Hell in a hand cart

A place to discuss matters relating to the environment & climate change.

(May become increasingly relevant over the next month although will probably go quiet again after that)

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Is it just me that watches aghast as the morning news segues seamlessly from the impending environmental catastrophe to billionaires firing rockets almost into space followed by toyshop owners assuring parents that their kiddies’ expensive plastic tat, being shipped halfway around the world, will be in the shops in time for Christmas? Doesn’t anyone join the dots?

I’m not really a fan of the religious side of Christmas but I get the need for a mid-winter (such as it is) knees-up. Can’t we imagine a way of doing it without shipping thousands of tonnes of disposable shite here for it to go, almost immediately, to landfill? (This isn’t just Dyson products I’m referring to either)

I’m not sure what the answer is, but teaching children from an early age not to expect instant & short term gratification from stuff would be a start.

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Stop watching the morning news.

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Pretty much the entire global economy is capitalist, consumerist, materialist in nature - it is so deeply woven into every strand of human consciousness that unravelling it is simply not going to happen until such time as an truly apocalyptic collapse of human society takes place.

I mean, look at us on this forum: ostensibly united by a love for expensive consumer-inessentials. Absurd really, when you pause to consider it…

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At least here (and at gatherings like Lopwell / Settle) it becomes clear fairly quickly that the love of the gear (particularly shiny new) is something of a secondary interest. Most people (admittedly not all) have kind of got past that.

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This is indisputably true but the twist is that, in being extremely reactionary, audio gives us a possible glimpse of what could be. Once you’re into four figure territory, a considerable proportion of hardware on sale is built in liberal democracies by people who are educated adults being paid something approaching a living wage for their efforts. The products that result are long lived, generally repairable and not that hard to recycle when you or the eighth owner is finally done.

The caveat being of course that they cost a lot of money and that cost is only going up. Nevertheless, if more things were built in the same way with similar views on projected lifespan, we’d probably be in a better state than we are. Weaning people off things with a designed life of warranty + 50% margin of error that you bin when done will be very, very hard though.

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And how do you propose that? TV, t’internet etc has done for all that. The stable door was open and the horse bolted a long, long time ago.

Start with the difference between ‘Want’ and ‘Need’.

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I think western society need to realise we need to start paying realistic / higher prices for our goods.

Whilst we’re still paying peanuts for stuff from China they’ll keep churning stuff out.
look at the amount of Amazon vans on the road , drivers doing 12 hour days to barely keep their heads above water.

I fear that whatever we do in this country won’t matter a jot in the grand scheme of things.

Carbon neutral for the UK is a duff target, as we have been exporting our 'dirty industry elsewhere. At now less than 1% of carbon dioxide we don’t matter.

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Vanity space travel doesn’t come cheap

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This is a commonly-held delusion. All of it matters - we’re in this mess because we have been conditioned to think as individuals and consume selfishly, but trained to believe we don’t actually matter and are powerless.

The issue is global, and we are inhabitants of the globe - we can all make a difference, what we do as individuals - and as nations - matters, a lot.

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I thought we were trained to think it was all our fault because we didn’t recycle enough to distract from the fact that the way of life, that we implicitly condoned by voting for slightly different shades of the same cuntery, was fundamentally incompatible with not fucking the planet?

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an economic model based on continuous growth, coupled with people in charge who hoard an extreme proportion of the wealth and, hence, are totally isolated from the mess they leave behind, means we have a bit of a problem. 3 of the richest people are trying to leave the planet entirely… says it all really.

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Yes it is. The thing is, to be comfortable with ‘degrowth’ as it now seems to be termed, you also have to be comfortable with some fairly unpleasant side effects; being glib for a moment, stopping people dying from something that you perceive to be ‘bad’ and instead killing them in a way you feel is ‘good.’

De-growth should be less likely to entirely fuck the planet though as it should involve less cutting down all the trees, burning all the fossil fuel, catching all the fish, digging everything up and doing more of that every year?

I wouldn’t bet on that. We’ve only recently become quite good a postponing periods of de-growth. I expect the next proper period of de-growth to be a proper effort a la Malthus. Big die offs are good for the planet right?

That’s not an answer to what I typed though. Explicit in your phraseology is that the current situation leads to death. That’s fine, it probably does. However, any realistic appraisal of degrowth needs to be taken with the understanding that it also comes with death contingent to it (there’s thousands of pages of debate on this, for the sake of argument, THIS ONE, has some useful links and makes its case in a fairly straightforward way).

Implicit in arguments about degrowth- and I’m not having a specific dig at you here but I guess it’ll be taken as one- is that people who propose it never seem to be the ones volunteering for a sharp reduction in their living standards, let alone allowing themselves to be liquidated. As @htm_1968 also notes, when they do happen (1347 was a very successful spot of de-growth), they don’t tend to be controlled.

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Yep. There’s too many of us. And we keep trying to live longer. No I’m not volunteering. Yes that makes me a hypocrite. I’m not alone in that.

God knows I tried to do this with my kids. I really did. But the constant bombardment of consumerism fucked that totally.
I honestly thought FoL had bought into what I said but, boy, was I wrong. Stepdaughter, otoh, is more attuned to my way of thinking which greatly, pleasantly surprised me as I really thought it would be the other way round.