Monday 27 April 2009

The End Of Consumerism

An interesting article below from The Ecologist.

Note the main missing issue - IMMIGRATION.

Anyone with a brain realises that you cannot have a sustainable environment, sustainable economics and a sustainable nation without regulating population numbers.

An open borders of policy on immigration, an open borders policy on asylum seekers and an open borders policy on allowing in economic migrants to drive continual economic growth means that the goal of a Green Energy Revolution, a sustainable environment and an economic system based on sustainable economics cannot be created.

To have a nation, such as the British Isles, allowing in hundreds of thousands of new immigrants a year and thereby in 20 years have a population around 80 million requiring 6 new cities the size of Birmingham to house them is the politics of the madhouse.

The greatest betrayal of the 20th century has been the betrayal of the Green movement as regards the fundamental issues of immigration and human population control.

The failure of the Green Movement to accept the fundamental reality that mass immigration equates to the death of national environments and that the human population is the primary cause of 'climate change', as opposed to the facile science of 'global warming which seeks to blame 'industrial development' when industrial development is merely the growth of industry to supply the needs and demands of rising human populations with their foods and consumer trinkets, means the Green Movement have been the perpetrators of the primary problem.

The Red / Greens merely divert youth and environmentalists into the fake solution of the system controlled Red / Green Pseudo-Environmentalism.

As long as people like Zac Goldsmith run The Ecologist, red liberals run the WWF, Greenpeace and other environmental groups and idiots like Carol Lucas and her cabal of nonces and communists run The Green Party then each of these groups and organisations are a part of the problem - they can never be part of the solution.

The solution is clear - before the Green Movement takes another step it must first state that ;

1) All immigration into the UK has to end and voluntary repatriation policies be imposed to assist all those economic migrants who have entered the UK over recent decades to return home. This will apply to everyone regardless of race, creed, religion, colour or nationality.

2) Compulsory repatriation policies be imposed on all foreign criminals, illegal entrants to the UK, people smuggled into the UK, those whose asylum status has been refused, those whose asylum status needs to be reviewed in light of changing national and social circumstances in their own homelands, those who are here on invalid visas, those who did not declare their criminal convictions before they came into the country, those who status as economic migrants has changed and those whose presence in the UK is detrimental to our national security. These have to be Compulsory Repatriated and deported. This will apply to everyone regardless of race, creed, religion, colour or nationality.

That way the British national population level can stabilise and we can start to then put in place the structures that will support the Green Revolution.

Until then the Green Movement, or the Red Greens as they should be known as they are communists and liberals and not Greens, will continue to assist Consumerism and Socialism in its war against our national environment and the global environment.

The end of consumerism

Jules Peck 16/04/2009

Last month my friend Satish Kumar said in Sustained magazine that the happiest people are those who live close to the land and use their hands – craftspeople and farmers. As a naturalist, keen gardener and soon-to-be vegetable-plot devotee, this resonates with me.

It also tallies with the evidence from wellbeing studies which show that people who live their lives framed around extrinsic values of self-focus, image, greed and acquisition, and are suffering from ‘affluenza’, are diminishing their own wellbeing as well as those around them. They also tend to have far higher environmental footprints than others. Conversely, those whose lives are focused on intrinsic values such as personal (not economic) growth, emotional intimacy and community involvement, have far higher levels of wellbeing and lower footprints.

It’s more complex than saying they are ‘happier’, but they certainly experience far more ‘flow’ in work and play, better relationships and balance – things to which we could all aspire. The philosopher Aristotle had lots to say about wellbeing. In his view, to be a flourishing individual – one who experiences high levels of ‘meaning’ and wellbeing – you should aspire to be an active participant in the flourishing of community. So Thatcher had it all wrong: there really is such a thing as society, and it matters that we are active citizens striving for the good of the wider community, not just in an enlightened self-interest manner but in a deeper manner that respects the lives of all.

