November 15, 2014

The Consumerism Divestment Movement

“Divestment is a proven strategy that has repeatedly helped bring about positive social change.”
 - Michael Solomon

Growth is a natural part of life. But when growth becomes abnormal it dysregulates the balance of any system, and leads to disease or death.

When unchecked growths happen in the human body we call it cancer. When it happens in the economy we call it a good thing, and ignore the obvious symptoms of disease. What is the prognosis for patient Earth, and what is the recommended course of treatment?

The prognosis looks bad, but there is still hope. Increasing numbers of people are waking up to the reality of our current condition. I see such people as white blood cells doing battle with the unchecked growth of consumerism's tumours spreading over the land.

One recommended form of intervention is seen in the fossil fuel divestment movement.

"Divestment is just as much a pathway to economic and environmental justice as it as a measure to protect endowments’ value from plummeting when the carbon bubble bursts and redirect funds to build the clean energy future we need to survive on earth." -

Not only are institutions divesting from the cancerous fossil fuel system, individuals are divesting from the whole system that promotes endless growth at the expense of people and the environment.

We could call it the "consumerism divestment movement". Proponents of this movement are pulling back from the flagrant use of fossil fuels and many other trappings of high carbon consumer lifestyles.

For Linda and I this does not only include disinvestment from investments in the fossil fuel industry, but also pharmaceuticals, tobacco, weapons manufacturers and anything else that causes the cancer to grow on our planet.

Divesting from the stuff of consumerism is effective. One only needs to look at other divestment movements, such as what occurred in South Africa, to see the power behind removing our support from the things that are causing harm.

We decide where our money and support go, and with our help we can cure the Earth of the consumer cancer currently crashing systems all over its beautiful body.

It is time to divest from harmful lifestyles.

Perhaps with a more serious name like "The Consumerism Divestment Movement", simple living will catch on in the general public as much as the fossil fuel divestment movement is catching on among conscientious investors.

Then we will see some real change.


  1. Anonymous11/15/2014

    Hello Mr. Koepp,

    One thing that affects me keenly when I stop by to read your posts is how different your "neighbourhood" and your background are from mine. I believe you do not have the smallest idea of how things are going in the third (4th? 5th?) world. I was born and live in Brazil. And no, I do not plan to move elsewhere. But let me enlighten you: we are living a full-blown Capitalism. 200 million people.

    Cars manufacturers (who lost their comfort zones and closed their headquarters in many countries) have just found their nirvana here. The interest rate, if you want to finance a car, is near zero.

    Our agrobusiness people developed a devotion to genetically modified food. And yes, I regret to say that I could not try your tortillas recipes yet cause nowadays all the corn and its subproducts are GM. Soy and cotton, idem. Roundup is a must in this lost paradise, as well as other 14 forbidden chemical pesticides. Where else "biotechnology" companies could spread and experiment their forbidden poison? Who else could be continually poisoned by food if not 3rd world people?

    Clothes... genuine national fabric is a cherished memory. Most clothes are synthetic and imported from those sweatshops we know so well. I could go on and on.

    But still... people do not crave organic food or locally manufactured clothes: they crave cars, 5th generation a--le phones, expensive sneakers manufactured by children from even poorer countries. And no, I am not writing about Brazil. It is about Capitalism’s finest hour. In the year of grace of 2014. Simple living? Divestment? Ha! There is yet much to be destroyed!

    I do apologize for my bad grammar.

  2. I pray that support will grow for the Consumer Divestment Movement. Here in the UK, the situation is somewhere between yours and that of Anonymous, above. In honesty...nearer to that of Anonymous. Our government is the worst culprit (whichever 'colour' happens to be in power), they see endless growth as the only way to fund the huge National Debt incurred by consistently spending more than is available. I vote for the Green Party, who have a different agenda, but without proportional representation, my vote does not count, except as a protest against the system, which suits the powerful 'consumer' parties. Sadly most people vote for those they believe will offer them the best deal...How to convince them otherwise?


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