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February 07, 2006
Talkin' Trash

It isn't just that we consume too much and throw away the toys that fascinated us last week but bore us today. It's that our economy won't survive (in its current form) if we don't keep makin' trash.

"Reduce, reuse, recycle" will save the planet, but it won't save us unless our society evolves.

Posted by AnneZook at 10:59 AM


I think this article is a bit overly pessimistic. Say what you want about corporations -- god knows I do -- they adapt to changing economic circumstances pretty quickly. If we could muster the political will to begin doing away with a lot of the subsidies mentioned in the interview (and there's considerable conservative support for this as well, if we frame it right) then I think most corporations will find some way to either cut costs or even make money from the "opportunity" created by waste....

Bertrand Russell, I think it was, said that garbage is just a natural resource we haven't yet figured out how to use.

Posted by: Ahistoricality at February 7, 2006 12:13 PM

(Hey, where did my answer go?)

In brief, what I said was that I think you have to be a bit scare-mongery (I know, it's not a real word) these days to get anyone's attention, what with the Bush Administration hogging the headlines threatening us all with death from the terrorists they're baiting and doom and destruction by the Left's ungodly insistence on personal freedoms.

I think our society is largely characterized by a sluggish complacency. There are those who won't believe the damage we're doing to the planet is extreme until the oceans start to rise and DC and LA are both half-underwater.

(Besides, like many of us, I'm hoping someone with brains, intelligence, and commitment comes up with a New Deal for our society...something where our economic security and social happiness aren't predicated on a never-ending cycle of consuming. I want to repair, not replace, my appliances.)

Posted by: Anne at February 7, 2006 04:02 PM

Well, I can't argue with you there. (Too sluggish and complacent....)

That said, I think a bit more creativity in proposing solutions, and we might find one or two that mitigate the problem before we're all New Orleanians.... I'm all for delaying the inevitable, with the hope that it might not, after all, be inevitable.

Posted by: Ahistoricality at February 8, 2006 03:05 PM