Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Can global economy survive a reduction in consumption?

  1. #1
    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Cape Town
    Posts
    2,642
    Thanks
    119
    Thanked 94 Times in 77 Posts

    Can global economy survive a reduction in consumption?

    There is a big push for reducing our impact on the environment, and being more sustainable, etc., but the biggest key to all of this actually working, is that each person would have to reduce their consumption (from No Impact Man). For that to happen the whole marketing message would have to change.

    Now the thing that I'm wondering about is whether our current global economy is sustainable if we all reduce our consumption - essentially, everyone buys less stuff. Would it all fall apart, or would a new "sustainable" economy emerge?
    [SIGPIC]Engineer Simplicity[/SIGPIC]
    Turn ideas into products | The Art of Engineering blog

  2. #2
    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Cape Town
    Posts
    2,642
    Thanks
    119
    Thanked 94 Times in 77 Posts
    Pretty interesting article on UNEP's latest report on the state of our planet's health,

    Humans are completely living beyond their ecological means, says a major report published by the UN Environment Programme on Thursday.

    The 550-page document finds the human ecological footprint is on average 21.9 hectares per person. Given the global population, however, the Earth's biological capacity is just 15.7 hectares per person.
    _____

    But for Ash, the main driver of the size of our footprint is our unsustainable consumption. "There is no doubt that we could sustain the current and projected population if we lived sustainably," he told New Scientist.

    Read the full article on New Scientist
    [SIGPIC]Engineer Simplicity[/SIGPIC]
    Turn ideas into products | The Art of Engineering blog

  3. #3
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Durban, South Africa
    Posts
    20,980
    Thanks
    3,055
    Thanked 2,463 Times in 2,068 Posts
    Blog Entries
    12
    The trouble is that we really have to get out of our comfort zone to change. Left to our own devices, it is only when the pain of staying as we are becomes unbearable that we'll see wholesale voluntary adoption, no matter how compelling the evidence.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  4. #4
    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Cape Town
    Posts
    2,642
    Thanks
    119
    Thanked 94 Times in 77 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
    Left to our own devices, it is only when the pain of staying as we are becomes unbearable that we'll see wholesale voluntary adoption, no matter how compelling the evidence.
    The big question that leaves us with is this: how much pain are we willing to bear? These days I'm starting to ask myself how many people are going to have to die.

    The tricky thing here is that environmental degradation is a bit like HIV — no one ever dies directly from it. Asthma, diarrhoea, starvation, cancer, these are some of the diseases which can be linked to the way we live and treat our environment.

    No one ever died from climate change.
    [SIGPIC]Engineer Simplicity[/SIGPIC]
    Turn ideas into products | The Art of Engineering blog

  5. #5
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Durban, South Africa
    Posts
    20,980
    Thanks
    3,055
    Thanked 2,463 Times in 2,068 Posts
    Blog Entries
    12
    It's probably going to take some intestinal fortitude by the governments of the world to do enough in time to prevent some major general harm, if not an outright disaster.

    The trouble is that many governments are elected by the general populace - and on relatively short terms in the grand scheme of things too.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  6. #6
    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Cape Town
    Posts
    2,642
    Thanks
    119
    Thanked 94 Times in 77 Posts

    A better life

    I want to balance what I said earlier with a slightly more positive perspective.

    I do think that we are faced with a looming crisis. It is a subtle crisis though, and easily gets lost amongst all the worrying about polar bears and political spin. I think the comparison to HIV that I used is a useful way to think about it.

    There are signs that our environment is sick, slowly being poisoned by what our society outputs. How we deal with that will show what our true character is.

    I see this as a part of our continuing development as people. This is our time to move forward, not backward. This is about evolving how we live to create a better life for each of us.

    Yes, this is a hard challenge that we face, but we have faced other hard challenges in our history, and overcome them. We need to put energy, lots of energy, into finding ways to sustain and improve our quality of life.

    These challenges are about creating a better life, are you going to be a part of that?
    [SIGPIC]Engineer Simplicity[/SIGPIC]
    Turn ideas into products | The Art of Engineering blog

Tags for this Thread

Did you like this article? Share it with your favourite social network.

Did you like this article? Share it with your favourite social network.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •