The Consumption Explosion

04 Jan 2011

Statistic for 4th Jan to consider after christmas spending sprees. At 7pm GMT tonight one Briton will have caused the equivalent amount of carbon emissions that a Tanzanian would take a year to generate. A US citizen reached this point at 4am on 2 Jan.

The stark realities facing our World is that in spite of one of the biggest global recessions for a century, the trend towards ever greater overconsumption has barely changed. After more than two decades of going ever earlier into ecological debt - consuming more resources and producing more waste than ecosystems can provide for and absorb - the recession caused a mere blip in this downward spiral. In 1995 the date we went into debt was 25 Nov; in 2000 it was 1 Nov; in 2009 25 September; 2010 it was down to 21 August.

Sobering statistics. And what are we doing about it? Little. Because in order for our economies to grow our systems require all of us to spend more - or more of us to spend the same. Unfortunately, either way, something has to give. "Save the Planet" is often a slogen seen on environmentalists boards or posters. However, the planet doesnt need saving, it will respond accordingly - it's we who need to adapt. 

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