|Humans - not very intelligent. We just can't seem to stop.|
"It’s not a question of can the oceans can take any more. The oceans can’t take any more. They couldn’t take any more fifty years ago. The question is, when are we going to stop?" - Philippe Cousteau
The more I read the news the more I am convinced consumerism has run its course. It is possible that we have pushed industrial civilization as far as it will go as well. Worshiping at the altar of infinite growth has pushed everything and everyone to the limit.
Can we give up excessive consumer-oriented lifestyles on time in order to prevent catastrophe in the near future?
Since resources are finite (until the technocrats begin mining the moon, or asteroids or other planets), using more than the Earth can replace will guarantee the end of excessive consumer lifestyles and the economies that depend on them.
Governments around the world are running out of ideas to keep the ponzi scheme going. Canada actually reduced its key interest rate this week in order to keep people borrowing and in debt. At the same time the EU announced a huge stimulus package to try and avert continued economic trouble there.
Everywhere is economic and environmental mayhem as we scrape the bottom of the barrel. We know what is coming, but can't seem to stop. Eventually there will be nothing governments and bankers can do except facilitate a forced return to leaner, more simple ways of living.
You can see this trend already in headlines proclaiming that young people today may never attain the material success that was squandered by their parents. “I want my kids to have a better life than I had” is not heard much from parents any more because they can see that their family's privileged status is coming to an end.
But young people can have a better life without being financially richer than their parents. Since materialistic lifestyles are getting increasingly more difficult to acquire and maintain, why not aspire to live better with less right now?
Embracing more Earth-friendly lifestyles will help ease the difficult transition that seems all but inevitable now. If we are lucky, we can avert a total civilizational collapse.
We can choose to stop now and live like most other humans on the planet, or be forced to by deteriorating conditions a little farther down the road.