It's not about the environment

2012-05-25 09:29

Some sections of humanity have grudgingly come to accept that the way we choose to live has severe consequences for the longevity of the earth. We have been scared into buying organic, shopping local, solar panels, cycling for our morning toast and welcoming the bitter fate of vegetarianism as an ethical act of greenness. This greenification is the result of our incessant consumerism, our ‘need-to-have’ mentality for cheaper, quickly made goods made the cheap dirty way. Would all the talk about renewable energy and recycling still exist if the earth were not dying a slow man-made death? Of course, there are those who believe desertification, deforestation and increasing temperatures are a non-event and part of an absurd mythology that humans are not the primary agents of the earth’s planetary change.

Whether we are all going to combust because of our mass materialism should not be the trigger changing the way we choose to live. Even if there were infinite resources, infinite avenues for exploitation, how is living the way we continue to live remotely justified?

Surely it is not okay to live light years from our threshold of need? Or perhaps we are too far-gone at this point, too corrupted by the capitalist ‘logic’ of market economics and perhaps we should just lie in this quagmire of greed, which takes us ever further from enlightened human interaction? I do not think so. The mechanised market and trade economics tells the tale of a part of the human story, which rewards profit and innovation, but it seems to also detract from the simplicity of non-robotic interaction.

We have been duped into wanting things, not for themselves but because they lead to some sort of societal approval. People are not regarded as vessels of ideas and purpose but as a means to get something, get somewhere or to be someone. Even among human beings we search for ‘things’. Political leaders are chosen as though they are meant to meet an individual’s needs – a lesson from market economics – instead of the much larger guiding imperative – communal need.

Heightened production guided by incessant ‘need’ and the short-sighted way in which things are made reveals a larger human problem. We should not be looking toward alternative energy and eating less beef in our burgers based on fear for the world’s end. We should be looking towards more self-sufficient and energy sustainable modes because this, in itself, is an ethical end, not because the sustenance of the earth will guarantee more irrational consumption in a business-as-usual manner. This is not about what is a deteriorating ecology, but about a deteriorating part of humanity.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

AB praises selfless skipper

2010-11-21 18:15

Inside News24

 
/News
 

5 scientific benefits of owning a cat

According to science, just the act of watching cats itself can bring about positive emotions – so it comes as no surprise then, that owning a cat has a number of benefits.

 

Paws

Why we love cats
8 great natural remedies for your pet
How to clean your dog’s eyes
This special pooch inspired his brother to learn to stand again
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.