What can we do about it? - reply

Peter Rauch peterr at VIOLET.BERKELEY.EDU
Wed Mar 29 11:10:27 CST 1995

>Date:         Wed, 29 Mar 1995 12:27:28 -0600
>From: Art Souther <souther at CS.UTEXAS.EDU>

>the powers that be would be willing to give up profits and the
>so-called "good life" to bring their lifestyles into line.

It is not just the "powers that be" but almost everyone, as you pointed
out, who wants to live the "good life" (however that might be interpreted
in different societies).

>  The result is that the roots of this
>consumptive addiction are very deep.

Don't confuse "consumptive addiction" with the "good life." And, don't
confuse absolute consumption levels with relative ones. If you and I
were the only people on earth, we could consume quite a bit (maybe
even enough to be living the "good life") without much effect on the
rest of earth's creatures.

>  Yet, in my Sierra Club where I have been active for several years
>I have seen very little substantive change in lifestyles - Sierra
>members are perhaps 10% better than the average, a source of great
>pride to them, but that is far from the up to 50% or more reduction in
>energy and material use that the United States would have to undergo
>to reduce their consumption practices to "sustainable" levels, even
>freezing world population growth.

Let me reiterate: I don't want to live like do many of the people of
India, Bangladesh, China, Somalia, etc. On the contrary, I want them to
have the opportunity to live more at the level of comfort/health
that I live (or better!). Apparently, the earth can't sustain that
level of living for all the current population level. So, to achieve
_my_ goal, there needs to be fewer people, not a lesser "standard of
living" for us.

>  Until we clean up
>our own house we will have little credibility elsewhere.

No one wants to live like we would have to live were we to lower our
"standard of living" to the world's average. That won't build
credibility either, just more misery.

No solutions yet?  It's a difficult problem, apparently.

More information about the Taxacom mailing list