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Friday, November 20, 2009

Thanksgiving reminder: If you are reading this, you are rich

Sustainability and Social Justice: Do the Math
According to data compiled by the UN, the Global Footprint Network, and Dr. William Rees at the University of British Columbia, total human consumption already exceeds the Earth's capacity by 30 per cent. This is known as biological 'overshoot'. The UN estimates that most natural services to human societies - forests, fish, fresh water and clean air - decline annually. As human population and consumption grow, our collective overshoot increases.

Meanwhile, the wealthy 15 per cent use about 85 per cent of the resources - the total energy and materials - the 'stuff' - that Earth provides. The 'wealthy' includes anyone who has a home, job, transport, access to education, hot showers, convenient fuel and food every day: people in the so-called 'developed' world. If you have those things, you live among the wealthy 15 per cent who use most of the world's resources.

WORD: Joe Bageant

The Death of Socrates (1787)Bageant could well meet an end like Socrates, and for the same reason. Image via Wikipedia

Joe is the author of a great book, "Deer Hunting with Jesus." This excerpt is from his blog post "One party has no heart, the other no spine":

Unfortunately, we have an economic system and national philosophy based on the idea of every man getting rich. Impossible, unsustainable and bound for disaster from the start. Mankind's entire idea of what constitutes an economy is about to come into question at some point soon. Not just in America, but all the other (over) developed nations too. We cannot manufacture our way out of it, or spend or invest pour way out of it, through a free market "green economy." That's what got us here in the first place. Superheated spending to pump up a malignant economic system that devoured the earth.

No American political party is ever going to admit that. And no party will ever represent the constituencies that cannot speak for themselves, much less raise hell. The trees, the animals, the rivers cannot cry out from their appointed courses, nor the oceans from their beds that, "Hey, we are not your resources. We are the only god damned shot you have at survival!"

I never expect to see politicians tell the people: "Quit buying. Quit using all that electrical stuff. Quit traveling all over the world. Quit driving. Just eat, be happy you are breathing and work to grow your mind and soul and let's see if we can come to understand this ruined world around us and how to heal it -- or at least do less damage. Let us change our entire idea about what constitutes governance, and work and happiness."

That's what it will take. . . .

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