Consumerism and the environment

The Copenhagen climate change conference approaches. I, like many, have been badgering my MP and anyone else I can think of, to push through real change in order to try an avert climate disaster and take proper care of the earth we live on.
There may well be significant change, led by our politicians, but of course, as Caroline Lucas pointed on the The Andrew Marr Show, its a bit of a drop in the ocean compared to whats truely needed:
“Unfortunately, none of the figures are coming anywhere close to what scientists are telling us that we need to avoid the worst of climate change. We need up to about 40% cuts in the industrialised countries to have even 50/50 chance of avoiding the worst of climate change.”
And that’s the thing. I came across an article today, via twitter, looking at the root of the problem… which is of course, over consumption. We are just taking more than the planet has. And our “our fixation on unlimited growth of the economy as the solution to nearly all problems” may ruin us all yet.
Perhaps you don’t believe me? Here’s an object lesson. R works for an electrical items shop, which has  an annual turnover of up to £4 million. Guess how much of that they make over the christmas period?
£1.5 million. and most of that is in the week either side of Christmas day.
I mean, how did the festival of the birth of Christ, the man who said “blessed are the poor for theirs is the kingdom of God” and who talked about not running after material things but to “seek first the kingdom of God” become…  the festival of buying and getting stuff?
If we are ever to see real change in how our planet is cared for, if we are really to see the end of poverty,  there really isnt any getting round it: we need to consume less.
not just China, but you and me. Less energy, less goods, less water… less stuff.
Right now, for R and I that means continuing to take up as many of the action ideas on Living Lightly and possible, celebrating Terra Madre Day, and finding ways to have a moderate, but very happy, Christmas.


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