Jan 11, 2011
In the developed regions of the world today, such as North America, Western Europe, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, etc., decades of unprecedented economic growth have all but solved the economic problem of how to secure the necessaries of life and, indeed, have resulted in most people living lives of relative luxury and comfort. Though a small residue of poverty remains in these regions, on the whole...
Jan 10, 2011
Aside from blaming over-population, a second mainstream response to the ecological crisis is to claim that science and technology will save the planet. From this perspective, rather than focusing on reducing consumption or population, what primarily needs to happen is for scientific or technological advancements to make the production of commodities more efficient; that is, to make commodities...
Jan 9, 2011
The last post suggested that living more simply will be a necessary part of any transition to an ecologically sustainable society. To support the contention that current consumption patterns are unsustainable, and that low-consumption lifestyles are necessary, here is a brief scientific review of the ecological impacts of economic activity today.
The Living Planet Report 2008, based on the...
Jan 9, 2011
As well as personal, communitarian, and humanitarian reasons for living simply, there are, of course, also environmental reasons. It has long been recognized that consumption and ecological impact are correlated, and from this correlation it follows that reducing consumption can be an effective means for reducing ecological impact. Indeed, it is becoming increasingly clear that simpler living, in the...
Jan 6, 2011
There are also social or communitarian incentives for embracing a life of voluntary simplicity. For example, when an individual embraces voluntary simplicity by working less, this may well benefit the individual (e.g. by creating more leisure and reducing stress). But those individual benefits will often have flow on effects that benefit others too, such as creating more time and energy for family and...
Dec 17, 2010
The other day I saw a Christmas card which read, “The faster we destroy the planet, the sooner Jesus will be here.”
First it made me laugh; then it made me think. At a time when the world’s most respected scientists affirm that ordinary Western consumption habits are indeed destroying the planet, what attitudes should we have toward the corporate event known as Christmas? Should we still be seeking...