Our problems go far deeper. We are going to need a rapid and fundamental shift in our values, habits, behaviours, and outlooks.
This is a UK academic talking about the empty rhetoric on “sustainability” and reminding us that we’ve known about the problem of using up resources faster than they can be replenished for at least a century, longer if you agree with what was written about the ancient Greeks.
We are no more sustainable than an eBay shopper with a credit card.
As Lilly Allen wrote, “we are weapons of massive consumption” and its not our fault.
We can spruik stewardship of natural resources, modern simplicity, even organic foods but the reality is we are consumers. It is what we do. Not even a circular economy can fix this core trait that is glued to our limbic system with aruldite.
We might need a fundamental shift but no amount of sustainability rhetoric can change the reality that the human condition is to progress, individually and collectively. We all benefit from this for despite global and local problems — and there are many — on average, conditions for the majority are far better today than they have ever been.
So I would argue that sustainability, together with its architects, advocates, and acolytes, are just our conscience talking. Well, whispering actually from the deeper recesses of our reptilian brain stem.
Sustainability, resilience, adaptability and other offerings more at home in the 1960’s are words we know we should hear and act upon but we just cannot make the fundamental shift.
My contention is that we are just not wired for the change that is needed.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to make a sneaky last second bid on one of my watched items.