In, an online e-draft wiki book that I am currently writing with a friend, Robert Phillips, we call for a shift in societal values away from the consumer in us all to citizen values and advocacy for change. In short we are saying you are not what you buy. But it’s hard to get that message heard amid the cacophony of background noise and brainprint of the advertising world.

These are things I take as self evident – but don’t just listen to me: others have said it far more eloquently. Playwright Dennis Potter said in 1994 in Seeing the Blossom: ‘The commercialisation of everything means of course you’re putting a commercial value on everything. And you turn yourself from a citizen into a consumer’. Booker Prize-winning novelist Ben Okri said in the Times in October 2008: ‘The meltdown in the economy is a harsh metaphor of the meltdown of some of our value systems. Individualism has been raised almost to a religion, appearance made more important than substance. The only hope lies in a fundamental re-examination of the values that we have lived by in the past 30 years’.

Vaclav Havel has stated beautifully the fundamental shift that is needed: ‘What could change the direction of today’s civilization? It is my deep conviction that the only option is a change in the sphere of the spirit, in the sphere of human conscience. It’s not enough to invent new machines, new regulations, new institutions. We must develop a new understanding of the true purpose of our existence on this Earth. Only by making such a fundamental shift will we be able to create new models of behaviour and a new set of values for the planet’. For Havel, our refreshingly outspoken bishops and many others, the environmental crisis is ultimately a crisis of the spirit.

One of my heroes, Aldo Leopold, the father of the land ethic, wrote to a friend that he doubted anything could be done about conservation ‘without creating a new kind of people’, and in the must-read A Sand County Almanac, from 1949, that ‘a land ethic changes the role of Homo sapiens from conqueror of the land-community to plain member and citizen of it… it implies respect for his fellow-members, and also respect for the community as such’. And as Professor Tim Jackson says, ‘the transition to a sustainable society cannot hope to proceed without the emergence or re-emergence of some kinds of meaning structures that lie outside the consumer realm’. Brilliant thinkers such as Dr Tom Crompton at WWF are doing crucial work on these questions. We must urgently spread the conversation.

Right now there is a terrifying vacuum of values, vision and leadership in our political discourse and from our politicians. And it’s hard for business to do the right thing when it’s designed to make money and little else, and when the market is set up so perversely. Our politicians are (to borrow a phrase from the wonderful Thomas Homer-Dixon) like drunk drivers in the fog. Harvard Professor John Quelch’s 2008 study Too Much Stuff says: ‘The mass consumption of the 1990s is fast fading in the rearview mirror. Now a growing number of people want to declutter their lives and invest in experiences rather than things’.

And Jeremy Paxman has told us that we are witnessing the ‘end of capitalism’. Our current form of corporate-consumer-capitalism has been shown to be what many of us knew it was: a fundamentally flawed system.

Luckily just the kind of citizen renaissance we need is beginning with groups like CRAGs and Transition Towns – described by Jeremy Leggett as ‘scalable microcosms of hope’. And online digital democracy is giving individual citizens and collectives a new voice and real power in politics.,,, and are names that if you have not heard of you soon will have. What do I think all this citizen power needs to call for? Well, it’s nothing short of a radical updating of our current operating system – no sticking plaster will do. We urgently need a Green New Deal to act as a transition phase to a steady state, economic development (not growth) paradigm that aims to maximise the wellbeing of people and planet, not the bank balances of the rich. And we must beware the snake-oil salespeople trying to flog us the dead-ends of green consumerism and cheatneutral ‘offsets’. Those are phoney solutions just as dangerous as what most of our current myopic flock of politicians would sell us.

Wake up, get angry (in a positive way), unite and become a citizen. It’s our only hope. Oh, and take a look at my book I would love your feedback.

Jules Peck is a freelance writer and citizen with 20 years experience advising NGOs, government and the corporate world.

This piece first appeared in the Ecologist March 2009

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Anonymous said...

Old Jules seems to spend much of his article citing soundbites...

Anonymous said...

Yes and The BNP will do what is necessary to bring about balance in population and environment so a truly sustainable future is made possible