Feast for Thought

Not pontificating. Only trying to bat on the side of the environment. And ethics. And simple living. And slowing down. (And trying to learn and practise before preaching or teaching...)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Why not non-consumerism or anti-consumerism?

We hear about sustainable development and green technologies that try to positively impact on global warming and climate change. From vulgar market-mad-media-driven consumerism and mindless material acquisition, some enlightened elite few are moving towards green ideas, both elsewhere and at home...because they can 'afford' it. The emphasis is on changing the consuming habit from mere material acquisition to material that is a product of green thoughts, actions, and technologies...be it green homes, green AC's, green fridges, green clothing...green luxury!

Why do people hesitate to talk about anti-consumerism or non-consumerism? I feel I sound quite 'green' (meaning both naive as well as eco-conscious!).

Am I more eco-friendly if I reduce my consumption, or just because I switch to green stuff?
In India, we need to go ahead with radical efforts on sustainable development in every sector...even if it means slowing down the so-called economic growth rate. What is the growth rate after all? It is only an index of production, of buying power, in other words, of market-driven consumerism.

Instead, sustainable economic development would be a much better term on which to base all future Government policy and corporates' social responsibility efforts. That's when we can look forward to better quality of life (better literacy rates, life expectancy, lower poverty rates, well-utilised leisure time, better environmental quality, freedom, and social justice). Easier said than done utopic ideals? Optimism always helps...

Gavin Edwards of Greenpeace spells out what is already evident logic to the eco-conscious. "...you can have development and you can have action against climate change as well."

One way to do that is...let the powers that be squaggle over percentage emission cuts at international fora ... on our part, we could train ourselves to be sane users, not mindless have-money-will-buy consumers.

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2 Comments:

Blogger RAJI MUTHUKRISHNAN said...

The last sentence makes perfect sense to me - everyone should follow it.

11 November, 2008  
Blogger Swarna said...

Oh Raji - I'm glad you didn't mean 'Only the last...'!

11 November, 2008  

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i appreciate that you have some thoughts to share, and are taking the effort to do so.

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