I have had this post on my “todo” list for some time. I am not really sure how to write it without people getting mad at me. It seems like every time I write about something that threatens people’s ways of life, I hear about it. I can understand that, because I wouldn’t want someone telling me what to do, but perhaps a suggestion…I would listen to.
I guess we are all beginning to realize there is a problem out there. I just read an article on Yahoo!, titled, “UN panel: Climate change accelerating.” That’s not good. I mean, the article was well written, but what it was about isn’t good.
I think I have become an ever increasingly bitter person. It probably has something to do with me thinking an awful lot about stuff. I spend time thinking about consumption, power, working, relationships and life in general. It kills me to go out there in the world and see people who don’t seem to be doing much thinking at all.
One of the things that really gets to me is people buying too much stuff. I write a lot about things I have purchased and it may seem like I purchase a lot. Maybe I do. Let’s just say that half the stuff I write about, I never get. I usually spend a few months tossing it around in my head. I always think and think and think and that’s one annoying thing about me. Also, I usually buy stuff that has a purpose. I buy things I need for either survival or for business. I never buy things because they are on sale. The good thing is that Laura and I recycle more than we through away. There is rarely a full garbage can out at the end of the driveway on pickup day.
I saw this lady on Oprah the other day who had “hoarding disease.” The show was helping her overcome her problem and they were going through all the junk she had in her house. They would ask how she got some of the items and one time, she responded something like, “Oh, well that was on sale. They were almost asking me to buy it.” To me, that’s just crazy. Who buys something they don’t need because it’s on sale? Who does that?
I suffer from thinking about chains of events. Every purchase has polluted in its own way. Every little trinket has either cut down a tree, burned oil for shipping, used too much packaging, created sub-par working conditions…you get the idea. So how does one live a life being angry about their own purchases and even angrier about other people’s purchases? I don’t know. All I know is that every time I mention it, people get mad at me.
I like charities as much as the next guy, but I have begun thinking about them too. I am starting to think that I have some sort of problem. Now, people can’t just ask me to contribute without me thinking about whether the charity abused animals for research, caused the purchase of way too many toys or cut down a rain forest. The only thing I can think of to donate to is PETA because they don’t seem to be filling the world up with junk or polluting.
As you may know, I have been doing some research on the next car I am going to buy. This is especially important because cars create lots of pollution. There is a debate in my head whether to get one with not so good gas mileage or one with really good gas mileage. I know I am not going to drive nearly as much as I used to, so this issue is smaller than it should be. I think about it though and I guess that’s good.
We have been hearing about over-consumption for a long time now. Why is it that people still are shocked to hear someone talk about it? Can I say that I am not for buying kids so many toys without being branded as being against kids? Can I say that I think people should think more about efficiency when donating new houses to the less fortunate without being branded as being against the poor? Can I say that researchers should consider the rights of animals when doing medical research without being branded as being against the ill?
As you can see, there is a fine line to walk when talking about these issues. Unfortunately, if no one talks about them, we are going to be living on a very hot planet, among many many stinky landfills with no more animals. That is not good.
The good thing is that there are a few people out there who think along the same lines as I do. TreeHugger has a good article called, “Birthdays Without Pressure” which links to a related website that deals with the problems with birthday parties.
Read a little of the information on the websites I just linked to and please leave me a comment.