Demand Driven Consumer Capitalism is Also the Driver of the "Environmental Pollution" Matrix

Yesterday's post ended with the Jorge Majfud quote, "Trying to reduce environmental pollution without reducing consumerism is like combating drug trafficking without reducing the drug addiction." It's important to notice that Majfud, a genius IMO, refers to the broad issue of "environmental pollution" not just to climate change.

Somewhere along the way climate change, which is a symptom of the disease of consumer capitalism not the disease itself, usurped the focus of the broader debate. Climate change is a very important node in the green matrix, tentacles leading to and from it interconnect every aspect of broader disease causing all forms of "environmental pollution"..IMO the media, knowing our limitations and its own, played a central role in the narrowing of the debate. Climate change offered so many tantalizing catastrophic predictions to headline, so many celebrities speaking out, so many simplistic graphs to illustrate the 'inconvient truth'. Of course, it's our fault as least as much as theirs - ratings, sales and profits are achieved by supplying that which is demanded in the media as in all capitalist industries.

The example list below from 'Green Living' [which could undoubtedly be edited] is an example of the broad range of nodes in the "environmental pollution" matrix that have been eclipsed somewhat by the climate change and related energy debates. Many issues, like the crisis over our food supply created by annihilation of world's pollinators, a keystone group if there ever was one, now proven to be caused by the use of pesticides and insecticides in industrial agriculture to ensure profitable harvests from petro-chemical fertilized monocultures is certainly more immediate and just as potentially catastrophic.

Every economic exchange, every unintended environmental consequence, is driven by demand. Folks need to stop driving to the mall, stop consuming useless plastic crap, just slow down. Please take a look the list below, maybe research some the topics more broadly, IMO you'll agree that demand driven consumer capitalism is the underlying driver of all."environmental pollution".

1. Contamination of Drinking Water: Contamination of fresh water used for household needs, including pollution of oceans, rivers, lakes, and reservoirs, ranks top on the list of environmental concerns for many Americans. More than half of respondents stated they worry about the safety of their drinking water a great deal.

2. Water Pollution: General worry over water pollution and associated environmental issues greatly concerns half of all Americans who participated in the 2008 poll. Related issues include acid rain, ocean dumping, urban runoff, oil spills, ocean acidification, and wastewater.

3. Soil Contamination: Soil erosion, soil conservation, soil salination, and soil contamination by waste, pesticides, and lead worries 50 percent of Americans.

4. Wildlife Conservation: More than 40 percent of Americans expressed concern about wildlife conservation and associated environmental issues, such as endangered species, animal and plant extinction, coral bleaching, introduction of invasive species, poaching, and loss of natural animal habitats resulting in relocation and a break in the food chain.

5. Air pollution: Concerns over air pollution have remained steady over the last decade, with more than 40 percent of Americans worried about indoor and outdoor air quality, carbon emissions, tropospheric ozone, particulate matter, sulfur oxides, volatile organic compounds, radon, refrigerants, and methane emissions.

6. Biological pollutants, including bacteria, viruses, molds, mildew, dander, dust, mites, pollen, ventilation and infection.

7. Carbon footprint and the responsibility of individuals to reduce their effect on the environment, including the use of renewable energy sources (solar power, geothermal heat pumps), recycling, and sustainable living.

8. Climate change and issues related to global warming, such as the greenhouse effect, global dimming, and the gradual rise in sea level.

9. Consumerism and over-consumption and their effect on the planet.

10. Dams and the impact of dams on the environment.

11. Ecosystem destruction and associated environmental concerns, such as aquaculture, estuaries, shellfish protection, landscaping, wetlands, and ecological restoration.

12. Energy conservation issues, including renewable energy for home and business, energy efficiency, and fossil fuel depletion.

13. Fishing and its effect on marine ecosystems, blast fishing, cyanide fishing, bottom trawling, whaling, and over-fishing.

14. Food safety concerns and the effects of hormones, antibiotics, preservatives, toxic contamination, and lack of quality control on health.

15. Genetic engineering, including concerns about genetically modified foods and genetic pollution.

16. Intensive farming, irrigation, overgrazing, monoculture, methane emissions, and the damaging environmental effects of deforestation for farming and cattle.

17. Land degradation and related problems, such as desertification and soil and land pollution.

18. Land use, urban sprawl, lack of free space, and habitat destruction and fragmentation.

19. Logging, deforestation, clear-cutting, destruction of wildlife habitats, and greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming.

20. Mining and its role in global warming, acid mine drainage, and soil and air pollution resulting from toxic emissions and heavy metals.

21. Nanotechnology and the future effects of nanopollution and nanotoxicology.

22. Natural disasters and their impact on all aspects of the environment.

23. Nuclear issues, including the effects of nuclear fallout, nuclear meltdown, radioactive waste, and the population's reliance on nuclear power.

24. Other pollution issues, such as light pollution and noise pollution, and their effects on human health and behavior.

25. Overpopulation concerns, such as continued building and burial.

26. Ozone depletion and damage to the Earth's ozone layer caused by CFC.

27. Resource depletion, the need for newer, cleaner energy sources, and exploitation of natural resources.

28. Sustainable communities and issues such as reducing reliance on fossil fuels, supporting local farmers and merchants, encouraging green practices and building, consideration of native wildlife, and adoption of mass transportation and cleaner methods of commuting.

29. Toxins, including chlorofluorocarbons, heavy metals, pesticides, herbicides, toxic waste, PCB, DDT, bioaccumulation, endocrine disruptors, asbestos, and poorly implemented hazardous waste management.

30. Waste and associated environmental issues, such as litter, landfills, recycling, incineration, marine debris, E-waste, and contamination of water and soil caused by improper disposal and leaching toxins.