The Affluent are Consuming the Planet to Death – Salon
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The affluent are consuming the planet to death: study <– Web Link
A study argues that it is not enough to invest in green technologies; the world’s affluent must stop overconsuming
A new study published this month in the academic journal Nature Communications argues that, despite all of the talk about using green technology to address man-made environmental problems, the only way for human consumption to become sustainable is if we rein in the affluent.
“The key conclusion from our review is that we cannot rely on technology alone to solve existential environmental problems – like climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution – but that we also have to change our affluent lifestyles and reduce overconsumption, in combination with structural change,” Professor Tommy Wiedmann from the University of New South Wales Engineering told that college’s newspaper regarding the study.
“This is because renewable energy, electrification, carbon-capturing technologies and even services all have resource requirements, mostly in the form of metals, concrete and land,” the authors point out. “Rising energy demand and costs of resource extraction, technical limitations and rebound effects aggravate the problem.”
After observing that “the world’s top 10% of income earners are responsible for between 25 and 43% of environmental impact” while “the world’s bottom 10% income earners exert only around 3–5% of environmental impact,” the authors that environmental damage is largely caused by the world’s “affluent” and therefore needs to be confronted by demanding lifestyle changes among the wealthy.
Sooner or later we all sit down to a banquet of consequences.
- Robert Louis Stevenson
Politics is the entertainment division of the Military Industrial Complex.
- Frank Zappa
July 6, 2020 at 9:52 AM #333887GZeusHParticipant
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- If you own a motor vehicle and feed it more than 10 gallons a month, you are wealthy.
- If most of your food comes from more than 30 miles away, you are wealthy.
- If most of what you buy during the week says ‘Made in China’, you are wealthy.
Of course, if you live in a house you built with your own two hands, from locally made materials, you grow most of your own food, and you make your own clothes, you may not be ‘affluent’, but you are the source of your own wealth.
July 6, 2020 at 10:42 AM #333899mrdmkParticipant
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Hey, right now I am getting around $400 a month and drive a Pirus. Where does that put me?
If you cannot dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit WC Fields
July 6, 2020 at 10:54 AM #333903HassleCatParticipant
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I travel quite a bit, passing through popular vacation destinations and tourist hot spots. There is an excess of excessive excessiveness by ordinary old middle income families. The freeways are full of big motorhomes and SUVs pulling big power boats and dune buggies and motorcycle trailers and golf carts and all manner of machines that consume resources and pollute the air and water. I don’t know why, but people seem happiest when they are making noise and spewing fumes. We always try to camp in places where generators are not allowed, but it’s difficult to avoid them, and most campgrounds are alive with generator nose from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM. It’s interesting that Americans don’t make enough noise and consume enough resources in their daily lives, and feel compelled to choose noisy, wasteful, polluting forms of recreation.
July 6, 2020 at 11:43 AM #333905YanathParticipant
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Yet many rich nations, led by the United States, reject the idea of a “bifurcated” approach with obligations placed on one group of countries, and not the other.
They airily brush moral appeals aside as if they mean nothing. The oligarchy has no intention of giving up its riches for the good of humanity. I doubt a political solution is possible without a massive global uprising.
July 6, 2020 at 11:51 PM #334047salemcourtParticipant
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You need a net worth of close to $100,000. Many in the US will make the cut due to their house (as long as it not under a mortgage).
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