Capitalism is totally depended on fast and continuous consumption
Sustainability is one of the most important issues today. Global resources are disappearing rapidly, and most of these essential elements of modern products have taken earth for millions of years and are not replaceable. Sustainable fashion design is probably the only way the clothing industry can do something about environmental problems. I believe the next few years the fashion industry challenged by the political system and consumers to produce clothes with better quality, recycled fabrics and new solutions. Our economic model is in the middle of a paradigm shift, where the capitalistic monetary system is no longer working and has become a life-threatening tool that destroys the earth. We talk about increased standards of living, and higher GDP define our wealth. However, is this really true? Do we become happier the more material goods we have?
For the last centuries money = happiness. Everything we measure for the economy of today built upon a monetary exchange that cannot stop. We have a consumer culture that is good for the economy but bad for the environment and for those who have little or nothing. This economy is totally depending on consumption if it stops everything will fall apart and there will be little or no ROI (return on investment) to those who control the power of the planet (1 percent of the population owns 40 percent of all wealth) is it fair?
Carbon Footprint Around The World Diagram (Click and Open)
Westerners use 4-5 times more energy than people living in poor countries
If we measure carbon footprint people living in Europe uses three times more energy than those living in poor countries, and worst Americans use four to five times longer. If we want to do something for the environment, this is one of the most important issues to deal with. We need to develop Eco-compassion on a high level of consciousness and understand that actions we do in one place might affect other places and people in a very negative way. Sooner or later these actions will have the huge negative impact on our own environment, if we, for example, study the flooding after the hurricane Sandy, we have to look at what are the real reasons for this to happen. Most probably is the hurricane a result of the western countries over the spending of global resources, pollution, and reckless consumer culture and in particular, by Americans.
Most scientific studies and experts say that the global warming is a result human action; these changes in temperature might seem harmless as they appear to be small figures, and for example, the temperature can rise with 2 Celsius within a time span of hundred years. However, those figures will rise faster the more the temperature increase as every other process in nature will accelerate this. Almost everything we measure regarding the wealth in the society rooted in money; gross domestic profit (GDP), consumer price index, inflation, and deflation but are these instruments showing the right picture?
No, never in history has there been a larger gap between rich and poor people. This gap is actually the worst threat to society’s wealth if we look at social happiness as a true goal. Isn’t happiness what we seek for, to get rid of suffering and experience happiness? The fact is that in every aspect, a society where the wealth is more equally shared the positive values is far best than in those societies who have a bigger gap. Equally, a shared society have more innovation, better education, better health, more trust, less violence, less mental illness, less homicide and less crime, this list goes on (source The Spirit Level Why Equality is better for everyone Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett published 2010 Penguin books)
Terrorism, war, and healthcare problems are actually good for the economy
The danger lies not in the fact people are being poor but feeling poor. A high GDP is an indicator of a wealthy country, war, terrorism; healthcare problems are, in fact, good for the GDP but can hardly be of good for a social well-being or happiness? Growth in GDP is not a tool to measure happiness; it’s just another tool of measuring money sequence. The economy is cyclic. Our value system is based upon the employers who have employees in order to produce goods to consume so there are always enough products to keep this wheel spinning.
The cyclic consumer culture is killing earth at an even faster tempo than before. Quality in products and long-lasting products is not really a difficult thing to make but since our economy is based only on money sequences the competition is to make a product with the lowest price tag possible, a strategy that is good for the consumers but extremely harmful to the environment. Therefore, companies work in every single process of production with cost efficiency. Companies actually decide the how long a product shall last. Intrinsic obsolescence or planned product obsolescence must happen otherwise it destroys the cyclic consumption, product sustainability is inverse to economic growth the system cannot operate otherwise.
We have to constantly spend on the system, so there are always enough products to keep this wheel spinning. However, at the same time, we are at a fast tempo using global resources of important minerals that we simply cannot live without or develop new products or technologies that can help us in the future. The landfills are full of cheap mobile phones, TV, videos that have valuable components and minerals like nickel, silver, and gold. For example, will titanium that is significant for aircraft production latest 12 years, Indium which is the important part of making solar panels and LCD screen latest for another 13 years, Lead used in bullets and car batteries 14 years. This Stock check is the reality unless we do something radical. These resources are soon to vanish unless we start to recycle, repair and make products with better quality that last longer, these products as computers, mobile phones or TV sets could easily be updated or fixed.
Cyclic Consumption Diagram (Click and Open)
The enemy of the economic system is efficiency, sustainability, and preservation
Nevertheless, the enemy of today’s economic system is efficiency, sustainability, and preservation. Today it’s to a greater degree to create problems than solutions because the most money to be earned is on problems, terrorism, prison, war is actually good for the economy, however, it’s only driven by money and does not make our society any better. Moderation is the solution to keep and remain Earth sustainable. Be able to produce what we need without passing the limit; unfortunately, this passed years ago.
In the old religious text, there is a fable or story of based upon prophecy “there shall be seven good years where nature will be very kind and give us what needed for a long period. However, there will be seven bad years coming afterward” Can we learn something from this? Nothing happens for a reason. Actions are connected and can affect in various ways in different places and time. Countries and large companies all over the world have for years exploiting common global resources when humans destroy the natural habitat, it tries to compensate and save the fragile balance. Nevertheless, Earth is very breakable because a small invisible adjustment can cause huge effects when this happens, we lose.
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Sources and Useful Information (Click and Open)
- The Spirit Level Why Equality is better for everyone Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett published 2010 Penguin books
- Information is Beautiful, David McCandless 2009 – Stock check estimated remaining world supplies of non-renewable resources Finance reference Wikipedia, OPEC, environmental investigation agency, USGS, CIA Factbook, oil & gas journal, world energy council, world coal Institute, BP
- Zeitgeist film series
- Jacque Fresno – The Venus project
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