Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Consumption or What's your home page?

The New York Times is my home page. When logging on to do any work on my computer it's the first thing I encounter - kind of like coming upstairs for tea in the morning and finding someone has left a warm plate of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies on the counter. Who's gonna pass that up? I don't intend to get caught up reading all these interesting articles when I've got a mountain of other stuff on my plate, but since I do and I did, I recommend this op-ed piece by Jared Diamond, "What's Your Consumption Factor?"
Got too much on your plate to read it? Okay, I've whittled it down to one quote to ponder.

". . . living standards are not tightly coupled to consumption rates. Much American consumption is wasteful and contributes little or nothing to quality of life. For example, per capita oil consumption in Western Europe is about half of ours, yet Western Europe’s standard of living is higher by any reasonable criterion, including life expectancy, health, infant mortality, access to medical care, financial security after retirement, vacation time, quality of public schools and support for the arts. Ask yourself whether Americans’ wasteful use of gasoline contributes positively to any of those measures."

Duh.

2 comments:

Chris said...

Someone needs to put together a catalog of sources for guidance on easy to hard things to do to get us from 32 (the magic number of the size of developed world consumption compared to the 1 of the developing world) to, say, 28, or 25 or even 18 within the next five years.

Where does an I start?

MotherPie said...

I find Dave Pollard to be a good source for sustainable living ideas.

Our footprint should be smaller. Much smaller. Our quality of life would improve.