By George, Consumer Hell or Happiness?

'This is the consumer society taken to its logical extreme: the Earth itself becomes disposable. This idea appears to be more acceptable in some circles than any restraint on pointless spending. That we might hop, like the aliens in Independence Day, from one planet to another, consuming their resources then moving on, is considered by these people a more realistic and desirable prospect than changing the way in which we measure wealth.

So how do we break this system? How do we pursue happiness and well-being rather than growth? I came back from the climate talks Copenhagen depressed for several reasons, but above all because, listening to the discussions at the citizens’ summit, it struck me that we no longer have movements; we have thousands of people each clamouring to have their own visions adopted. We might come together for occasional rallies and marches, but as soon as we start discussing alternatives, solidarity is shattered by possessive individualism. Consumerism has changed all of us. Our challenge is now to fight a system we have internalised.'

Oh, I think I get it, George. We replace a consumerist society with one that pursues happiness and well being, not growth. But pray, how do I get to happiness and well being? Oh, it dawns on me. I meditate, mull over my cosmic being and go back to being a caveman. That should do me and the rest of the world a whole lot of good. But then, I decide not to. I'll tell you why. Because while I am ready to go back to chomping on carrots and sitting cross legged, I am not sure if the ones who preach the cross-legged carrot solution are themselves doing what I do. Plus the solution's bogus. We should know it by now.

I'll let James Lewis illustrate what I've said.

'BBC’s climate doom correspondent Paul Hudson asked plaintively a few months ago: “What happened to global warming?” Wrote Mr. Hudson:

'This headline may come as a bit of a surprise, so too might the fact that the warmest year recorded globally was not in 2008 or 2007, but in 1998. But it is true. For the last 11 years we have not observed any increase in global temperatures.'

Here’s a guy who built a glittering career on global warming fraud. That BBC headline should have collapsed the whole fraud right there and then. After all, the Bolshie Beeb has been leading this charge for decades. Paul Hudson’s public confession is like Gorbachev finally ‘fessing up that Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Fidel, Kim, Pol Pot (and Obama) had it completely wrong after all. All those 100,000,0000 dead people and nothing to show for it. The Beeb’s Orwellian Ministry of Truth has been pushing global warming every single hour of the day for lo these many years. Now the New York Times actually had to go out and find an honest man to break the news to its readers (John Tierney). Its global frauding correspondent, Andrew Revkin, has resigned and fled the scene of the crime.

Scientists used to be poor but honest, but that was when they slept in garrets and dressed in grungy sweaters. Today they have glittering dollar signs where their eyeballs used to be, like a Vegas slot machine, and their magic number has 13 zeroes: ten trillion dollars for climate fraud. That’s an official estimate from the “Stern Review,” authored by distinguished British fraudocrat Lord Nicholas Stern in 2006. The same number also comes from the skeptical side, from the Marshall Institute, which has done careful economic projections about the cost of “global warming” abatement.

That’ll be ten trillion dollars, please. Cha-ching! Shall I wrap up that planet or do you want to eat it here? Ten trillion buckarooneys is why all those green fraudsters jetted into Copenhagen, and that’s why they kept going for a while even after Climategate ripped open their fraud for all the world to see.'

Coming back to the consumer hell George Monbiot was talking about, let's see it for what it really is. Let me illustrate. Guess George likes his croissants every morning. Biting into a warm flavourful croissant must surely give George his moments of morning delight. But what George fails to see is what's happened in the background, that has him, or for that matter any of us, savouring these palate pleasures. Note, the croissant must have been made from the finest of wheat. To grow such fine wheat, someone needed to make a machine that could till the fields, reap the crop, thresh it and then get it into a powder form. Making those machines would surely have required someone to mine an ore and turn it into material that then becomes part of the machine. The powdered flour that becomes dough, that turns into a baked croissant, again have machines to thank. I could go and on. But I guess, what I want to say is crystal clear.

Also, I hope this too comes across loud and clear. Industrial activity is a result of man's ingenuity. It takes people to come together in value creating tasks for industrial activity to flourish. Such activity mustn't be frowned upon. For it is what's truly noble. This very act is what's at the heart of human prosperity. At the heart of human happiness and well being. Of course, natural resources will be used in such activity. And they must. After all the earth is a gift from the Almighty to mankind. Again, not all industrial acts result in win-win outcomes. Some do have their ill-effects. But tell you what, as we progress, we will only see the act get better. That means resources will be utilised better, and more efficiently. Plus used resources will be replenished better.

If you don't believe me, then you don't believe in the power of human ingenuity. That, trust me, is more worrisome.


Yes, Industrial activity is important. There should be sustainable growth with proper replenishment and least possible damage to the ecology.

There have been advances like faster degradable plastic, less polluting vehicles, reusable components in the electronic items to name a few.

Hope there's a balance between growth and sustaining the eco-system.

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