David Attenborough is a familiar face on our screens and has been for decades. His new book and program strike to the heart of the consumer society.
He tells us to use less, waste nothing and the subtext is buy organic.
This morning when he was featured on the Beeb there was a shot of battery chickens in the background.
Factory farming started to provide cheaper food for our ever increasing population. As a "baby boomer" I, my generation and susequent ones are to blame.
That was the time to get up and speak about the effect this would have on the planet. It was just not on the agenda at that time.
It is very easy to be wise after the event.
The longer the event goes on the harder it becomes to reverse, never mind stop.
I guestimate here. I think that up to 75% of the worlds population live either in the poverty gap or a smidgeon above it.
These people waste nothing. They do not consume vast amounts of power.
They do not fill their cars (they simply don't have the money) with Kilos of food and then bin a large percentage at the end of the week.
They do not buy clothes and household goods on a regular basis just to consign them to landfill when the fashion changes. In fact they probably shop second hand when they absolutely have to, thus helping the environment.
In MY opinion most, if not all, of the rhetoric needs to be directed at the (roughly) 25% of the worlds population who have the money to throw around.
The "jet set" with air travel, the fashionistas with revolving wardrobe doors, the shoppers who buy ever increasing volumes of everything from food to cosmetics and jettison it just to make room for more.
These are the people who should be targeted, after all if you cannot afford a leopardskin coat you are not responsible for the reduced population.
Equally if you cannot afford to buy organic free range food to feed your family you have to buy the cheaper alternative. You are not responsible for factory farming.
I am off the soap box now, but will keep it handy.
I just wanted to add that I did not mention the middle ground. All of us who may or may not be rich but have the means and the ability to stretch our money wisely. We already waste nothing, make do and mend and repurpose as much as possible. Some of us are firmly in the perceived poverty belt, although you would never know it, and some of are in the wealthy belt but do not flaunt or waste it. I know that it is wrong to generalise but there is not enough room here to be specific. Gosh, that sounds like a cop out. Sorry, but I had a strong reaction to being preached at by someone who has never had to make do or go without and would probably not recognise the Benefit Trap if he fell in it. I do still admire him, he is a stand alone man, head and shoulders above many others of his ilk.
Well said. I haven't watched much tv lately - too busy sorting stuff here - but I usually give Attenborough the time of day. I agree with you though, the top echelon of our throw-away, easy-come easy-go society needs to be brought to heel. Most of the rest of us are too busy living hand to mouth to over-consume.ReplyDelete
We do our best to not introduce plastic into the house, I waste nothing except time and live well. I did have a few years travelling across Europe and flew long haul several times. No more though, for many years now I have cut back on what used to seem essential spending. With hindsight I accept that it was all about Want. Now I want for nothing and have all that I need for the simple life that I prefer.Delete
We've been told what we're doing to the planet and yet we continue. It is hard to change our ways and it won't be done overnight, but we all have a responsibility. We saw so much waste after the hoarding of lockdown and yet the same thing is happening again, I don't think we'll ever learn.ReplyDelete
At least the supermarkets are on the ball this time and have put restrictions in place. Most of the people that i know have simply increased their pantries and will not have to scrabble around for items. I would love to know how many bags of bread flour are mouldering away in cupboards, or tipped into waste.Delete
Good post,those who have the most I feel are the biggest offenders, the rest of us do so well, but it's never enough.ReplyDelete
The numbers of "make do and mend" and " waste not want not" minded people are growing, just not fast enough. While manufacturers keep using too much packaging, regardless of whether it is recyclable, it will not be enough. If we stop the rubbish at source it would be a great corner stone to build upon.Delete
In the beginning of our married life I had to pinch pennies, and there was a time Harvey was out of work with me expecting our second child. Those are days I never want to live through again. Once working again I made every effort to save, pay off our mortgage, and learned to not waste a single thing.ReplyDelete
Now we could loosen the strings more often, but I find when I do I feel very guilty.
Our government gave seniors a one time payment of $300.00 extra during the pandemic. We gave it to the food bank as there are people who need it much more than we do.
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I wrote a comment and when I read it back spellcheck had made a pigs ear of it. Basically many of us have lived through the early years when money was tight. I certainly did. It set a spending/saving habit that has meant a good life free of debt (spell check changed that to dead!). Some, however, once they had the wherewithall had to spend every spare penny that passed through their hands. I have friends who have had good jobs and careers but on retirement had to scrimp and save as they had frittered it all away.Delete