Guest columnist Daphne Stevens: Our throw-away society is destroying the Earth

  • Planet Earth Illustration by D2Owiki

Published: 11/29/2021 2:35:13 PM
Modified: 11/29/2021 2:34:41 PM

In response to Gail A. Hornstein’s Nov. 12 column “Bad things happen to good people amd goo people sometimes do bad things,” she states in her last paragraph “more and more of us seem to be extending less and less effort trying to understand the thought patterns, behavior and feelings of others.” I, on the other hand, have been spending many waking hours trying to figure out why many Americans are not willing or able to change their behavior even thought the dire warnings about our climate disaster are becoming more prevalent.

Indeed, many are totally unaware when the news is constantly full of the latest, fire, floods, extreme heat, melting glaciers etc. I was relieved, recently to finally find answers to my questions. But, on the other hand, my feelings of pain for our planet intensified. As Gail Hornstein ended her column, she said: “but this comes at a price and we should ask ourselves whether the costs are worth it.” Of course the pain is worth it if we can change our way of life.

The source I found is an interview with Eileen Crist titled, “We have to understand that we can not perpetrate a mass extinction and come out winners,” which I found in the spring/summer issue of Spirit of Change magazine, Stepping Into Nature. Eileen says” Human nature contains the capacity for all sorts of things from the coarsest kind of selfishness to a lifetime of selfless service.

We need to learn from communities who celebrate the natural world, the indigenous. We need gratitude for all that is alive. Instead, we think of ourselves as supreme. Everything is put on earth for us. We urgently need to break our habits of supremacy, realize the planet isn’t here for us, indeed, we are no better than the smallest creature. As you can see, that isn’t working; we are losing our planet because of our narcissistic life styles. Crist continues, we use “mass production and mass consumption at a global scale for billions of increasingly affluent people” which leads to “extreme drawdown of resources, unattainable pollution and ecological ruin.”

Years ago when I was trying to decide which political party to support, I discovered the Democrats were all about money and capitalism so do not support them. Crist says “Capitalism has to go but also human supremacy.” Crist uses a possible Paul Ehrilich quote “Nobody would ever dream of bulldozing the Louvre in order to build a parking lot in it’s place.” But how many forests have been felled for cars and livestock feed.” I have long supported the Green Party which has the environment as one of its key platforms.

Recently I read in Sierra Magazine published this fall, ” A history of planned obsolescence that began in 1924.” Sandra Goldmark says “in 2020 people worldwide bought 24 billion pairs of shoes, 64 million cars, and 1.4 billion smartphones — 200 million of those from Apple.”

See what I mean? We have to stop purchasing because all those things come from products of the earth; our throw-away society is destroying the Earth. We must do more, starting now, or there will be no livable planet for us.

Daphne Stevens

Northampton


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