Thursday, April 06, 2006

It costs too much

Barry Commoner - The Closing Circle

Key Points:
- everyone has someone to blame for environmental degradation and it is often based more on politics than reality.  The truth is that there isn’t one single cause, it is a multiplicity of events that have led to the situation humanity now faces and it will take everyone to get out of it.  
- A rabbit poops, bacteria digest the poop, plants eat what the bacteria digest and the rabbit eats the plant.  Modern Industry has broken the circle of life with plastics and non-biodegradable detergents instead of soap.
- If we are going to survive we will do it as Barbarians dictating who gets resources and starving other people or we are going to find a way to renew life in the commons.

Commoner makes a good point, how we got to doomsday isn’t because of one group, it is the society we live in.
This is our inheritance.  Our parents have given us a nice house and the possibility of ending all life.  All their generation did was realized what they have done, and left it to us to fix it.  How can I respond to the challenge?  Say no, I like driving an SUV; it makes me feel like a rugged outdoorsy man.  Actually the truth is that I wouldn’t mind living a lot simpler, the problem is that I don’t even know how to.  That isn’t the life I was born into and the kicker is that just living more simply isn’t enough.  I have to convince everyone else I know to join me; and this in the midst of advertising telling us that the good life is one of mass consumption. If I don’t have three rooms per person in my family then I am not successful.  

Maybe this is good.  I am disillusioned with that good life.  I don’t believe that buying something will make me a better, more likeable person.  Actually, the truth is that I don’t like standing out.  I had a presentation this week and we showed up some of the other groups.  I felt bad for the other groups, I didn’t revel in my success.  I guess I just don’t find any pleasure in rubbing my success in other people’s faces.  It just isn’t nice.  My point is what is the point of having something if you can’t share it with someone else?  What is the point of having something if it costs too much?  The existence of all living things is too high a price to pay for endless accumulation and growth.  


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