Chew on this.
There is a swirling vortex of plastic waste twice the size of Texas floating in the Pacific Ocean. And it continues to grow at an alarming rate.
The U.S. has 5% of the world’s population, yet consumes 30% of the world’s resources and creates 30% of the world’s waste.
Our consumption is twice what it was 50 years ago. Perhaps not coincidentally national happiness peaked around then.
The burning of fossil fuels for the manufacturing and transportation of all of the “stuff” we consume results in the release of greenhouse gases, which is causing climate change. While China has now surpassed the US in greenhouse gas emissions, much of China’s emissions result from the manufacture of goods exported for consumption in the U.S., again highlighting the impact that our consumption is having on the planet. view chart
Contrast the out of control consumerism we have in the West with the billions of people in the developing world who struggle to access the basics needed to sustain healthy lives – basics like clean water and sanitation, for instance – a situation that will only get worse if we continue consuming the way we have done.
One impact of climate change will be to increase the number of people without access to clean water by an additional 75 – 220 million people in the next 12 years. And lack of water leads not only to widespread disease, but to territorial disputes and wars. view chart
Hmm. Makes you think.