Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Humanity as a wildfire: It is clear that consumer culture can only go on for so long

Economic growth, technological development and increasing per capita wealth are the sure representations of a species out of control. Spreading and increasing taking is modeled not on the behaviors of the large carnivores (representing 500 million years of evolutionary history and millions of potential examples), or the behavior of any complex creature. It is modeled by a wild fire that burns all the available fuel until, nothing left to burn, it extinguishes.
No organism can base its existence on increasing rates of uncompensated taking from fixed amounts of material and energy. What humans have been successful at doing so far is forcing the consequences of their taking onto other creatures, weaker cultures, yet unborn humans, and into distorted relationships with each other and the environment. Seen with any clarity of perspective, it is clear that this can only go on for so long.
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And yes, I do recognize the irony that, as I sit here concerned about the ultimate fate of consumer culture and the ecosphere, I do so while enjoying my yerba mate shipped in from Argentina and listening to the stack of CDs I purchased over the weekend while visiting my best friend in Chicago.

In my defense, they were all used CDs.

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