Friday, September 23, 2011

Interesting article

I was eating some delicious broccoli and tomato pizza for lunch today, reading a back issue of Wired magazine.  Typically this magazine gets on my nerves because it is dedicated to discussions of technology and its intersection with society.  Oftentimes, it is championing technology and "progress".  Anyone who knows me well can tell you that technology doesn't usually blow wind up my skirt.

Regardless, I was reading the cover story which was an article by Joel Johnson examining the story behind 17 worker suicides at one of the world's largest consumer electronic mega-factories.  What began as an account of working conditions and labor practices at the factory turned into a serious discussion of consumerism and collective guilt by the end of the article.  While I found the entire article interesting, two statements especially stood out for me that I have never been able to adequately elaborate for myself.

"But I believe that humankind made a subconscious collective bargain at the dawn of the industrial age to trade the resources of our planet for the chance to escape it. We live in the transitional age between that decision and its conclusion."
"I don’t know if I have a right to the vast quantities of materials and energy I consume in my daily life. Even if I thought I did, I know the planet cannot bear my lifestyle multiplied by 7 billion individuals. I believe this understanding is shared, if only subconsciously, by almost everyone in the Western world."

I don't want to escape this planet.  I want to relish it in all of its beauty and wealth and variety.  It is arguable whether or not everyone in the Western world understands this, even subconsciously.  Either way, I want people to get it out of their subconscious and into their conscious and change their lifestyles before it is all too late.     

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