It’s time to stop guilt tripping poor people into saving the environment
97% of climate scientists agree that humans are causing global warming and threatening the extinction of life on the planet as we know it. Even if that’s not true, as some believe, there’s no doubt that pollution and urban sprawl are killing off thousands of species. On a long enough time scale, this will tip the eco-system into catastrophic failure. So there’s definitely a call to action here. It’s vital that humans change their behavior, and millions of dollars have been spent on propaganda and movies trying to convince us to do so.
This is a message that we all need to hear, because we’re all complicit in the destruction of the environment. Wildlife habitats were bulldozed over to make room for the cities we live in. Pollution is created from manufacturing the products we fill our houses with, and the leftover trash goes right back into the land we’re not occupying.
Even if we all reduce our consumption and only buy eco-friendly products, that will only slow the damage we’re doing to the planet. It’s still an inevitability if we keep doing what we’ve been doing, but the problem isn’t that the average person needs to be more responsible. Guilt-tripping the average person is blaming the victim.
It’s pretty much illegal to live anywhere except in a modern house. The only place you can find enough food to survive is at a grocery store where every product is mass produced, pumped full of poisonous chemicals and packaged in disposable containers. In order to make a living you almost have to own a car that you have to keep dumping toxic chemicals into. In order to pay for all of this you’ll have to work for a business that makes and/or uses mass-produced consumer products.
While it’s great that we’re not all living in caves and hunting wild animals, modern life is more of a grueling, soul-rushing rat race than a futuristic utopia. The only way to escape the daily grind is to make enough money to buy land and build off the grid. Even then, you’ll still be hounded by taxes. So you need a permanent source of income to keep feeding the beast, or the police will take everything you own and throw you in jail.
If you’re one of the 3 billion people who live on less than $3 per day there’s no chance of you being able to afford to move off the grid. Even if you live in a first world country, you’ll have to make at least $28k annually just to cover the cost of living, and you’ll still be eating eat cheap processed food, living in the ghetto, driving an old, unreliable car, and never seeing a doctor or dentist.
It’s no accident that it’s so expensive to live or that so many people have so few options. All of these worker/consumer/tax payers aren’t lazy. Almost all of them work full time. They’re stuck in a never-ending cycle of working just to make enough money to be broke after they’ve paid their bills, because that’s how the system is designed. Everyone except the ultra-wealthy are trapped in an endless cycle of debt. We would love to escape the rat race, but all the exits have been systematically blocked. So we have no choice but to keep working, shopping and helping destroy the planet.
Money is power, and the owners of the businesses that are strip-mining the planet’s resources have taken all the money. They’re the only people who have the ability to break the cycle by investing their fortunes into building self-sufficient cities and an economy that doesn’t require the mass production/consumption of junk. They’re not taking any steps in that direction, because that would mean scrapping the system that made them wealthy in the first place. It should come as no surprise that they’re using their fortunes to make the economy even more unsustainable for the poor. The harder it is for the poor to live self-sufficiently, the more secure the revenue streams of big business are.
If you’re going to make propaganda urging people to save the environment, then you need to target the people who are most responsible for the destruction of the environment: wealthy business owners and investors. Any effort spent guilt-tripping the poor only accomplishes two things: making poor people feel bad about themselves and distracting them from the source of all the world’s problems: our unsustainable economic model.
If you liked this post, you may like these:
- My 1 point solution to saving the world
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- The downside of economic growth
- The fundamental problem with the economy
- Cost/benefit analysis of economic oppression
- Collapse is the product of unsustainability. Sustainability is the product of sustainability.
- A sustainable economic model
- My vision for a secular, intellectual monastery
- Occupy LOL Street: A Brave New Village
Originally published at thewisesloth.com on April 19, 2016.