Bear with me Tim, as I am recovering from shoulder surgery and may not be in possession of all my scruple (pain meds) but I want to try to respond to your thoughtful comment.
The overarching point which you so succinctly made is of course that we are a consumerism-driven society, and as such the only way (it’s assumed) to be successful is to consume .Which we are doing to the point where the last of the world’s wildernesses, the last of the world’s fish, wildlife are disappearing like so much smoke even in our eagerness to SEE it before it’s all lost. The cost to the last of the beautiful places on Earth is too high-in our eagerness to consume shit snacks by Pepsi we are wiping out vast numbers of last of their kind animals such as orangutans and lovely birds and unknown creatures we will never discover. So that we can have CHIPS.
I was just in Indonesia. Our greed for stupid crap results in the hands being cut off orangutans, and left to die. Mothers burned alive, babies left to die. Oh I could go on for hours,all the countries I’ve visited, the forests razed, elephants robbed of their foraging set on fire when they try to feed themselves. Don’t get me started about pop growth and our goddamned consumerism. It’s an horrific issue with horrific consequences.
This is a tiny microcosm of the cost of our consumerism, Tim. The rest of the world is hurtling headlong towards the American model of scorched earth policy. Getgetgethavehavehgavebuybuybuy. To incomprehensible cost. Unimaginable loss to every one of us, with most with their faces superglued to their devices, ads to buy more shit consuming their attention, all while the world’s real treasures are being lost at unimaginable speed.
To be alive is to consume- bird, plant, animal, human. We just take vastly more than our rightful share, and to breathtaking arrogance, believe that it’s still not enough. What makes enough, Tim? Another big screen tv? More donuts? Another five thousand dollar pair of shoes? Another stupid tourist t-shirt it took thousands of gallons of water to make?
As a species we are voracious, and we have no clue yet as to the long term effects of what we are killing off, and how those specieces help make the world livable. The more I read and study and learn the more I realize just how wanton the destruction is, just as we are beginning to learn about the extraordinary intricate interdependence of all life on one another, including many things we have never given credit for having consciousness, feeling pain and communicating; such as plants, trees, fish. That’s over my paygrade. By the time we’ve figured out how badly we fucked up most of what matters will be wiped out. But we will have our goddamned cell phones with their brain damage and their addictive little dings, and we will al be fine little consumers of what is left. And after that I suspect we will consume one another.
All I can do is write, reduce my consumption, and do what I can to leave a smaller footprint. Not having kids was part of my choice to do just that. Wiser minds than mine will need to address these larger issues.
Don’t mind me. I’ve got a noggin full of painkillers. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.