Dear Industry: It’s Not You, It’s Me

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For the sake of that little bit of sanity, let’s assume it’s not too late to turn back the tables on environmental disaster. That it’s not too late for us to re-capture truth in the way we live life and the way we interact with others and with the world around us.

If we have a chance, then there are actions that each of us must take, and actions which our governments must take in support of these individual actions and needs.

But we have to understand first, that it starts with us.

The huge amount of waste, of unsustainable destructive manufacturing, of pollution, of convenience products which are quickly thrown away into piling landfills and dirty oceans of plastic, of continued unfair/slave labor and poverty across the globe, none of it is a problem of industry.

“But, industry is sooo bad!” we yell from our leather arm chairs.

No. You are bad. I am bad. Industry is merely a puppet.

It is all a problem of the first world’s obsession with CCC: consumption, convenience, and cheapness. And in conjunction with this, it is a problem of our disconnection with the reality behind our consumer habits and the destruction we cause every time we choose to buy plastic cups from WalMart or something on that order.

We have an addiction, and we have an industry which happily supports this addiction while blinding us to the reality.

Stop Blaming Industry

This is not a problem of industry. This is our problem.

We don’t need to call for an end to industrial pollution in China.

We don’t need protest to stop the production of nuclear power plants.

We don’t need to force corporations to stop destroying rain forest.

Our demand for product is what necessitates industry. Our need for the newest television at the cheapest price is what drives industry in China to mass produce in the worst, most polluting ways.

Our demand for cheaply built, energy-inefficient housing, heaters blasting during winter while we sit on the couch in a t-shirt is what drives the necessity for nuclear power plants.

Our demand for paper towels, paper plates, and cheap wooden furniture that we’ll throw away and buy again in short time is what drives industry to hack down forests.

These are examples. Nearly every facet of our modern life requires industrial actions which incur similar circumstances for the environment.

We don’t need to focus on regulating industry because we are the life blood of the industry. All of this destruction, all of this human suffering — the suffering of ourselves, our friends, people in the so called ‘third world’ — it is all built on our demands as consumers.

It’s time we changed our demands.

Either that, or enter a 12-step program.

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