Daily, people are bombarded by conflicting messages. On the one hand, we are told the economy is in a dire position and that what we need to do is get our wallets out and spend.
Conversely, we are told about the perilous situation the environment is in, and that we should stop buying things we don’t need, take fewer (long distance at least) holidays and generally go easier on the planet.
No wonder so many people seem somewhat confused and permanently stressed.
I can see both sides of the argument and to extent find myself agreeing with both of them. However they are such conflicting objectives, such diametrically opposed ideals, that it’s hard to come to a final position on the matter. In fact by the time your work for the day is done, and you finally have a few moments to meditate on these matters, it’s all to easy to just go for some form of escapism in TV, books or computer games.
Our economy is largely based upon people consuming things they don’t need. We actually NEED very little. Food, shelter, warmth, clean drinking water…that’s about it really.
You might enjoy a new car but will you actually be happier? Probably not.
So how do we square this circle? How do we achieve an economy that can sustainably employ people without using up every last resource Earth has to offer?
There are those who advocate a return to a pre industrial society. This is simply not going to happen. Yeah let’s all sleep in one big room, along with all our pigs, goats and a cow called Mabel – the ultimate in open plan living….
There must be some middle ground where we get to keep the good things which have been invented over the past 300 years, without seeing it as a catastrophe if we begin to consume less, year on year.