I’ve been encountering a number of people who are ambivalent about this recession we’re in. On the one hand, they’re struggling personally because of economic hardship, but on the other hand they recognize that consumption needs to decline for the sake of biodiversity, climate stabilization, and restored ecosystems. I was listening to an economic historian on the radio yesterday, who pointed out to a caller (who believed we need to reduce our consumption) that this was simply not how our economy worked. I’ve written about this topic in previous blog posts (such as this one), imagining a more service-based economy to replace our thing-based economy, but I know that this solution is incomplete.
Recently, on my book tours for Most Good, Least Harm, I’ve met people who want to read my book, but don’t want to buy it because they don’t want to consume more (more paper, more trees, more ink, more fossil fuels – all of which go into the production of my book). And I agree with them! I want my book to be a bestseller that millions read, and I want each of us to consume less and use our resources with more care. When asked about this dilemma, I often suggest they get a copy of the book and donate it to their local library when they’re done. Since the last page in the book provides a place for people to write down their names and email addresses so that they can connect with others who want to explore the issues involved in MOGO living, the perfect home for Most Good, Least Harm is a library. But the quandary remains.
What kind of society and world do we envision? Is it consumption-based or something else? What else?
In some of my future posts I’ll explore these issues of consumption further.