Consumerism

 Sorry I haven’t posted in a while.  Between Ann’s defense, a couple of twelve-hour drive,s and a week on Dauphin Island in Alabama,  I have been completely burnt out.  Well, the week at the beach wasn’t so bad, but I haven’t even had time to revel in my Fantasy Football victory.  All this will change starting…. now:

NY Times Consumption Factor IllustrationThe New York Times has a very interesting op-ed by Jared Diamond — author of the fascinating Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies as well as several other books which I haven’t read but which have equally good reputations.  (Thanks again for the book, Brian, even if it did take me nearly a year to finish.) 

The premise of the op-ed is that the inequity in per capita consumption is a major driving factor of world politics and that a correction is inevitable.  Currently each person in the U.S. consumes 32 times as much resources as a person in the third world.  Diamond makes the case that we in the U.S. don’t have much time until we either choose to consume less or someone else decides to force us to do so.  He softens the message a bit by suggesting that a lot of our spectacular consumption (I’m thinking of my two twelve-hour drives) is tied to waste (I didn’t feel too bad since my 34 MPG car passed numerous Hummers and S.U.V.’s being towed by motor homes) but it seems like there still would be a large discrepancy.

Anyhow, it’s a neat essay. 

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