Convenience or Sustainability?

Affluent countries like the USA often use extra energy (usually in form of fossil fuel) to create convenience.   We run errands in our cars rather than walking, we travel long distances by airplane or car rather than avoiding long trips or using bicycles, etc.    What surprises me however is how often people think that they are creating sustainable lifestyles simply by purchasing hybrid vehicles or recycling or making other fairly trivial changes to the excessive consumption of an American lifestyle.   They are not.

Sustainability is a necessary condition for the long term preservation of a system, but it comes at a cost..

to be continued…sustainably….well…..maybe not…

3 thoughts on “Convenience or Sustainability?

  1. You seem to be describing a certain breed of suburbanite liberal–like those who don’t eat red meat, or drive one of those hybrid guppie vehicles, or only use Apples. Why, by not eating burgers and owning a five thousand dollar Apple (Snow Leopard OS X Mark VIII with i-Cloudpod!) she’s …PC and entitled to something–like “karmically, man” that we burger-eaters aren’t. “Old-school” democrats–JFK or Truman sort–would have laughed out loud at these PC ninnies aka Gore-o-crats.

    Hey Duck was waiting for your response to some of the recent DoD “appropriation” bills. What’s $700 bil between friends (and bipartisan supported aka demopublican all the way). It goes to the Senate soon–next week or two.

    • It’s painful to watch the bipartisan – in fact largely supported by a math-challenged public – pork and gun barrel spending. The founders made it *crystal clear* that bureaucracy tends to spend illogically and military needs to be primarily for the national defense. Although the USA has assumed the de facto “policeman of the world” mantle, making some extra spending necessary to preserve global stability, it could be a fraction of current amounts in my opinion. The mistaken assumption is that greater spending means greater capacity to defend but this is unlikely for many reasons. First, the costs of security are so great they threaten our economy more than the terrorist threaten us. We’re destabilizing ourselves with reckless spending! Second, our buildup is perceived (wrongly!) as a step to empire building and global aggression, so we are threatened more by those who would largely ignore us if our footprint was smaller. We should practice more speaking loudly and carrying small sticks. This is much more cost effective than the opposite approach as we’ve seen from the amazing success of the bad terror guys as they threaten the globe on a shoestring budget.

  2. >excessive consumption of the American lifestyle …
    While an advertising driven orientation to obsessive consumption and planned obsolescence may not be exactly admirable, its part of the freedoms we enjoy and I see no reason for anyone to go around trying to live more simply than he truly wants to live.
    Fads exist. Childrens names, women’s fashions, men’s hats, hybrid vehicles, mung bean sprouts, low fat diets, tv shows, movies. Maybe instead of Save The Environment posters we need posters about Shallow, Weak-Willed Silly Faddists Have Rights Too!

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