If you only read one thing this week…

‘Greensumption’? A closer look at shopping to save the planet by ifyouonlyreadonethingthisweek

The New York Times .earth section is covering a new video from the International Forum on Globalization that looks at “absurdity of the notion that the way out of this planetary crisis — which is deeply rooted in overuse of scarce resources – is to go out and “shop to save the planet”.  Among many “false solutions” now coming at us, it is surely the most peculiar, but so American: every crisis viewed as a new business growth opportunity.  Obviously the better answer is less use of energy, materials, consumption, not more.

It’s a fun five minute satire on the idea that planetary crisis is a great new business opportunity.

Read the interview and watch the video here, and read the transcript of the interview here.

[The IFG] believes that modern economic globalization will not survive the current set of planetary crises, even if all of us naysayers offered no protest at all. At least it cannot survive in anything approaching its current forms and scale. You cant have globalization without digging up the last resources on the earth to feed corporate growth, and to engage in a staggering amount of transoceanic shipping (as the video showed) using fuel which is getting constantly more expensive and dangerous to our survival. The modern economic globalization model (since the 1946 Bretton Woods meetings) depends upon four impossible conditions:  First and foremost, continuous rates of high economic growth for global corporations, and for the overall system itself. That idea is itself preposterous on a finite planet.  The growth itself depends on:  Second, ever-increasing access to supplies of (inexpensive) natural resources, especially cheap energy and inexpensive global transport, arable soils, and water.)  Third, always increasing new markets.  And, Fourth, always expanding supplies of cheap labor. Global corporations had a field day over the past five decades, while all of those things were in abundant supply. But we live on a finite planet: limited resources, limited sinks, limited rates of recovery, limited carrying capacity.  To sustain the voracious appetites of global corporations, at anything like the rate of development over the past half century is impossible on a planet with such clear natural limits.


2 Comments so far
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I’m so glad that the sheer ludicrousness of greensumption is being highlighted.

Comment by Alanna

Thanks Alanna – when you look into it, it’s an obviously bad idea, but the temptation to think that climate crisis could be solved by switching brands is very powerful.

Comment by ifyouonlyreadonethingthisweek

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