate growth, we’ll consume nearly 3 Earths worth.
But of course, we only have one planet.
Those extra worlds we consume represents debt – assets taken from our children. In ecologic terms, it is called “overshoot.” And living systems cannot long survive in overshoot mode. The term overshoot comes from ecology, and a classic example of an ecological overshoot might serve to make this concept more real.
So here you go. In 1944, the US Coast Guard released 29 reindeer onto St. Mathew Island. By the summer of 1963, the population had exploded to over 6,000 animals. Quite a success, eh? Not really. By the end of 1963, the population plummeted to fewer than 50 scrawny, starving animals. They’d experienced an ecological overshoot.
It may surprise people who know me that I am not completely anti-gun. It seems like something I might be. I don’t like loud noises and I don’t like violence, and killing hurts me. I have to avert my eyes form a lot of TV and movies. But the gun thing is no longer simple for me. The last time I was stridently anti-gun was while lecturing my father about the dangers of guns. He happened to be holding off a midnight intruder with a hammer and wanted me to go get his gun. I was a senior in high school and I knew everything and I refused . . .
Annie Leonard (“The Story of Stuff”) urges us to stay home on Black Friday, offering us some stunning images in this one-minute video:
What else is there to do? Fifty years ago, people would have thought you were an idiot to even ask this question.
Although I have NEVER shopped on Black Friday, I signed Annie Leonard’s Pledge.