Most of today’s decision makers will be dead before the planet feels; the heavier effects of acid precipitation, global warming, ozone depletion, or widespread desertification and species loss.
Most of the young voters of today will still be alive.
The consumer cultures will have to be re-engineered into cultures of sustainability, so that living sustainable feels as natural as living as a consumer does today.
Two-thirds of the world’s energy is used to-day is for the production of commodities.
This new reality, from which there is no escape, must be recognized – and managed.
Sustainability cannot be achieved by simply switching technologies.
We need to see instead the possibility for a new era of economic growth, one that must be based on policies that sustain and expand the environmental resource base.
We all know that industries most heavily reliant on environmental resources and most heavily polluting are growing most rapidly in the developing world, where there is both more urgency for growth and less capacity to minimize damaging side effects.
Humanity’s inability to fit its activities into a less must have now orientation for the sake of short-term pleasure and profit – from I am alright Jack attitude to recognizing our true values can not come soon enough.
Our Common Future, cannot be a prediction of ever-increasing environmental decay, poverty, and hardship in an ever more polluted world among ever decreasing resources. Which is changing planetary systems, fundamentally. Many such changes are accompanied by life-threatening hazards.
We need a new description of the possibilities ahead of us.
We have been for centuries and still are borrowing environmental capital from future generations with no intention or prospect of repaying. It may show profit on the balance sheets of our generation, but our children will inherit the losses.
The onus for change lies with no one group of nations.
Every day, we are presented with a range of “sustainable” products and activities—from “green” cleaning supplies to carbon offsets.
Is it time to abandon the concept altogether, or can we find an accurate way to measure sustainability? If so, how can we achieve it? And if not, how can we best prepare for the coming ecological decline?
Given that consumerism and the consumption patterns are not compatible with the flourishing of a living planetary system, either we find ways to wrestle our cultural patterns out of the grip of those with a vested interest in maintaining consumerism or Earth’s ecosystems decline will bring down the consumer culture for the vast majority of humanity in a much crueller way.
A change has to be started to put us on the path to prosperity without diminishing the well-being of future generations.
It will and is being resisted by myriad interests that have a huge stake in sustaining the global consumer culture— from the fossil fuel industry and big agribusiness to food processors, car manufacturers, advertisers, and so on.
Consumerism is not a viable cultural paradigm on a planet whose systems are deeply stressed and that is currently home to 7 billion people, let alone on a planet of 8–10.6 billion people, the population the United Nations projects for 2050.
So what can be done?
We all know what has to be done but every few of us are willing to do anything.
In a majority of societies today, consumerism feels so natural that it is hard to even imagine a different cultural model.
Consumerism—now propped up by more than trillions in annual advertising expenditures, by hundreds of billions in government subsidies and tax breaks, billions more in lobbying and public relations spending, and the momentum of generations of living the consumer dream—will undoubtedly be the most difficult part of the transition to a sustainable society.
The only question is whether we greet it with a series of alternative ways of orienting our lives and our cultures to maintain a good life, even as we consume much less.
You must ask yourself if there is any chance for us to come through the trials of climate destabilization in a nuclear-armed world with 10 billion people by 2100.
How can we soon reckon with the thorny issues of politics, political theory, and start governing with wisdom, boldness, and creativity.
We can all see our present danger, and we can also see our future potential: a stable human population of some 7–9 billion, living cleanly and well on a healthy biosphere, sharing Earth with the rest of the creatures who rely on it.
Has humanity already overshot the carrying capacity of Earth so badly that we are doomed to a horrible crash after oil, or freshwater, or topsoil, or fish, or the ozone layer, or many other things—after one or all of them run out? So that no matter what we do in the meantime, it’s a foregone conclusion that we’re in for a fall?
I don’t believe so.
Provided we locked the global economy and global ecology together in new ways there is a way out for our beautiful home planet. There is no point reaching for the stars if we are bring with us Greed and Profit.
This is not just a dream but a responsibility, a project. The things we can do now, to start on this project are all around us, waiting to be taken up and lived.
Our problem stems from decades of engineering of a set of cultural norms, values, traditions, symbols, and stories that make it feel natural to consume ever larger amounts—of food, of energy, of stuff.
Policymakers changed laws, marketers and the media cultivated desire, businesses created and aggressively pushed new products, and over time “consumers” deeply internalized this new way of living.
For example, the United States, now suffers from an obesity epidemic in which two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. This obesity epidemic—which has spread around the world.
McDonald’s did not just create a cheap and tasty food, it effectively targeted children to get them to eat at McDonald’s early on—shaping their palate for both the company’s food and the high-sugar, high-salt, high-fat consumer diet.
People spend more than $58 billion on pet food each year around the world. ( There are 133 million dogs and 162 million cats in just the top five dog and cat owning countries in the world),
Globally, military expenditures total about $1 trillion a year and continue to grow.
Nothing will change unless our cognition’s change.
Even Professional sport promotes consumerism.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. believed that “we must rapidly begin to shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society.” By living “deliberately”—as Henry David Thoreau understood—we spend less, work less and enjoy life more.
Through collective action inspired by creativity we can build a vibrant environmental justice movement and reform the institutions that are driving “climate collapse”: the military and unchecked consumer capitalism.
Imagine if we had lists of “Ten Things to Save the Planet”
The problem would be that we have nowhere to hang the list. Even if we did we there is no way of making anything on the list to stick.
So there is only one solution. We will have to use the most basic weakness of mankind – his own self-interest to effect change.
Rewards/Payment that are felt in his pocket.
Where do we get the funds to make these payments.
By Placing a world Aid Commission of 0.05% on all Foreign Exchange Transactions ( Over 20,000$) on all High Frequency stock exchange transactions and on all Sovereign Wealth Funds Acquisitions.
With this Perpetual Fund by greed we could then redesign Consumerism into Savvy consumers and Sucker consumers. Create a new consumer culture which would be truly a step in the right direction.
We could start to address Climate Change by granting home solar panels.
We could pay to protect to safeguard our, fresh water, our forests, our seas, our environment and give fundamental rights to the planet itself.
The faster we use our talents and energies to promote a culture of sustainability, the better off all of humanity will be.
This is what we have achieved so far. Have a look.
( https://youtu.be/MrqqD_Tsy4Q) It takes two minutes.
We need to create a new centralization of power that specifically looks after our planet > not a United Nations gossips shop that can do nothing because of its veto corset.
But an Earth Court that must be heeded or suffer the consequences, or no rewards or grants.