Friday, October 05, 2007

Consumption Blues

Check out What if Everyone Consumed Like You. Unfortunately, if everyone consumed like I do it would take 5.3 earths to support us all, and I consider myself a fairly conservative consumer (good thing they didn't ask how many books I buy.) Play the game and let me know how many earths your clones would consume.

I've already made a change, though. The dumping of over five million pounds (I'm behind times times, the figure today is 21.7 million pounds) of E. Coli-tainted beef last week by Wal-Mart (and others) sickened me so much I can't think of eating cow, or pig, for that matter. All those animals slaughtered and then thrown away. (In case there was some lingering doubt which way my political winds blow...) Now I'm looking at chicken and fish (okay, yes, and yogurt. I'm working on it.) Of course, not everyone in the world has the choices I do. The fish seem to be gone in Nigeria. Thanks to Dr. Scanlan for this link.


Rachel said...

I am laughing so hard. If everybody consumed like me, we would need 8.3 earths. Better start looking to move to space!

Rachel said...

Oh, and don't worry - I'll make up for the red meat you stop eating. ;)

Charmi said...

Laughing wasn't exactly the response I was looking for ;-) But that's okay.

I've gotta go back to the site and figure out where else I can improve. My 21 cups of coffee (surely an underestimate) per week probably isn't the best thing, but I have a feeling the recommendations are going to tend more toward fossil fuels.

Rachel said...

Wow...21 cups of coffee. Good thing they didn't ask about Mountain Dew.

Sorry my reaction disappoints. ;) I was just laughing because I KNEW mine was going to be bad. My consumption habits are horrible.

However, fossil fuels are not my issue. My apartment is all electric.

Talia Reed said...

I think it's a good idea to not waste, to not overdo it, to be good stewards of what God has given us, but if we all lived in little tiny spaces, connected to each other and ate as little as possible, traveled as little as possible, etc. wouldn't it seem like a prison? Drinking lots of coffee could very well be beneficial to those who produce the coffee, to those who make a living in the coffee industry. The same can be said for lots of other situations. While industry has its downfalls, it does much more than that, even for the nations who seriously lack adequate amounts of everything. I saw a little clip over the weekend aobut Nicaragua--the 2nd poorest nation in the western hemisphere. Many people there live off of the garbage that is dumped into the landfill. When the garbage truck comes that is where they find their next meal. They could use a little industry, a little "more" of everything. While we Americans can be disgusting in our world of excess, it certainly isn't the worst thing.

Also, I question the formula by which that site gets its calculations. It starts out with 1 earth. If you don't enter any information you are using up an entire earth's worth of resouces? No way. I don't believe it.

Last year around Valentine's Day certain groups were asking the public not to buy flowers because the cost of fuel and all of that for shipping the flowers to the states. What about the nations, the families, the people, whose economies depend on such markets?

Charmi said...

The survey, although certainly with it flaws, makes me wonder if the capitalistic/consumeristic model is sustainable in the long term. I'm beginning to think not.

Talia Reed said...

Well, the capitalist model is certainly doing a good job of sustaining the human beings.

Charmi said...

It's doing a good job of sustaining some human beings.

Rachel said...

It's doing a better job than anything else has. My view is, as long as we live on this imperfect earth and systems of government/labor are implemented by people, nothing will be perfect.

I think history has proven, though, that capitalism far outperforms the other options, and at least allows some of the people who lived in poverty to rise out of it. Communism and socialism just bring the other people down to the same level. At least, historically, when put into practice, they have.

Communism/socialism are lovely on paper - don't work in real life. People are too corrupt.

Charmi said...

I knew I'd get you guys riled up with my political views! Of course I'm still going to disagree with how well capitalisim has "worked." The people who benefit the most from it obviously think it works great! I think in the near future, as other nations like China and India work their way into a more dominant role in our capitalistic model, and American purchasing power continues to decline, Americans will start questioning the models we've relied so heavily on.

It's going to be interesting to watch this process unfold. I'm hearing more and more people talking of moving to Europe, especially in the past six months to a year. These are always college-educated folks. They have a variety of reasons and a variety of political beliefs. My own kids are interested in Finland, with its blend of capitalism and socialism and a great standard of living, if only they had more sun!

The world is changing. I'm not saying I have any great answers, I'm just saying I'm not going to bury my head in the sand of capitalism/consumerism and refuse to consider any change.

Jennifer said...

I'm dying to comment, comment!

How is that recycling going for you Talia. I saw that you're traveling to Starke Cty for the library. Isn't that where all the recycling is supposed to be taken?

Talia Reed said...


The recycling is sort of going...still trying to get it organized, and not sure how/if it will continue when I student teach. But perhaps I will make a more concerted effort to the county to make it more convenient. But cans and cardboard and most of the milk jugs. And definitley the paper bags, as all Wal-Marts collect those.