Saturday, 8 August 2009

Consumerism is 'eating the future'

According to this article from the New Scientist, not only are we simply doing what all creatures do: we're doing it better. In recent times we're doing it even faster because of changes in society that encourage and celebrate conspicuous and excessive consumption.

"Biologists have shown that it's a natural tendency of living creatures to fill up all available habitat and use up all available resources," says William Rees of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. "That's what underlies Darwinian evolution, and species that do it best are the ones that survive, but we do it better than any other species [...]." This in part is attributed to advertising and the stimulation of a [Galbraithian] consumer society, post WW2.

3 comments:

sushil yadav said...

In response to your post on consumerism :

Industrial Society Destroys Mind and Environment.

Industrial Society is destroying necessary things [Animals, Trees, Air, Water and Land] for making unnecessary things [consumer goods].

"Growth Rate" - "Economy Rate" - "GDP"

These are figures of "Ecocide".
These are figures of "crimes against Nature".
These are figures of "destruction of Ecosystems".
These are figures of "Insanity, Abnormality and Criminality".



Chief Seattle of the Indian Tribe had warned the destroyers of ecosystems way back in 1854 :

Only after the last tree has been cut down,
Only after the last river has been poisoned,
Only after the last fish has been caught,
Only then will you realize that you cannot eat money.



Industrial Society has been spreading blatant lies over the years.

"Green Industry", "Green Technology", "Ethical Consumerism", "Sustainable Development".

These are contradictory terms – these are oxymorons.

Industrialization can never be green – it is impossible.

You cannot save a person after you have killed him.
You cannot save ecosystems after you have killed them for making consumer goods.

When we make consumer goods we kill Animals, Trees, Air, Water and Land - directly or indirectly.

Industrial Society destroys ecosystems - all Industrial Societies destroy ecosystems.

It hardly matters whether it is "Capitalist Industrial Society" - "Communist Industrial Society" - or "Socialist Industrial Society".

Industrial Society destroys ecosystems at every stage of its functioning - when consumer goods are produced - when consumer goods are used - when consumer goods are discarded/ recycled.

Raw material for industry is obtained by cutting up Forests. It is extracted by mining/ digging up the earth. It comes by destroying/ killing Trees, Animals and Land.

Industries/ Factories use Water. The water that comes out of Factories is contaminated with hundreds of toxic chemicals. What to speak of Rivers - entire Oceans have been polluted. Industry kills Water.

Industries/ Factories burn millions of tonnes of fuel - and when raw material is melted/ heated up, hundreds of toxic chemicals are released into the atmosphere. Industry kills Air.

Industrial Society has covered millions of square miles of land with cement and concrete. Industry kills Land.

When consumer goods are discarded/ thrown away in landfills it again leads to destruction of ecosystems.

When consumer goods are recycled, hundreds of toxic chemicals are released into air, water and land.

Consumer goods are sold/ marketed through a network of millions of kilometers of rail / road network and shipping routes which causes destruction of all ecosystems that come in the way.


We have limited resources/ ecosystems on earth which is just 40,000 km in circumference.

If we destroy ecosystems for fewer things [food, clothing, shelter] the ecosystems will last longer.

If we destroy ecosystems for more things [consumer goods] the ecosystems will finish much sooner.

The fewer things we make the more sustainable we are.

This is common sense - plain common sense - which the so called smart, intelligent, advanced, civilized and developed Industrial Society does not possess.


The collapse has already happened for millions of other species – most of them have been decimated.

Very soon it will be the turn of man to go.


sushil_yadav

Industrial Society Destroys Mind and Environment

Industrial Society Destroys Mind and Environment

Andrew McStay said...

Interesting comments, some much in the vein of Adbusters. I'm curious as to why you believe green technology and sustainable industry cannot work. Whilst I understand reservations about regulation and the sincerity of industry, I do not understand the problem with renewables that may plug directly into a national electricity grid, for example. One thing is for sure, "joined-up-thinking" is required that utilises a cyclical approach that gives and does merely take as with the traditional industrial mindset.

To achieve such goals requires heavy regulation and the need for profit motives. Many companies now seem to be tuning into this and there is lots of scope for profit making, creativity and useful innovation from business. Anyone for plugging gymnasiums into the grid?!

Although big-business has been the problem, they are also the answer. Is an alternative viable?

Anonymous said...

so if we have heavy regulation, it will help to save the panet earth? are not those regulations killing people too, the heavy government regulations are taking away the livelihood and source of income from people too. ex the EPA regulations in California, they had turned off water supply for farmers to protect smelt fish. look what happened farmers in that area is struggling ecomically. another stupid regulation that the green environmentalist are rallying to the white house to get pass is to close and stop beef production because cows emmitting carbon monoxide that causing global warming. that bulshit global warming, is just a man made story lies to get funding from the government and other sectors

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I am director of the Media and Persuasive Communication (MPC) network at Bangor University where I also lecture on political-economy of the media. I am currently working on a book provisionally titled Deconstructing Privacy for Peter Lang and leading two empirical projects in connection with privacy perception and the use of new media for smoking cessation. I am author of Creativity and Advertising: Affect, Events and Process (Routledge, 2013); The Mood of Information: A Critique of Behavioural Advertising (Continuum, 2011); and Digital Advertising (Palgrave-MacMillan, 2009). Please contact me at mcstay@bangor.ac.uk if you are interested in Ph.D supervision or consultancy services.